By Robert Frank
Most summer day camp counsellors and volunteer coaches never get the opportunity to learn from experts how to deal with the kids in their charge.
“Kids often behave immaturely,” Family Resource Center executive director Carrie Goldberg told The Suburban. “We’ve designed a training seminar where you can learn to deal with them as a coach or counsellor, not as a parent, which is a really different sort of relationship.”
“It helps them to motivate the kids to work with the team,” she said in an interview. “It comes up all the time. Temper tantrums. Fights. Disgruntled parents. Kids who are unmotivated or don’t respect the other kids.”
“It’s win-win,” she added, “because it ultimately makes things easier for the coaches and camp counsellors.”
Another benefit is that the techniques help to improve the youths’ social and study skills.
“You might be surprised at how important athletics are to imparting social, study, organizational and teamwork skills,” Goldberg said.
In addition, the course helps coaches and counsellors to spot issues that are beyond their ability to help with.
“If you’re working with a kid all summer and you see that he or she isn’t focused or doesn’t know how to deal with other kids or is getting touched or picked on or needs something else that you can’t give him or her, that’s where I come in,” she explained.
The Family Resource Center makes its course available through municipalities and volunteer sports associations. The organization was founded in 1999 to help youth with attention deficit disorder. During the ensuing 15 years, the Pierrefonds-based organization has expanded its scope geographically—reaching as far north as the Laurentians—has added many other fields to its program. It now works with young adults up to age 25, so its support doesn’t end when a youth turns 18.
More information is available at www.familyresourcecenter.qc.ca
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