I have spent nearly a decade working with some very disturbed children. First, in a residential treatment center, and now at a specialized school. Generally speaking most of these kids come from pretty disturbed families, so there are a lot of stories about how these kids came to have their problems. While I can share my stories I cannot give any identifying information as I am sworn to uphold the confidentiality of the clients and families that I work with

edit: the kids i work with are anywhere from 5 - 14, although in my current classroom they are 9 - 11. Also when i began in this field i worked at a residential treatment center, a locked facility where the children lived. i have since moved over to the school where those same children attend

edit: sent the mod a picture of my badge...waiting to be verified

Comments: 1635 • Responses: 64  • Date: 

bodhi30347 karma

Have you encountered situations where the parents are alright and not entirely terrible parents but the child simply turned out the way they are? And how do you help decent parents who got a crap shoot on the parenting slot machine?

[deleted]304 karma

yes, i have worked with some genuinely nice and loving parents as well. the agency i work for offers all sorts of training for parents that want it, all the students have a home interventionist as well. They meet with parents on a regular basis to answer any questions they have, or help them out with any issues that are going on at home

DoesNotDownvote4 karma

Yeah. We really do have to talk about Kevin.

Tardis98322 karma

Best success/turnaround story?

[deleted]1035 karma

For 4 and a half years i had this one kid as my "special kid" which basically meant that i was assigned as the go to person for making sure he had everything he needed, developed an individualized treatment plan for him, and dealt closely with his family. anyway...this kid was super aggressive to himself and everyone around him, and had zero impulse control, or ability to regulate his emotions. (he once flipped a table on its side because he spilled his milk! gives a whole new meaning to crying over spilled milk) for years i worked with him on developing coping skills, handling his anger in socially appropriate ways, and just getting along with his peers. the progress was slow, and there were some days that i just wanted to walk away, but eventually things started to click. his tantrums grew shorter and less frequent, he stopped biting and punching, and the knot on his forehead and the self inflicted bite marks on his arms began to fade. he eventually got too old for our facility, and was placed in a center for older kids, but i have still kept in tough with him. he recently emailed me (his mother as well) to tell me that he made the honor roll last year, got his license, and started working. i consider this a huge success!

[deleted]101 karma


[deleted]192 karma

one of the kids that just left my school (went on to another facility) seemed to get worse as he got older. he started urinating in his room, became less and less involved with others and would only want to hang out alone in his room, he also seemed to be losing his ability to read. im not really sure what the heck was going on with him because he moved to a different classroom and i kind of lost tough with him before he left

protatoe157 karma

I mean no offense, your having a tough time with touch tonight, and it has made me smile :)

[deleted]37 karma

damn those typos! at least you're not being a dick about it like some of the other people

thuddy1855292 karma

whats the most sadistic , psycotic, disturbing, child you've worked with. i.e. what did they do to end up there

[deleted]582 karma

I think the craziest kid I have worked with was a firestarter. He started a fire that killed his younger sister and twin brother. He showed zero remorse for any of it...ever. complete sociopath, but very cute. he is on a list of names i expect to see in the news someday

Chickeney249 karma

Cute? O_O

[deleted]399 karma

i stopped thinking he was cute when i found a poo ball in his room

chrisreverb684 karma

[deleted]442 karma

That could've gone either way.

[deleted]103 karma

[deleted]85 karma

Nobody say it. No one talk about the riskiness, or the click. If I hear that phrase one more time I will explode.

Galap102 karma

Is there anything that can be done about that? I mean, if you really think he'll hurt people shouldn't he stay somewhere where he can't do that, like a mental institution?

[deleted]197 karma

most of the time their record gets wiped clean when they become an adult. plus DCFS has no money or resources to keep tabs on all of these kids. if they can be maintained in a foster/adoptive home thats one less kid that DCFS feels the need to keep track of (at least in my experiences)

Krakkin94 karma

That's pretty fucked up. You know they will end up hurting people, you've even seen it probably but you just send them on their way.

