If I was a child who had experienced really horrible things happen early on in my life, I am not sure I would have the words to tell a stranger, no matter how kind they were, what it had been like. As such, I think it’s really important that us, as adults, help children find other ways to express their feelings and experiences in a way that suits them and their stage of development.
A large part of my job is finding ways to do just this, to make children feel as relaxed as possible so they feel free to convey their story (and hopefully feel better as a result of doing so).
Over the years of being a Social Worker, I have developed a ‘toolkit’ to do this.
In my ‘kit’ is a range of communication tools that children can use; such as drawings, wands, puppets, dolls houses, animals and games. I also have some therapeutic storytelling books and baby toy bunnies for the younger ones.
I have found children tend to find this a very non-intrusive way to let me know what is going on in their world.