Posted by: Marie | January 5, 2014

(918) Sage advice

Post #918
[Private journal entry written on Monday, August 6, 2012]

Today, I had a phone call about Renee with Jean, the school guidance counselor I met at the conscious business networking meeting this week . . .

I explained to Jean how Renee has been behaving. She said that Renee behaves that way because she has been allowed to behave that way, and it is probably a way for her to get attention even though it is negative attention.

I asked her if she thought I was enabling Renee by allowing her to continue sulking and acting helpless as long as she participates in the lesson. Jean didn’t think it was enabling, and she agreed when I mentioned I thought the sulking and helpless act will pass on it’s own in time, and the reason I think that is because there have been times Renee has come out of her shell and has become expressive . . . and, because she has hugged me twice – both times she initiated the contact.

Jean brought up Peter Benson’s concept of Developmental Assets. He identifies 40 assets (relationships, experiences, values, attitudes and attributes) that correlate with a student’s success in school as well as quality of life. Kids tend to lose these assets as they go through adolescence, and the more they can retain, the better chance they have of thriving later in life.


Photo by Martin Chen

Jean said that it sounds like learning to play the piano, as well as Renee’s relationship with me, are developmental assets for Renee. Jean also felt that my relationship with Renee might be instrumental in her retaining some of the other assets.

Jean also suggested that I offer to be part of Renee’s support team, which would involve opening up a dialogue with her school psychologist. This would allow me to learn what steps I can do to support whatever the psychologist is recommending. Jean said it would be important to represent my proposed involvement on the team as a passive player . . . as opposed to someone whose main goal is to report information or affect the treatment plan.

She advised that I would need to make sure I have signatures from the parents as well as from the school psychologist giving me authorization to do something like that . . . wise advice, I’d think!

At some point in the conversation, I mentioned that her dad is overbearing while her mom is permissive with no boundaries. Jean responded that a situation like that likely causes Renee to feel that her don’t love her and care about her.

Jean went on to say that Renee must feel that I care about her because of the way she has opened up with me and hugged me . . . Jean asked how many lessons I had had with her . . . when I estimated ten lessons, she was very surprised . . . she said it is amazing that Renee would open up to me that quickly, and it indicates that I have significant influence with Renee.

Well, that’s neat to hear!

I mentioned to Jean that I had encouraged Renee to “be her own hero” and make choices that supports what is best for her and for her future as opposed to making choices that punish her parents . . . Jean said that might be too advanced of a concept for an 11-year-old to understand, but that it wouldn’t hurt anything to have said it to her.

I told Jean that kids like Renee are not my “ideal” clients, but that I wouldn’t dream of not working with them because they are the ones that keep me awake at night . . . I ache to make a difference in their lives.

There is no way I would push them away just because they have issues . . . just because they aren’t happy and cheerful all the time. I want to keep working with them because I really care . . . they are the ones that probably need help the most.

Jean’s responded by saying it is that attitude that makes me a great teacher . . . a caring teacher . . . a conscious teacher . . .

She told me to keep doing what I’m doing and to follow my heart because apparently my instincts are “right on the money”!

I thought it was cool she said that about me . . . that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

As we wrapped up the conversation, I mentioned to her that I have been in therapy for the last four years, dealing with my own history of abuse, but that I’m making significant progress in my healing. I told her that I’m starting the process to become a CASA . . . that I plan to take the training in about a year from now. She said she is so glad to hear that I’m planning to be of service in that way because that kind of support is sorely needed.

So, the conversation with Jean was quite educational . . . I appreciate her taking the time to talk with me!

Quotes 828

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