I'm not blaming you or anything, you're doing a great thing helping these kids. I just can't believe our government knows there are these time bombs out in the world, but they ignore them because it costs too much money to keep tabs on them...

[deleted]90 karma

People get up in arms about the government paying for anything at all except Defense spending. Apparently anything but that is considered waste and is cut at every opportunity.

Really, there are so many people who are against any kind of socialized program that would benefit something like this because the few dollars that may come out of it on a yearly basis is just too much. We are the cause of our own demise.

[deleted]69 karma

I'm pretty sure people get up in arms about defense spending.

[deleted]513 karma

another kid got into an argument with his brother over a video game...went and got a shotgun... loaded it, and tried to shoot his brother. his mom stepped between them, so he shot her. she was killed. i sometimes wonder if this kid had been from a different area, or a different race, if he would be locked up right now

[deleted]300 karma

meaning.... he's white?

[deleted]407 karma

and from a decent community

RIPweaponX245 karma

Have you ever had a student who wasn't abused/traumatized, but was sociopathic anyways? This is more disturbing to me than sociopathy as a result of an outside factor.

[deleted]515 karma

the firestarter that killed 2 of his siblings had not been abused at all. his parents had divorced when he was young, and his dad was not really around, but that was about it. he also attempted to microwave the family cat which i forgot to mention in my previous post about him. thankfully the mom caught him in time and got the cat out of there. the animal abusers tend to bother me the most

RIPweaponX215 karma

That is truly terrifying. As a recent father, I feel the need to go hug my daughter right now.

[deleted]541 karma

When you're hugging her, discretely pat her down for matches.

[deleted]146 karma

She's hiding them

nycsportster194 karma

Have you ever felt unsafe working with these children? What was your worst experience with a child? What are the ages?

[deleted]325 karma

my worst experience was with a kid that was about my size. he was super aggitated and attacked me. at the time it was just me and another staff who happened to be a petite girl. we had to try and restrain him because thats all i could do to try to protect myself. we are trained a coupe different restraints but in order for them to be successful you pretty much have to be bigger and stronger than the person you are restraining. us 2 girls were in no way going to be able to successfully restrain this kid. it was really unsafe, and im just thankful that no one got hurt. oh, also he had mrsa at the time which is a highly contagious staph infection. i scrubbed myself raw that night!

[deleted]183 karma


weasel232k138 karma

Not a question, but I just wanted to say thank you for what you do. My mother worked a similar job while I was growing up, and years later she still runs into former students, now successful adults, well-adjusted parents, and, in one case, my adopted sister. I've seen that not every child ends up a success story, but what you do is so important, so thank you.

Frajer133 karma

If you weren't told beforehand that there was something wrong with these kids do you think you'd be able to sense it?

[deleted]266 karma

maybe not during the "honeymoon phase" but usually after a week or so their true colors start to shine. also, every kid is different...some of them seemed really bad on paper, but didnt have that many issues. others seemed like they would be easy to handle, and were complete dicks

[deleted]63 karma


Mythandros115 karma

Do you have any horror stories to tell? Any unexpected success stories?

What was one problem child that really stuck out to you? One that you wanted to devote that extra bit of effort to, over and above the great job you already do?

Have you had any abysmal failures in helping the kids? You know.. the ones you just give up on?

What insights do you have to share with us Redditors that you've gleaned in your years of helping kids?

