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For one to be of optimal use in their profession, they must have professional skills as well as values which will assist in making the individual adept in their work. At the very basic level, a professional is someone who has undergone specialized training for a certain vocation. However, a professional is not solely defined by this attribute but also by his possession of certain values that are not only desirable but may be mandatory for a particular profession. Values can be defined as what a person judges to be of importance or worth in their lives. These values “color our human reality with new ways of understanding” (Zeni, 1997). As such, they assist us in carrying out our plans and at times dictate the path that we will take.
Values are especially significant in child care since this profession calls for a person who is self-aware and is able to inspire the young person through his/her own values. For this reason, possessing of certain values is not only desirable in child care but it may be mandatory for one to be successful in helping the young people. This paper shall set out to give a detailed discussion on three values that are of great significance to me so as to document their relevance in making me an effective counselor. The paper shall begin by defining this values as well as describing how I came to acquire the values. The manner in which these values will impact my career by helping me work with the youths will also be discussed. Owing to the fact that child care involves working with other professionals, I shall also discuss how my values will impact by interaction with other professions. All this will result in highlighting the fact that my values are indispensible to making me an adept counselor.
Zeni (1997) declares that values are “the brushstrokes which give a meaning to our lives.” As such, having values is an issue of great importance since without them, our lives become somewhat meaningless and we can therefore not live optimally. In my life, the three values that are of most significance to me are: respect, positive attitude, and patience. According to me, respect entails treating everyone with dignity at all times no matter their race, economic status or creed. This means that I am not to discriminate or have a judgmental attitude towards others when dealing with them regardless of their situation. Fulchre and Ainsworth (2006) note that being respectful does not stop at being non-judgmental but also extends to having respect for individual differences which are bound to exist. One is therefore supposed to be accommodative of people with differing opinions to their won. Respect inevitably results in my building trust in other people and maintaining the same on a mutual basis.
The second value, positive attitude to me means always being optimistic and maintaining the belief that a positive change will occur. A positive attitude may help to promote the self worthiness in a person. Possessing a positive attitude results in the likelihood of one imputing more effort in a task and therefore increases its probability to succeed. Positive attitudes also results in self-belief which may make one strive to achieve goals that they would have deemed as impossible without a positive attitude. In addition to this, a positive attitude brings about enthusiasm when one is undertaking a certain task. Undoubtedly, there is a higher likelihood of one accomplishing their desired goals when they are enthusiastic about it as opposed to when they lack the passion for what they are doing.
The third value that has special significance in my life is patience. Patience is the ability to wait steadfastly without losing hope for a particular outcome. To me, this value demands that I take my time and not expect everything to work out instantly. Patience means knowing that it may take a lot of time for the desirable results to occur and one can only see the favorable results if they take the time to wait for it to happen. The importance of this value when working in child care cannot be understated. DuBois & Karcher (2005) credit patience as being the single most important value in the creation of solid relationships between people. It is only through a lot of patience and perseverance that the favorable positive changes that I may wish to seen in my clients can occur.
How I Developed my Values
While some values are innate to all humans, some values are acquires as a result of our socialization (Zeni, 1997). These three values that are of importance to me fall under the category of values that I acquired as a result of my socialization. My acquisition and subsequent reverence for respect is mostly a factor of my upbringing. When I was young, my family was a middle class family and as such, we could afford a fairly comfortable life compared to other people in our neighborhood. Naturally, I socialized more with the people whom I felt were of the same socio-economic class as myself and at times, this resulted in my being judgmental to the people I saw as coming from a lower social class.
On the other hand, my parents had a different take on life; they treated everyone in the neighborhood as equals and did not at any one time view themselves as being superior to anyone else. I observed that as a result of this indiscriminate treatment of others, my parents were not only appreciated by others but they were trusted by all and had many friends. They also had many people who confided in them and sought advice from them. I on the other hand was shunned and hardly had any friends as a result of my “superiority complex” and disrespectful treatment of others. No one shared any secrets with me and I was mostly on my own. These incidents in my childhood years taught me the valuable lesson that respect to others is worth more than being disrespectful. I therefore made a conscious effort to be respectful to all the people regardless of their race, creed or economic status. The outcome for this decision was positive and with time, people started trusting me and treating me as a friend.
