CONNECTION: Allied to the concept of closeness is the need for connection. This is an especially critical component when working with older children and teenagers. Adults working with youth must find ways to relate. Caution - don’t to try too hard. Connecting to kids does not mean acting like kids. They don’t need you to be their friend, and they certainly don’t want you acting childish, but they do need you to be a caring adult.
They would rather you be genuine then cool. Young people hate hypocrisy and they can smell it a mile away. So, just be you. But in all your “you-ness”, find ways to connect with them and their world. It requires a great amount of energy and creativity but it is possible if sought.
Take Away: Adults working with youth must find ways to relate. Caution - don’t try too hard.