[deleted]344 karma

i think one of the worst things i have had to deal with is what i call Poocasso. when a kid is super violent and we are not in a safe position to restrain them we use a "time out room" basically a small room with an electromagnetic lock. and every once in awhile one of the kids will urinate or defecate on the floor. one of my former students was super sexual so we tried not to restrain him because sometimes it seemed like he got off on the female staff having to hold him down. anyway...one day he stripped completely naked in the time out room...shit on the floor, then proceeded to paint himself and the walls in his own shit. ugh... the smell was overwhelming and i nearly puked! i have had several kids that i have really enjoyed working with, and others that yes... i have kind of given up on. the hardest thing about the job is that if the kids are living with their shitty parents it seems like all the hard work we do is erased as soon as they go home. either that or they just never get placed in a suitable home so they stop trying to be a better person. unfortunately for these reasons there tend to be more failures than successes, but every once in awhile i'll get an email or a visit from a kid thats doing great. thats what keeps me going really...knowing that i had an impact on someone and made them want to be a better person

[deleted]352 karma


Thank you.

MoeTheFro108 karma


[deleted]335 karma

oldest was 15. he had been bounced around a few foster homes (where he was molested by an older foster brother) and was eventually adopted. he then molested his very young adopted sister and was sent to live in the residential center i originally worked at. i felt like our agency did him a disservice because he needed hardcore therapy for dealing with his molestation in addition to the fact that he perpetrated on his sister. our agency doesnt really specialize in that. so anyway..he thrived while he was with us then went to a place that specialized in sexual abuse after he aged out of our program. i heard he did well there, but once he got out he perped on another kid and was sent back. i already mentioned the youngest kids story in another reply...so i'll tell you about a different kid. he was about 6 when he came to us. he had been so horribly sexually abused that he couldnt shit normally. think the rectum of a washed up porn star. he didnt have very good control of his bowels, and when he did make it to the bathroom his shits had so much girth that they always clogged the toilet. we ended up having to get a poo stick to break that shit up before it could be flushed

TDN5104 karma

What is your salary?

[deleted]303 karma

not nearly enough... i currently make like $29,000 before taxes

grumpypotato174 karma

Holy shit, for that work? You're a saint.

Smilge38 karma

Are you a teacher or a parapro?

[deleted]93 karma

parapro, although ive been in the field longer than the lead teacher in my classroom, and tend to do just as much work (if not more)

brokeneckblues99 karma

have you ever felt that a child was a lost cause?

[deleted]164 karma

yes and no. there have been several kids that i think could have turned their life around had the system not screwed them. due to such drastic cutbacks at DCFS (in my state in particular) often times they are reluctant to pull a kid out of a damaging home life because they have nowhere to send them. either that or they bounce them around to numerous foster homes which unfortunately can be just as bad as their original homes. After a certain age though, and so much trauma its hard for a kid to bounce back especially when they age out of the system and have no one left for support

LeonTheWorst10 karma

Whats the process for screening foster homes like if going through multiple bad homes is a thing?

elmatto96 karma

weirdest thing you've ever seen a kid do?

[deleted]194 karma

in residential there were kids that would piss in their rooms constantly. one kid had an old pair of shoes in the bottom of his closet that he just filled with pee for god only knows how long before i found it (the pee shoe nearly became an office prank, but it smelled too bad to keep around) another kid would point his pee stream up at the ceiling. i think he was trying to see how high he could get it. the maintenance guys ended up having to replace all the drywall in that kids room because his piss was just eating through the walls

hearingnotlistening91 karma

Is there a child in your experience that there was no hope for because their past lives/current mental state is beyond everything?

[deleted]207 karma

2 girls that i have worked with were diagnosed with schizophrenia at a very young age. usually those symptoms dont come about until your late teens or early 20's so for kids to be showing signs of it, the chances or being a normal functioning person are very slim. neither girl had any responsible family members so they are both still in care. one of the girls was sexually abused also, so she would act out sexually quite often. multiple times she had to be taken to the doctor to remove foreign objects from her...well, you know. one day after she showered i noticed that she was taking a really long time putting on lotion. i walked in on her with the straw part of the lotion nozzle inside her. she was pumping the thing furiously.... not sure what she expected to gt out of there

JustAnOod95 karma

How does schizophrenia manifest in children? Or at least, in these two girls? Apart from the sexual behavior.

