It’s okay to get up and dance and be silly!

Many people ask me “How do the youth living with each other in the shelter get along with one another?” knowing that the youth come from different backgrounds and environments.  Often people wonder how we as staff handle the wide variety of dynamics in the house.  I must admit some days it is difficult, but as staff we do what we can to provide the youth with good role modeling.

When I came on shift today, I was greeted with much excitement by one of our youth.  We had received a new video game called Dance Dance Revolution. At the beginning there was only one male youth and a female staff member interested in playing the game, however with some encouragement from this youth, several others soon joined in. As the evening progressed, the youth and staff were encouraging others to participate. It was quite amazing to see some of the shyer youth getting up and playing the game and it was great to see staff playing side by side with the youth. I believe that with staff showing many of the youth that it was okay to get up and dance and be silly that the youth felt encouraged and safe to do so as well. I was amazed by the sense of unity that was shared in the house tonight. After the game was turned off, and during our regular night meeting, we listened to the youth talk about the fun they had either watching or participating and it made this shift a particularly rewarding one for me and other staff on shift tonight.

It is nice to know that in today’s world, with many of life’s events being blamed on video games, that this particular game allowed a group of young people and staff to come together to have fun and make some wonderful memories.

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