My second value is having a positive attitude. As human beings, we are predisposed to think the worse of situations and always view the glass as “half-empty” instead of half full. As such, it is always easier to give up on a task before one has even attempted it. In my life, I have been lucky to have had an upbringing that instilled in me the value of positive attitude at a very early age. My father always had a “you can do it” attitude and he positively reinforced this notion in me. He always insisted that I could do something even when I had serious self doubt in my ability. While I can genuinely admit that this positive attitude did not always result in novel results, it is as a result of this positive attitude that my family had concerning me that made me strive to achieve things that I would otherwise never have dared to try. These experiences inculcated in me the fact that while having a positive attitude may not always result in the desired outcome, it goes a long way in making the outcome a reality. I therefore go thorough my life with a positive attitude and make a conscious effort to stay positive when it is tempting to be negative or give up.
Exercising of patience is my third virtue and I must admit that this has been one of the hardest values for me to acquire. While some people are naturally patient, I happen to be more inclined to doing things as soon as I can and not procrastinating. I can still recall as a young person viewing waiting as a waste of time that one could have been using doing something of value. A scenario that made me realize that my impatience could be detrimental to my life was when I got a job as a tutor just before I joined high school. While I was a very capable tutor given my age and knowledge restriction, I found it especially hard to tutor students who were slow.
As a result of my impatience, I found repeating the same set of facts without results as being especially frustrating. On discussing my predicament with a close friend of mine, they revealed to me that patience is about realizing that attaining some things takes a lot of effort and time. Without either of these components, my friend confided that I would be doomed to a life of frustrations and little success. With such negative prospects in my sights if I continued on the path of impatience, I decided to make a change and try and exercise patience at all times. While it has not been an easy undertaking, I must say that the benefits of being patient have been immense in my life and I thing that they are worth the sacrifices I have had to make to become a more patient person.
How My Values will Impact my Work with Youths
It is my earnest belief that my values will be of monumental impact in my work with the youth as a child care professional. This is because each of these values will not only enhance my counseling abilities but also positively help the youths whom I’ll be dealing with. The value of respect will be of great significance in assisting the youths who will consist of people who are at risk or who are already emotionally and behaviorally troubled (Zeni, 1997). Treating such individuals with respect will send out the signal that I am not judging them for any wrong they might have done in their past or for their current situation. Affording people respect means that you treat them with sincerity. Respect will also dictate that when the young person is talking, I treat his issue with the seriousness it deserves just as I would if I were being spoken to by a peer or another adult. Respecting what the youth is saying will entail looking at them while they are speaking, not interrupting their talk and generally being an active listener. Peterson, Baker and Weiseth (1997) confirm that good relationships are build on open communication and mutual respects that grows out of caring enough to share sensitive information. Respect will therefore result in a building of trust which will make the youths more open and susceptible to the help that I as a counselor may offer them.
As a result of their histories which are mostly marred with trouble and a lot of negativity, it is plausible that most of the clients that I will deal with as a child care professional will have a low self esteem and a generally negative outlook on life. This being the case, my value of positive attitude will be of great use to them. While it is true that I cannot impose my values of positive attitude on my clients, I can by use of my positive attitude expect favorable results from them. In addition to this, most youth are highly impressionable and it is very likely that my positive attitude will rub off on them. This will be very desirable since a positive attitude in the youth will result in them having higher expectations of themselves. Peterson, Baker and Weiseth (1997) assert that creating and maintaining a positive “I-can-do-it” attitude in the youth will result in the youth being motivated and hence achieve better results. A positive attitude will also result in an improvement in the likelihood of success of my counseling efforts since the client will hope for the good and will therefore work towards achieving the positive goals that we will have agreed on during our sessions.
