When we start working with a young person we make a promise that we will always listen to them and we will be with them every step of the way on their journey with us. That hasn’t changed, but how we do it has.
Social distancing has forced us into our homes and out of our comfort zone in hundreds of ways. How we have conversations and sustain relationships is a huge part of that. Phone calls and video calls can be awkward for anyone – conversation just isn’t as natural as it is when you’re actually with someone.
So, it’s completely understandable that trying to engage a young person on the phone for longer than three-and-a-half minutes can be a challenge that even the most accomplished chatterbox would struggle with. And it’s not about keeping young people on the phone for the sake of it; we really want to have meaningful, supportive conversations with them – that’s why we’re here.
However, if there’s one thing that this bizarre lockdown situation has taught me, it’s how to be creative. As I trawled through the internet looking for ideas on how to make a phone call fun and engaging, I came across some very simple – but very effective – games to play.
“Your life will get better, maybe not today or tomorrow, or next week but it will get better eventually.”
I have always liked quotes, sayings and how wonderful wordsmiths can capture and articulate what people are feeling so adeptly. Me, I struggle with that. I am a passionate speaker; if you meet me you can see that I believe in what I am saying and sometimes I get carried away with that!
So, I am sat at home writing this reflection. I am here with my wife and not my children, not just because they have their own homes, but because my wife and I fall into the high risk category for Covid-19. Who would ever have thought two boring mid-50 year olds would ever be at risk by seeing their own children? This is something I am struggling with and has led me to reflect on the challenge of what is happening, especially in regards to my fundamental beliefs: