5/4/21: Although a Covid exposure left us with one family again this week, we continued on with our sessions. Our sessions focused on influences and role models. The youth focused on their current friends, and they completed an activity that had them describe their closest friend. This included traits that they appreciate about that friend and why they like having that person as a friend. Part of the session focused on the positive traits that they looked for in a friend and in role models. The youth had to think about who they viewed as role models and influences in their lives and why they looked up to those people.
The caregiver session was very similar – we also focused on friends and influences, though not from a personal standpoint. Caregivers had to think about where the youth in their home find influences and friends. We talked about how well they as caregivers knew their youth’s friends, and how those friends can have a positive or a negative influence on their youth. We also looked at other influences that weren’t face-to-face relationships such as video games, social media, and various other platforms. During our discussion on how youth participants make new friends, we realized that not much has changed since we were in school. Finding common interests and similar personalities seemed to be the biggest reason for making friends.
During the family session, we opened with a game using walking boards. This game takes cooperation and communication to be successful. The same is true with families! After the game, we reviewed our individual sessions and one caregiver was surprised to see who her son listed as his role models. Some of them she expected, but some she didn’t! The family spent the remainder of the night working on their “Our Circle” poster. This described their close relationships, friends, and acquaintances.