We all know there’s a significant increase in the number of teenagers who suffer anxiety, struggle to participate in large groups or feel like they “belong”. Working with actors, Mind Over Manner helps all of us – parents, community and professionals – to keep going when you just don’t know what to do next. 

Mind Over Manner has been privately funded to present a workshop in Auckland on Tuesday 29 August. We established this workshop series because there is a desperate and exponential need for reconnection with our youth.

Actors in a workshop presentationSocially, most of us instinctively know how to adjust our manner: to gain acceptance and feel understood; to make friends.

But there are many different ways of seeing, hearing and communicating. For individuals who experience sensory processing differences, ordering priorities or meeting expectations frequently results in confused or oppositional behaviour. 

Usually, compliance can be brought about by way of a tap on the shoulder and this is sufficient for individuals to fall into line. But what if you don’t recognise the line, feel the tap or understand that scowl? 

Many parents/guardians of individuals discover that the standard parenting rules or boundaries don’t apply or resonate with the way their children or adolescent individuals think and act. 

The consequences of punishment do not stop their oppositional behaviour.

Who the workshop is for

This workshop will be for you if you are living and working with teens who have trouble attending to information, responding to authority, managing their time or self-organisation, and have sensory processing differences.

We will look at how their defensive behaviours impact on your relationships, their responsibilities and the family dynamic as a whole when the individual brings their anxieties home.

We will also look at the individual and family, and their interface with school or the workplace.

Mind Over Manner is successful because it uses a different approach and works with a team of actors. By reconstructing highly-charged events drawn from life experiences, it delivers “active-reality” scenarios so everyone – parents, family, caregivers, teachers, youth workers, police and other professionals – has the chance to be in the same room, hear each other, and work together to re-assess responses to these difficult times.

Generating fast-track learning

Mind Over Manner workshops are time-efficient; generate fast-track learning; and get results.

Here are some recommendations:

  • "It is the most powerful, emotionally charged and practical professional learning I have ever experienced." – teacher 
  • “I totally recommend any parent with a teenager on the spectrum to go along – even if just for a look – like I originally did. You will leave with a new perspective.” – parent 
  • “The workshop was particularly pertinent as we have noted the increased complexity of the types of youth appearing in our youth court with varying behavioural diagnosis explaining their behaviour. The Mind Over Manner workshop unpacked these types of behaviours and gave a clear insight as to some of the thought processes of these youth.” – Brett Cronin, Senior Constable, Wellington

The Mind Over Manner workshop is free (or koha) will be held in TAPAC Theatre, Motions Road, Western Springs, Auckland from 7 to 9pm on Tuesday 29 August. For more information and bookings, contact Susan Haldane (T: 027 665 8084 E: sue@mindovermanner.co.nz).

Workshops realise youth potential


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