* Begin Each Session with a Check-in. This is not a rigid rule, but often useful in many groups. For example, this could involve an “icebreaker” where every member of the group shares – perhaps a brief statement of who you are, the child’s name and age, any special needs of the child, and anything new that has happened over the last month. The main objective is to help participants feel comfortable and safe in expressing their concerns.
* Delivering the Opening Question.
Silence and hesitancy are normal in the early stages of a discussion. Before or after delivering your first open-ended question (see below), you can prepare the group for this usual period of silence by telling them it’s okay to take a moment to think of their response. If the silence continues past what you would consider to be normal, you can ask or guess aloud about what it may mean. Also, you can voice the fact that “it’s sometimes hard to be the first to respond,” or pick someone you know will be comfortable answering the question.