Children and youngsters cannot truly reflect before they are about 18 years old. That´s the reason why a child can be bullied for many years without even understanding what is actually going on.
”Many people are not aware of this,” Mette Sonniks says. She is a psychologist in Greenland where many of her clients are bilingual and as a result can have even more difficulties expressing and processing their emotions.
”Reflection is necessary for development and in order to help a client to reflect on their life, I started using Dialoogle’s image cards,” Mette says.
This client, a 17-year-old girl, had been referred to Mette by her parents because she had become isolated herself over a long period of time and had started to skip school. When the parents asked about her well-being, she always said: ”Fine”. However, it soon became clear to Mette that this was not the case.
”One of the first picture cards the young girl chose depicted a person standing in the middle of a blurred crowd. From this picture, she told me that she felt outside and lonely in the crowd. As our conversation progressed, it became clear to me that she had been bullied throughout her childhood. She had never recognised this herself, and therefore she had not been able to communicate this to her parents or teachers.”
I can recommend that other parents use the Dialoogle cards when communicating with their children in order to get a better sense of what goes on in those young minds.
The next picture the girl chose brought them closer to a common understanding of the girl´s mental state. The picture showed a lit candle, which she found nice, even though it was standing lonely in the dark. Using the pictures of a sailboat seen from the top of the high mast and an iceberg in the cold blue sea, she could talk about how she loved the lonely, beautiful nature.
Mette found that the pictures made it easier for the girl to access the difficult feelings, to talk about them and not least to reflect on them.
”She feels ugly because she has always been bullied, and she seeks solitude because she never gets support from anyone. However, she is actually quite beautiful so I try to help her understand her gender and femininity which she has never thought about before.”
The young girl has come to Mette´s clinic for almost two years now. She is maturing steadily and feels a lot better.
“But it takes time,” Mette concludes and recommends that other parents use the Dialoogle cards when communicating with their children in order to get a better sense of what goes on in those young minds.