Embracing The Power of Who I Am

Vs. Who I Think I Am Supposed to Be

Social Skills Development Group

The Group experience is designed to help young men begin to understand the challenges they face within themselves and how these challenges impact their ways of being with family, in the community, at school, and throughout different segments and/or venues within the school. For example, a child may act differently in different environmental contexts (class, resource, recess, lunch, etc.) given a particular stimulus within that context and/or a particular demand placed upon him in that context; by a particular person or at particular times when others are around to observe. This may help to explain perhaps why a parent will see one behavior at home or in the community and be amazed and/or shocked that a different behavior occurs at school. Most youth are challenged by the same things adults are challenged with, “Who am I? How do I see myself and how am I viewed by others?” The answers to these questions have deep origins and travel between, “I’m special and all that” to “I’m not enough and can’t measure up.” They tend to be grounded somewhere between can’t and able; jealously and vanity and find their way into the day-to-day tasks of interacting with others who are struggling with similar issues. When one thinks that they are “all that” it is tempting to think that another is “less than”. When one thinks that they are “not enough” it is tempting to think that another is “more than”.

Herein lies the challenge of navigating between the realities of in some situations I am both/and, i.e., I may be awesome in math but weaker in reading. I may not do as well with school but I am excellent in sports. The challenge is in how perceptions get in the way and cause some kids to either tease (which sometimes gets erroneously labeled as bullying) or make fun of another and other kids to disengage or act out because they don’t believe they will ever measure up and certainly are not as good as another child. Either way, the behavior is designed as a mechanism used to receive attention or acceptance. Constructive strategies do exist, however, what is more important is, what lies at the heart of the need to be accepted. This dynamic goes on all day in school and often times some youth need additional support in understanding how to navigate these obstacles and place themselves into positions where they can maximize their ability to learn, reduce behaviors that are not productive, and progress in their own personal skill development to be able to master whatever life throws at them.

The purpose of The Group is to help young men understand these processes, identify their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges and assist them in developing goals that are achievable, believable, conceivable and deliverable.knowthyself

Selected Topics include:

  • Assessing Where I Am
  • Understanding Who I Am
  • Developing Goals for What I Want
  • Creating Plans for What I Really Enjoy Doing
  • Identifying Negative Trigger Points (What Gets Me Upset or Frustrated)
  • Identifying Positive Trigger Points (What Gets Me Excited and Happy)
  • Developing Strategies Reduce Negative and Increase Positive Trigger Points
  • Assistance with Challenging Subjects (Where I Need Support/Tutoring)
  • Assistance with Challenging People (Students, Teachers, Friends, Family)
  • Stress Management and Learning to Breathe
  • Understanding of Nutrition and the Role It Has On Who and How I Am Me
  • Creating A Different Story

The goal is to meet with a group of students (6-8 in the same grade) over the course of the school year twice a week for roughly 45 minutes per session. Homework assignments, interviews, photography and other tasks will be part of the group work. It is also possible that 1-2 field explorations/trips may be scheduled during the course of the group. Critical to success of the group work is the engagement and support of the parents. The group is designed to meet with the student and parent during the first session to discuss the format of the group, the goals, the partnership between the facilitator, student and parent, and the desired outcomes of the group. The parents will join the group again at the end of the process to have the students share what they have gained and have parents share what they have noticed and their encouragement to their child. The final session is also designed as a luncheon bringing all groups and parents together for a celebration/graduation. Contact will be maintained with parents on a weekly basis reflecting progress and/or challenges (email, phone call or face to face).

Thank You for Your Support. Contributions for Coaching Can Also Be Made Here.

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