Quote of the Week

"If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way" ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Have a home pass or off grounds pass with teen in placement?
Posted by:Lloyd Woodward--Saturday, June 05, 2010

At our well attended meeting this morning (12 parents with five new faces), Ralph Kramden (pen name) mentioned that there is a post on the blog about home passes from institutions, "but you have to dig for it." I'm happy to hear when someone mentions that they have found something of value on our blog. I'm going to put some links to the posts that I find that I believe are relevant to home passes.

Home Pass From the Institution or Oooops you're a quart low. Actually, this was posted April 5th 2010 and it also has a link to the one below:

Preparing for a six-hour Home Pass.

Home Pass from Institution: Ten things to keep in mind. This one may be the one to which Ralph was referring.

And one related post that is not entirely about home passes but is relevant: Feeding the Enemy.

One of the things that we don't talk about much at our meetings is the need to listen to your teenager. I know, I know, if you were at today's meeting most of us agreed that what teens say is mostly bull or posturing for more power. We encourage the use of power words like "nevertheless" and "regardless."

The problem is, at a meeting there is so much to say and so little time. Some times, the best thing you can do is listen to your teenager. Listen carefully and well. Find a thing to really agree with them about if can, but let them know that you are listening. Don't say, "I understand" because the person who says that rarely really understands. Just admit that you are having trouble understanding; that it is hard to put yourself in their situation, but that you are trying to understand- that is always so much more convincing.

None of us consider ourselves that simple, that someone can understand us just like that- we think of ourselves as complex so we certainly expect someone to be puzzled at first- admit that- be Peter Faulk for a moment, slap your forehead and tell them you are confused. Of course Columbo always understood, didn't he?

As Ken used to say at our meetings, "Every moment is not a teachable moment." Ken wrote the best thing I think I have ever read on listening and so I have dug it out of the blog and will link to it here: Listening


1. To listen well is not necessarily to agree.
2. To listen well does not mean you have to allow yourself to be manipulated.
3. To listen well does not weaken your own position.
4. To listen well increases your power.
5. Sometimes, what you hear is a bunch of horse manure. Still, there is something there that you can underline, reframe or agree with.
6. Teenagers, if you ask them, believe that nobody really listens to them. Therefore, if you really listen, it takes them by surprise. Taking them by surprise, doing the unexpected, can disarm them. Our teens are so powerful that we should disarm them whenever we can.

I mention these things here because if you are going to make goals for yourself for a home pass or for an off grounds visit, I challenge you to go in with your big ears on- there's a lot to listen to and sometimes a lot to be learned from our teens.

If anybody ever feels that they've "gone way back" on our blog and found something good, let me, Sally, or Rocco know and we'll repost it, perhaps with a new comment or two. By the way, if you are interested in certain topics try our search window at the upper left of the blog.

1 comment:

Sally said...

Five Thank-you's - One for each of the five helpful posts which you brought to the front of the blog. The role-play about clarifying expectations before a six-hour pass is so timely for Rocco and myself. We will visit Cisco tomorrow. He is supposed to come home for another six hour pass and help Rocco build a water fall/pond. We are going to clarify a few expectations before he gets into our car this time. I literally laughed out loud toward the end of that post when the son says: "Who are you people and what have you done with my real parents?" That is exactly the way I want Cisco to feel. I want him to realize that Rocco and I have changed; changed for the better. The TEN THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND post was a real eye-opener and the FEEDING THE ENEMY ONE has such logical and sound refutations. There are points there that I can use with Cisco such as: "Your old fiends will get you to use before you get them clean" and It
won't hurt a kid to be temporarily friendless but a relapse could permanently kill him. Last of all I vow to become a more skillful listener for Cicso. He needs that from me.
Thanks again (5 X's)
"Tune in" tomorrow when Rocco's recap of today's meeting gets posted. G'night.


This layout (edited by Ken) made by and copyright cmbs.