[deleted]164 karma

visual and auditory hallucinations, an inability to relate to their peers, drastic mood swings, horrible hygiene to name a few

Geek-A-Leek48 karma

That is genuinely horrifying. I commend your strength and commitment in a field that requires so much energy and composure with significantly fewer material returns by comparison. What is your educational background. As a psych undergrad I find your work to be fascinating and I'm glad that you decided to answer these questions for us.

MGcyanide86 karma

Are you ever afraid of interacting with any of the kids parents based on what their kid is like?

[deleted]183 karma

i have only felt threatened by one parent who got super pissed when i reported him to DCFS (Im a mandated reporter) after his kid came back from a visit with bruising around his neck saying that his dad choked him. When the dad found out about the report he called me up and was threatening to wait for me in the parking lot. At the time I worked until 11pm, so the thought of walking out to my car that night was a bit scary. Nothing ever happened though.

TehFalco73 karma

How involved are the parents of these kids? What is a normal day like for all of the children together? What are the facilities like (prison like, padded room stuff, etc.)?

[deleted]117 karma

every family is different. some parents are not at all involved, some show up to every meeting and want to do everything they can to help their kid, some tell you everything you want to hear then do nothing to change their behavior or the kids. in my current classroom there are 3 staff for 9 children. this allows us to give the kids that need a little extra help some one on one instruction time. we set up the schedule so that we have 30- 45 minutes of instruction time followed by short breaks. we have to be very flexble though because you just never know whats going to happen. there have been times where all 3 of us staff are restraining a kid on the classroom floor and someone else steps in to direct the other kids on what to do. for the most part the kids are not phased by this sort of thing because they have all been there. in fact, a lot of times the other kids are on their best behavior when one of the other kids is going off. the school is much smaller that a public school, but for the most part looks the same aside from "time out rooms" they are just small rooms with a magnetic lock that we must stand by and hold a button for it to lock. there is a plexiglass window in the door so we can monitor the kid while they are in there to make sure they dont hurt themselves. at one time they did have padded walls, but the kids were able to tear into them which wasnt safe if you had one try to wrap the strips of canvas around their neck, or eat the padding.

Well_then_sir73 karma

What are the worst parents of the kids you've seen/heard about?

[deleted]140 karma

the person that i found hardest to deal with wasnt even abusive she was just the type of person to milk the system. she didnt work (although she was more than capable) got money from every agency in town. took from anyone that was giving. her kids always had the nicest clothes, shoes and newest video games. while i had other parents that could hardly feed their kids and they did work. the sad thing is she is teachers her boys to do the same thing

NotTheCar67 karma

What percentage of your students were abused versus not?

[deleted]130 karma

id probably say at least 85% have had some sort of trauma be it abuse or neglect

[deleted]95 karma


bodhi3065 karma

What are some pre-cursors or behaviours all of these children share? If you do not have children, does this deter you from having them or not? And thanks for what you do.

[deleted]163 karma

almost every single kid i have worked with has been abused, neglected, molested, or been born addicted to drugs. the only ones that havent had some sort of trauma are those that are autistic, and just seem to be wired differently. i can honestly say that my job is the strongest form of birth control i can think of. i most definitely do not want children of my own. i do however have 7 nieces and nephews so there is no shortage of children in my family

Gynominer61 karma

My friend Sarah used to do this and it seemed like the worst job ever. She always talked about being afraid to be alone with them and getting hit by her students, etc. I was like, "Why do you do this?" She never had an answer.

[deleted]79 karma

so far i have never been afraid while working at the school. there are always people within ear shot if i need them. i think i would be more afraid of working in an inner city school in chicago to be honest

ElBlarneyStone58 karma

Are you afraid to have children now?

[deleted]165 karma

best birth control ever!

fishintheatlantic51 karma


[deleted]84 karma

in my current classroom it is 9-11 year olds 90% male. the school as a whole is about 85% male, but has children as young as 5 and as old as 14

[deleted]48 karma


[deleted]17 karma


[deleted]50 karma

You mentioned that most of the kids get their records wiped upon entering adulthood. Is there any type of monitoring system that is set up to make sure they don't do anything again?

