FRAMES 12 fabulous ways
of talking with young people
The FRAMES book is now a free digital download. Just tick the Digital box and then proceed like you’re buying it and when you get to the check out it will show you pay zero. This wee video tells you what it’s about. And here are a few extra comments and tips about FRAMES which might be helpful in using them. If you haven’t yet downloaded the book, thesse will still (mostly) make sense.
It’s not always easy to know how to start a conversation with a young person; especially if it’s a young person you might be worried about. And this is true whether you’re someone who works with young people or a you’re parent or carer. So, you might find FRAMES a useful aid. It’s a way of kicking off a conversation with a young person about all sorts of things in all sorts of ways. It works like this: You ‘pull out’ the book. Or you pull it up on your device if it’s a digital version. And then: You go to pages 1 and 2, where each FRAME is shown with a pic and a couple of words to represent the focus of that FRAME. The pages look like this.
You ask the young person you are talking with to choose one. Let’s say they choose this one here.
This is the Living, Loving, Learning FRAME which I’ve been using for years, long before I wrote the book. And what you are seeing is the image that accompanies this FRAME. (There are ‘worksheets’ of all the FRAMES images also all available as a free download). You turn to the relevant page and kick off the conversation with the opening questions. With this FRAME these are the opening questions:
‘Let me run each of these words past you and ask for a quick response to each. Firstly, “Living”. Do you feel that you are really living, getting the most out of each minute of life?’
Secondly, ”Loving”. As you go through each day, are you putting the best you can into every friendship, every relationship you have? Making the most of it every time you meet someone?’
‘And the final L is “Learning”. Do you feel that every day you learn something? Grow, develop or progress in some way?’
From here you go wherever the conversation takes you, or you continue with the questions in the book. Or you go off track for a while, come back to the book for more questions, and then again pursue whatever has come up. If, as you’re chatting, you see questions that you think won’t fit for this young person; whether you’re someone working in a youth refuge or a parent at home right now in lock down, then you simply don’t ask them. Or you return to them at another time. You don’t need to continue on this path. Bear in mind, it’s the young person who has made this choice, but if, in hearing the questions, it seems this is not the moment for these, then you can put them off to a better time, and/or choose a different FRAME.
A two-way conversation
Importantly this is a mutual, two-way conversation. The young person, your son or daughter, or someone in your care, can ask you the same questions, or you can just give an answer as you go if it feels right. It shifts the focus away from the young person for a moment and lets them know you are also prepared to take some risks. But remember the conversation is about them, so keep the focus on the young person and their responses. The other option you have of course, is to complete the FRAME with the young person, and then you choose one for you and the young person asks you the questions. Or, you can you can invite the young person to pick one that they think would fit well for you right now. This is always fun, sometimes quite moving, sometimes quite revealing, and sometimes the choice they make for you is a conversation in itself.
Here is another FRAME, one I am discovering is often chosen by young people; including some I have worked with while they are in a Juvenile Justice Detention Centre.
‘When you support someone, or something…how do you show it?’
‘When you love someone, or something…how do you show it?’
‘When you respect someone, or something…how do you show it?’
And then as with any of the FRAMES, off you go.
A group conversation
You can also have a FRAMES conversation in a group; around a dinner table (we are in lock down right now!) while driving from A to B, while listening to music…but probably not while a young person is gaming!
The Worksheet downloads are less like usual worksheets and more like a visual of each FRAME and its parts. Handy in the face-to-face world, but also have a place in the digital world. If you are face-to-face you can simply show the young person the image. Or if at a distance, you can obviously screen shot the image and text the picture either during the chat, or pre or post chat. It also means you can refer back to it if you decide to revisit the FRAME in future conversations. Sure, some will delete the pic. No problem, it’s served its purpose. Depending on how you’re communicating you can always screen share. Or go old school and just hold the image up to the screen or put your phone in front of your computer screen. Blurry and messy but still fine.
Important – remember!
The mutual two-way aspect of FRAMES has been written into these conversations so that the young person feels they have some company, feels that we are also prepared to make a contribution and are prepared to take some risks. We need to keep our answers real, but also brief and to the point, and of course not reveal anything that the young person shouldn’t hear about us. And importantly we need always to make sure the conversation is about the young person. They and their life are the reasons and focus for the conversation and the exchange.
There you go, I hope this has been useful. Comments and questions are always welcome. And you can always get in touch with me via email. And if you don’t yet have it, you can get FRAMES here as a free download. And to receive the occasional ‘something’ from me, just subscribe. Go well. See ya next time.