Navigating Job Readiness

Nope not M1 this time!! So at this point N has a vocational worker who is teaching her things that are required for on the job. Problem, N assumes this means that next week at 16 she can apply for and get a job no issues. While the worker and I have both told her plainly “you are not job ready” she refuses to believe that is even possible. Sweetie you can’t get up, pick matching clothes, put on deodorant, brush your hair and teeth without prompts…you are NOT job ready.

So its a balance of telling her that she needs to work on concrete things like hygiene and appearance and skills such as showing up and not melting down when someone wants her to do something she doesn’t want to do. You have to have careful wording though because if you tell her “can’t” then she may start to believe it is a “never” and stop trying so a lot of us are practicing saying “not yet”. The other issue is that conceptually there are things she cannot understand such as you can’t apply in a job two towns away if there is no bus route because you will have no way to get there. Yes she has some magical thinking going on but also quiet frankly just plain not understanding.

The other issue is that I make work look easy. I go to work in my car, do my job on the computer, pick the kids up, do tae kwon do, and go home. This whole process is truly simple and she cannot understand the complex relationships even though she has been to work with me before. I try to give them examples of when things go wrong and how I handle them but many times neither she or M2 can relate or hear it because I am an adult and they are kids so of course I did it the right way even though I didn’t want to.

Of course they have to learn so I must allow the opportunities to do that. I recently saw that the local animal shelter is looking for volunteers to help care for the animals. While the vocational worker suggested this to N, N did not want to hear it so tonight she will hear it from me. I will again remind her that at 14 I was volunteering so I had some skills I could really use when I was 16 to apply for the first job I actually got. It will also give her the real world experience of having to take the bus, transfer and get to a work location. I figure M2 and I can go one day with her and she can go another day by herself so she can learn skills but within a safe place.

N and M2 are also going to start to learn to be acolytes for the church. Another opportunity to learn something and give back to the community. I am a lector so they know that service is important and they both were interested so it should be good for them. They will be taught privately so that the class can go slower and have a hands on portion to help them better retain their understanding.

I’ll keep you posted on this latest adventure.

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