[deleted]76 karma

i think there might be some sort of follow up for the kids that are put on probation as a juvenile, but a lot of that shit goes unaddressed. one of my students (who happens to live in my neighborhood...scary) recently caused several hundreds of dollars worth of damage to a nearby school and got a slap on the wrist. he was given like 10 hours of community service whish was nothing because he planned on spending it walking dogs at the humane society which is something he enjoys doing

megamegasaurus50 karma

Do you have any stories?

[deleted]182 karma

tons. a lot of them have to do with the parents. generally thats why the kids are so fucked. there was one kid that came to us at the age of 4 who had already been horrible abused. his own mother held him down while her dad sodomized him. another parent used his daughter as a sexual play thing for all of his white trash friends in exchange for money/drugs. most recently one of my current students entire family was thrown in jail for manufacturing meth. real class acts

[deleted]68 karma


suzy9mm49 karma

What would you say is your most horrifying experience? Or the most horrifying reason that a child was placed at your school?

[deleted]104 karma

having poo flung at me is pretty high up there. but some of the shit these kids have been through is pretty horrifying. the fact that their own parents can abuse them so horribly, or turn a blind eye while someone else abuses them. its just sickening really

reubencm43 karma

Are you optimistic about the futures of the majority of your students?

[deleted]104 karma

its about 50/50 really. the ones that have a supportive home life, yes. the ones who go home to drug addicted parents and aspire to be carnies, no.

on a side note i did once have a kid tell me that he wanted to be a carny when he grows up.

wiscomke34 karma

where do you work? this kind of work is what i plan to do in my future, work with severe trauma. reading the thread is very inspiring.

[deleted]52 karma

im not sure i can really tell you the agency i work for seeing as i have to keep the kids identities confidential. i will tell yo though that its a pretty well respected agency that provides residential, educational, foster care, and adoption services

DuckReconMajor33 karma

Why? Why do you do this job and what keeps you from killing yourself? Do you think the average person could do your job and keep their mental sanity?

[deleted]151 karma

i guess i do it because it makes me feel like im doing something worth while. like im bettering my little corner of the world instead of just existing in it. i do not think everyone is cut out for this kind of job. it requires an insane amount of patience, ad offers very little tangible reward.

I_approve_this_MSG32 karma

Ever had a child that was just psychotic and had a normal home life? Excluding the autistic ones.

[deleted]54 karma

is eating lead paint considered a normal home life? he wasnt psychotic really just a bit aggreessive and developmentally delayed

I_approve_this_MSG40 karma

Depends. Did his parents feed it to him, or did he take it upon himself to have a taste?

[deleted]26 karma

he was often left alone to his own devises. ive heard that lead paint is sweet?

kevlarcat28 karma

Could you share some advice or tips on how you have effectively got some kids to behave that were usually terrors or had serious temper issues?

[deleted]64 karma

honestly its all about treating them with respect. listening to them, talking to them, offering advice. giving them lots of choices so that they feel like they are making the decisions instead of having decisions made for them.

goodnightkisses25 karma

I work at a residential facility for sex offenders from ages 8 to 20... SO much of this sounds so familiar! I can attest to OP's testimonies, these are the types of kids we see. And to last 10 years in this field is nothing short of phenomenal! I see so many people come and go, but its the staff that truly care about the kids and want to help them be better people and make better decisions for their lives that really make a difference.