Patience is arguably the most important value when dealing with troubled youths. I therefore feel that this value will greatly assist my efforts as a counselor. Patience dictates that I invest a lot of hours to helping a client and hope that they will respond positively to my effort. As a counselor, I can only be effective if I learn how to take things at the pace of the client. Without patience, I am bound to be of little use to the clients despite my intentions to be of maximum use to them. Dubois and Karcher (2005) reveal that counselors who try to develop their relationships with troubled youths by pressing the youth to disclose personal information or to discuss difficult issues in their lives are often met with resistance. A lack of patience would result in me as a counselor being stonewalled by my clients. This would be negative for both my client and also for me. For the youth, he/she would not receive the help that I could provide as a result of my impatience. On the other hand, I would also doubt my abilities as a counselor since I would not have any successes without patience. Patience would also important when I am trying to encourage a certain positive behavior in the youth. This is because behavioral changes and mastering new skills takes a lot of time (Peterson, Baker & Weiseth, 1997). Patience is therefore a very necessary value for me as a counselor if I am to be of use to the youths.
How my Values will Impact other Professionals
Child care professionals involve working in an interdisciplinary collaborative environment. This is because child care professions must liaison with other professions such as social workers, teachers, juvenile court personnel and policemen to name but a few. Respect will dictate that I not only treat the other professionals with respect but also foster a good relationship based on cooperation and the mutual desire to assist the youth in question. With this respect, it can be expected that the youth in my care will have the best care as a result of the unified goal by the other professionals and me to assist him.
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Some of the other professionals dealing with my client may have given up on the client in question and it may be up to the child care professional (in this case me) to assure them that there is still hope. Thompson (2002) asserts that the care giver can validate their own effectiveness by having a positive attitude about the children they are working with and their families. By maintaining a positive attitude, I can influence the other professionals involved in the case to be positive and expect favorable outcome from the child in question. Some professions may take a negative and pessimistic attitude as just being “realistic” possibly as a result of their many unfruitful encounters with other children who were in the same situation as the client I may be handling. If I lack the positive attitude and hence cannot visualize the child as being redeemable, odds are that the child will be doomed to a devastating future.
When working with other people, things may not go at the pace at which I want. There may be bureaucracies to be dealt with which may result in delays. Without patience, I may end up being frustrated by the other professions I am working with therefore leading in degenerative relationships between up. This will negatively impact on my work since the other professionals may refuse to give me the necessary support that I need. My valued or patience will result in me being more accommodative and therefore fostering good and productive relationships for the good of my client. We at times acquire values from the people around us. It is therefore possible that as a result of my patience with the youth, the other professionals dealing with the youth, for instance the social workers may also be more patient with the youth therefore yielding positive results. As such my values will enhance the services provided to the youth by not only me but also other professionals.
This paper set out to give a detailed discussion on three values that are of great significance to me and which will be of great importance in my role as a counselor. To this end, this paper has discussed the three values; respect, positive attitude and patience. The significance of these values especially in the child care setting has been articulated and it has been seen how greatly these values would increase my effectiveness as a counselor. This paper has highlighted the fact that without this values, my ability to work effectively as a counselor would be greatly inhibited. As such, the discussions herein overwhelming support that my values will result in me being a better counselor by making me more helpful to the youth I will be assisting.
In addition to this, it has been shown that the three values would enhance my relations with other professions with whom I will interact in my work. This is especially significant since working in child care will require that I constantly interact with other professionals. These personal values will have a positive impact in my counseling endeavors which is desirable for me to make the significant impact in the lives of my clients. By combining the necessary counseling skills that I have gained in class with this values that I have acquired at various stages in my life, it can be expected that I will be a very effective counselor, offering optimal assistance to the youths with whom I will be dealing with.
DuBois, L. D. & Karcher, J. M. (2005). Handbook of Youth Mentoring. Sage.
Fulcher, C. L. & Ainsworth, F. (2006). Group Care Practice with Children and Young People Revisited. NY: Routledge.
Peterson, W. R., Baker, A. G. & Weiseth, A. M. (1997). Caring for Youth in Shelters: Effective Strategies for Professional Caregivers. Boys Town Press.
Thompson, R. (2002). School Counseling: Best Practices for Working in the Schools. Psychology Press.
Zeni, T. (1997). From a Workshop on Child Care Worker’s Day. NACCW.