T O P I C R E V I E W
Charlie No. 2
Member # 45425
posted 08-03-2010 08:49 PM
I wasn't sure where to post this Q, or whether you guys can even help me, but I'm hoping you can. I'm a 24yo chick & have recently found myself in the position of "babysitting" family friends' 14yo (for lack of a much better word, I don't consider her a child at all...but I give her a hand / encouragement with homework, & she comes to hang out here sometimes). She's a good "kid" (again, for lack of a better word) - smart, cares a lot about her family, real kindly...but I can see her having a rough time at school & life in general. I'd really like to talk to her, see where she's at, what I can do to help her. I'd hate to see her removed from school (a possibility at this point), or getting into unsafe relationships, etc.. But, I have no social skills. I mean, I can sustain a functional relationship with her, help her academically or whatever...but I've never successfully had an "emotion-based" conversation in my life. I don't know how to help her. I'm really not a good role model for her, which scares me since I'm told she looks up to me somewhat. I know humans & relationships are more complicated than can be distilled into a factsheet, but I guess I'm just hoping someone can give me even a basic "how-to guide" to approaching a chat with her?? I suppose it's way too much to hope that I could skip the chat & you guys could just tell me how to help her? lol... Hope this makes sense. Thanks for any thoughts.
Member # 48000
posted 08-04-2010 04:54 AM
First off, you two go some place nice and calm, even do something you both like together (watching TV, or drawing for example), doing this will ease the tension between you two if she gets a little nervous talking about serious issues.
Then do some basic small talk with her... until eventually softly push the "how is school going?" don't act to obvious with it though, otherwise she might sence what's going on. If she replys with a "oh... it's going ok I guess" then that's when you can step in and say "yea, school is school right? I remember..." then tell her your past school experiences, good and bad. This will show her that most everyone goes through times where school is rough. Support her by saying that if she ever needs to just talk to you about her day if it was bad that she can do so. Letting a minor know that you are there for them comforts them. She will look up to you more after you talk with her. In the meantime if something funny happens on TV, point it out and chuckle saying "did you see that?" if she replys with a no, explain what happened to her, then you both can laugh about it together. This breaks the tension more considering you two have talked about a touchy issue. When all is done, ask her if she would like to go for a walk or grab a bite to eat... maybe even just talk a little more. Good luck with her and please let us know how it goes.
Charlie No. 2
Member # 45425
posted 08-06-2010 04:04 AM
Hi, Fezz - thanks a lot for your thoughts.
I guess I'm nervous about approaching the topic/s because I don't want to mess it up, but she does tell me a fair bit alreadyx, so I'm hoping she feels ok about talking to me. I mean, it's not like I expect to be able to fi anything for her, but I do want her to know that there's someone she can chat to if she wants, ya know? I hate that she's feeling low, & I can see she is. I'm just scared of doing it wrong, so I really appreciate your tips I'll give it a go next time I see her then check back in. Thanks again!
Member # 48000
posted 08-06-2010 05:34 AM
Not a problem Charlie No. 2
Anyone would be slightly nervous for the reason you just stated, but being in a nice calm setting will ease the tension and loosen the mood between the two of you. Considering she already talks to you openly about issues then you both should be ok It is very considerate of you to want her to know that she has someone to talk to outside her family, everyone needs that, and you are just the person to do that for her, since she feels comfortable with you. Nothing you say will be wrong to her... it's the support and caring that she needs and wants. She shouldn't, and to be honest, no one should keep anything bottled up inside. Keep us updated!