[deleted]10 karma

thank you. so many people are asking for proof because a lot of this stuff just seems unbelievable, or made up. i might think the same if i hadnt witnessed it first hand

indomara24 karma

i grew up in group homes. i was sent from home to home to home my entire childhood, when i was 12 i was in a 6 bed, never did anything bad, always took the meds they shoveled at me... why would i cause trouble? homes were all i knew.

one day my social worker came, said they found a new opening for me. i begged, said i didnt want to go to a new home, i was in my first public school, i loved it there. she said "just come check it out, if you dont like it, you dont have to stay."

we get there and its a nondescript three story brick building in a business area, walk in through magnetically locking doors to be greeted with that institution smell that never goes away. apparently my group home ... i guess company? "olive crest" had just bought this old mental hospital, and i would be one of the first 6 girls in this huge building they were going to call RTC or the residential treatment center.


after a tour of the empty "unit" that had been cleared enough to house 6 girls, the old nurses station complete with beds that have straps for restraining patients, the little enclosed court yard and school style cafeteria, the endless inch thick windows that didnt open, i was freaked out. half of the third floor, the whole second floor, and part of the first floor werent clear yet, and had medical records, devices, etc strewn about.

we left, me telling my social worker that there was no way i would live there.

another week went by, and my social worker came to get me again. she said the place had been worked on, was coming together, i should come to just take "one more look". i knew it was a bad idea, i knew it was, but what choice did i have? so i went for one more look.

we get up to the third floor, past all those locking doors, and she tells me im staying there. i cry and i plead, and i beg, i ran after her crying and begging, telling her PLEASE dont leave me there. please. the new nurse hired to staff the nursing station saw what went down, that i had been lied to, and screamed at my social worker. she hugged me and told me she was so sorry... but it didnt matter.

i was one of the original six residents at RTC.

the days ran into each other, endless days spent indoors, or in the little courtyard. the work on the building continued, and more residents trickled in over the years. there was a rigid schedule of group and single therapy, schedule charts, filing down to the cafeteria in shifts, one hour outside time in the courtyard, and attending the on site school. my medications were upped as i got more and more depressed. i stopped eating, they started mixing my food with corn starch to make me gain weight, i dropped to 94 lbs by 14.

i thought about suicide for the first time. my periods started coming backwards from the stress, i would bleed for 20-25 days, stop for a week or so. when the nurse finally figured it out, i was put on yet two more pills, a birth control pill and iron pills.

after nearly two years the building was full, school fully functional. a whole little world encased in brick and inch thick glass. cars driving by with no idea that this building here was filled with children.

it came time to graduate into the next grade, i was 14. i realized... i couldnt remember anything about what i had learned in the last four months. everything was so hazy from the meds, (2500 mg. of depakote with a few other little pills in there too, a scary dose for any child, let alone one underweight.) i literally had no recollection of what i had learned... and they were passing me. that was the day i knew, i knew i had to get out of there or i would die there.

i had never fought the system before. i had never run away, i wasnt a violent child, i was completely institutionalized, i had never even had access to cable tv. i always took the meds they gave me, didnt fight or start trouble, but i knew i had to get out. one night, late in the night, when we were only staffed by one staff per unit, i got dressed in the bright blue sweats we all lived in, and told the staff member i was sick.

now, to open the magnetically locked doors, you either needed a key the staff wore on their wrists, or you need to set off the fire alarm which opens all doors in the building using a key. (also around their wrists)

opening doors one by one would take too long, so i waited til she was distracted calling the on call nurse on the phone, snatched the keyring off her wrist, and ran my ass off to the end of the unit. i used the key to set off the fire alarm and ran for my life (and it WAS my life) down the fire escape steps and finally out into the parking lot behind the building.

i was chased to the end of the busy street (again, this is a business district in a pretty large town in california, so plenty of cars out at night.) and i just kept running. i didnt know where i was going, didnt know what to do, but i kept running til i made it to a hospital. i used a phone booth there to call my druggie mother collect, told her to come get me, and where i was, then i hid in the bushes til she came.

it took me months if not years to get over the effects that place had on me. even on the streets, i gained weight. i was completely unprepared for reality outside the homes, and that had all its many benefits and downfalls.

