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In Honor of National Social Work Month... A SHOUT OUT TO ALL OF YOU!

In Honor of National Social Work Month… A SHOUT OUT TO ALL OF YOU!

We want to thank our hard working and dedicated colleagues (of all professional affiliations) providing services to youth out there and doing heroic work on the front lines; day in and day out with relentless commitment and heartwarming compassion! Our efforts at times can feel futile or thankless (I admit to moments with colleagues behind closed doors questioning whether my efforts are at times even making a difference). There are days we head home from work when we have little left to give to the loved ones receiving us (especially those of us who spend our days with adolescents only to go home to our own!) These moments are a good time to go back and re-read ways to avoid burnout as Britt wrote about in our newsletter last month. But then we have those moments when we have felt able to reach a client or student in a way that allowed them to exhale, feel heard, move toward some positive change, or see something in themselves reflected by our belief in them that they had not recognized before. These are very important moments for us to capture. And lest we minimize their impact, let me share how it feels to be on the other side. I have had recent experiences with my own teenagers when supportive adults have wrapped their arms around my kids, persistently pushing them to challenge themselves while sensitively validating the difficulty in doing so. It is in these moments as a parent when I well up with tears, feeling grateful for those compassionate adults (you know who you are) helping to raise my teenagers to be their best authentic self and see their worth. It is in realizing how much this touches me as a parent, that I know in my heart the passion and energy we put forth in our work with teens each day is meaningful and always worth it. Alternately, we as professionals need to be empathic and patient with parents who may be worried about their struggling teen. Our tip this month is to take a moment to value the work you do with teens. It means so much. Thank you all for your service.

Parenting Tip of the Month: Share Your Appreciation to Those Caring for Your Teen

In the spirit of the above tribute, take time to thank a helping adult who has been kind and caring to your teen. Life is relentlessly busy. It is easy to feel pulled in so many directions and have our time prioritized by the problems we are solving and the crises we are averting. Though we may feel deeply grateful to those caring teachers, counselors, therapists, coaches and tutors who help our kids learn and grow, we may not take the time to let them know. So choose one moment by one provider that has made a difference for your teenager and thank them.

While we are at it, let’s also take a moment to notice and acknowledge something our teen has said or done that we have felt proud of or appreciated. Tell them.

Relationships Matter! When we communicate our mutual appreciations we make connections stronger.