Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Are you angry because you're poor??

(Of course I can't tell you where I am or show the kids faces or images of the facility but here are three of the wall postings to remind the kids of emotions and anger)

Every week the kids work on a theme. One particular week the theme was 'anger' and all of the activities stemmed around things that you make you angry, managing anger, etc. Now remember, these kids are labeled as having behavior and emotion problems so activities like these are designed to help them manage those emotions. One of the projects asked the kids what makes them angry.

So when this question was posed one of the college assistants (working for the summer), let's call him Dan, carried a conversation with one of the kids who's about 8 or so, let's call her Mary, that went something like this:

Dan: Hey, Mary, you should be working on this activity on what makes you angry. You need to write down what makes you angry, ok?
Mary: Ok.
Dan: So, what makes you angry? That you're not rich?

I'm sorry, what? I didn't know whether to laugh or correct him. This happened on my second day when I was only observing so I certainly did not correct him. But I chuckled a little out of shock. These are FOSTER kids. They don't live with their biological parents. They have problems that you would not believe and the LAST thing they need is someone reminding them of what they don't have. Plus, she's an 8 year old kid.

The room is large and there are a lot of kids so the clinician did not hear this exchange. But I just had to shake my head and smile at myself at how experience (and age) influence how you talk to and relate to people.

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