... just thought id share my little tale of what those places are like for someone who ISNT a violent, murdering, or awful child. just a misplaced kid lost in the system. sorry its long.

TLDR: kid who lived in one of these, it was the worst place you can imagine, runs away and never lets them take her again.

special bonus edit! google maps street view of the building itself! here to the right youll see a three story brick building with a gas station behind it to the left. its been turned into an urgent care now apparently, (thank god.) but if you pan down the street two buildings, youll see olive crest's orange county offices!

[deleted]8 karma

this is awful, and im so sorry you had to endure this. but thanks for sharing. its important for people to understand that not all of the kids in these types of places are bad kids, and kids do slip through the cracks all too frequently

vintagememry23 karma

Do teachers at schools like this need to have specialized degrees? I'm a Secondary Ed major, and this was something I was considering doing with my life.

[deleted]28 karma

to be a lead teacher you need a degree in special ed

ranillabean14 karma

How can someone like me help children like this? Are there charities or other organizations or some way a citizen could do something?

[deleted]18 karma

you could always volunteer at a place like this near you. we do a huge fundraiser every year that would not be possible without volunteers. we also get a lot of donations which help out immensely. or there's the big brother/ big sister thing. a lot of those kids could use a positive role model too!

Pamander12 karma

If you are still answering. Whats the most fucked up thing you saw students do to each other?

Did you have to get a degree or something to get this job?

What does your job consist of do you just talk to them and try to figure out where they stem from or what?

Have you ever had a kid die because he wasn't able to be rehabilitated and died from whatever condition?

Ever had kids tooken away from parents because you noticed such abuse?

If you had to use one word to describe this job what would it be?

[deleted]30 karma

i have only known one kid to die and it was actually at the hands of the police. im not sure of all of the circumstances, but i know the police were called because he was causing some sort of a disturbance. they ended up tazing him several times which ended up killing him due to a pre existing heart condition

J101581411 karma

Do the kids tend to behave "normally" in standard situations, or is it obvious they are disturbed from their reactions to everyday situations?

[deleted]45 karma

each kid is completely different, but generally speaking its pretty obvious. i once had to stand over a kid in walmart as he rolled around on the ground screaming and crying because the shitty halloween costume he wanted didnt come in his size. although now that i think about this that may be a normal occurrence in wal mart

yohohoanabottleofrum11 karma

I start this week as a para in a BD room. Any advice?

[deleted]31 karma

building a relationship with all of the kids is the most beneficial, but i guess thats kind of a given. offer choices whenever possible so the kids feel like they have some control over the situation (but make sure all of the choices you give are things that you can live with too) actively listen instead of barking orders give them time to vent before you start making requests or giving directions and try to have fun with them

babyeatingdingoes19 karma

As a former resident/student of a similar (though less extreme) facility, I cannot agree more about the importance of listening to the kids. The staff I loved (nearly all of them) were the ones who listened to me; the only ones I ever gave any trouble were the ones who were 'my way or the highway' types who wouldn't hear out a kid's side of the story.

Sounds like you're one of the good ones, so good on you for that. (also, your post has reminded me I have my former House Head's email address and I really owe her an update on how life's going. I credit her with my sister and I being functioning members of society)

[deleted]8 karma

thats awesome... im sure she'd love to hear from you! i always enjoy getting emails from my former clients

TwistedxRainbow8 karma

Was there ever a situation with a child that made you fear for your own safety?

[deleted]28 karma

one of my students was caught with a knife in his bookbag. that was a bit concerning, especially considering his anger issues

pole79797 karma

I definitely admire you for your work but how does the end of each workday feel for you? Ya know from a psyche stand point. What about you feelings toward society in general?

[deleted]35 karma

on a good day the end of the day is very relaxing. i have time to bullshit with my coworkers or dick around on my phone. on a bad day i want to run home crying and never go back. my feelings toward society in general is that way too many shitty people have kids and there is not enough time, money or resources to pick up the pieces of all of the shattered little lives they leave behind