Sunday, August 23, 2009

Kids Less Critical Than Adults

I'm a children's counselor by profession and my first concern going into this profession was the possibility that the kids I see might be more prone to highlight or even poke fun at my stutter. From my experiences in childhood, this seemed likely since the most teasing I got was because of stuttering. In fact, it made my childhood a nightmare at times. Children can be very brutal to one another, I observe this even in my profession. Children are very blunt with one another and will readily point out a flaw in a peer with little or no hesitation or discretion. "Damn, those are ugly shoes!"

But, in my limited experience as a counselor, I've yet to have one child make fun of my stuttering when it manifests. Oh, I have had a few point it out and ask me why I talk that way sometimes, but not even one has made fun of me because of it. On the other hand, I've had a few colleagues who have, playfully, mimicked me in one situation or another...playful banter on a break or some similar occasion. It hasn't really bothered me, per se, but it's an interesting observation.
When I first came into this profession, I was told to reveal few personal facts about myself to kids, because kids will use anything to attack you, even your personal life. And I've heard many kids call other counselor all sorts of horrible names like, "You fat, bitch!", but I've yet to be called anything. Perhaps it's my temperament and approach. I approach every child with the attitude that they are valuable and are worth getting to know. Some counselors I've seen approach kids with the attitude of, "I know what you need and you need to listen to what I say, you're just a kid." That attitude will never garner respect or trust from anyone, much less a child.
Anyway, that's what's on my mind this lovely Sunday morning.

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