Most persons encountering youth in conflict react to the “outside kid” who display problem behavior. But reaching these youth requires understanding the “inside kid” which means the inner thoughts, feelings, and goals. This is a book designed to encourage and assist counselors, parents, teachers, and youth workers who seek to connect with these challenging young people. The authors describe what is meant by the term “Kid Whispering” as well as important assumptions about the behavior and private logic of youth in conflict with adults. The reader is then guided through a discussion of critical concepts that will equip them to be more effective at understanding kid’s costumes, reaching beyond that costume, addressing the inside kid, appreciating the young person’s story, and challenging youth to make more effective, positive choices.
“It is a pleasure to watch experts at work. The Art of Kid Whispering shows the thinking and the heartfelt strategies that come from the considerable expertise of these authors. They share insight and successful interactions with kids who need a push to become who they are meant to be. You will wonder how the authors learned to be as considerate and effective as they are in kid whispering.”
—Martin Brokenleg, co-author of Reclaiming Youth at Risk
“This is a toolkit for professionals and mentors who work with challenging children and teens. Just as a horse whisperer gentles a terrified animal, the kid whisperer gains the trust of youth who distrust adults. Brief examples illustrate respectful strategies to give the young person courage to put aside the outside kid costume and share the pain and hope of the inside kid.”
—Larry K. Brendtro, The Resilience Academy
“Kid Whispering is an amazing example of the art of connecting, validating, and starting a journey of healing for young people. It’s a game changer for helpers and youth. A must-have!”
—Raquel Hatter, The Kresge Foundation
Create Space (2015). 116 pages.