Role reversal

There were two ladies that used to live at Asquith House before moving onto pastures new.  The two ladies did not always see eye to eye over everything but they had a passion for knitting and I noted through observation and reflection that their own personal love of knitting brought them closer together.  So much so, that they used to have knitting sessions together.

Watching them together, both sharing what they love,interacting with each other over a common bond and helping one another when they had snaggles in their knits and them both forgetting about their indifferences when they were knitting, always brought a smile to my face.

Then one day one of them asked me to help her as she had a made a mistake, to which I replied “I’m sorry but I cannot knit” and as I was the only other person in the house there was no one else to help.  I thought about this and decided to try and help.

I sat down between the two ladies and said “ok I’ll try and help, but you are going to have to help me and show me what to do”.

Immediately, they both sat up and looked at me. Their faces not quite understanding what I had said and then I realised that in all their years no one has asked them to teach someone a skill and it has always been the other way round.  The ‘power’ was now in their hands.  One of the ladies handed over her knitting to me and they slowly started teaching me how to knit.  They used hand over hand techniques.  They were using warmth, positioning, observation and even reflecting on how they taught me when I wasn’t getting it right. Their interactions with me were very calm and they were very patient with me even though I must have been frustrating them as I kept dropping stitches and getting it wrong, but they said to me that everyone gets it wrong at first and it just takes practice!

The role reversal was a big eye opener for me, and I have been asking other people who live at the house to teach me skills that I do not know, but they do.

The facilitation skills that we use on an everyday basis with the people we support were being transferred and being used by the people who live at Asquith with staff.

This was amazing to see and makes everything worthwhile.

I can now knit a little bit but please don’t ask me to make anything other than a square, as the ladies have moved out and I didn’t get to finish my lessons!

Adam Scott
Interim Frontline Manager
Asquith House

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