How To Restrain A 17-Year-Old Client


Sam Wilkinson

According to a faithful reader, I'm Ordinary Times's "least thoughtful writer." So I've got that going for me, which is nice.

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16 Responses

  1. Avatar Kim says:

    No blood? Not badly injured?
    I remember needing to learn proper protocol for bites in a hospital…
    (yay orientation).Report

  2. Avatar Rose Woodhouse says:

    This brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for writing it.Report

  3. Avatar greginak says:

    Restraining someone is always intense. I haven’t had to do it in years but it was always tense when i did. Never got bitten myself not for want of one 7 year repeatedly trying.Report

    • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to greginak says:

      They never really emphasize the intensity of the experience. I suppose there’s no good way to recreate it with adults restraining one another.Report

      • Avatar Wyrmnax in reply to Sam Wilkinson says:

        No, there isn’t.

        Because when you are practicing you are rational. When things are ‘for real’, many times at least one of the sides is not.

        Dealing with people that are not acting in a rational way is *very* hard.Report

  4. Avatar Damon says:

    I really need to learn how to fight..and fight dirty.Report

  5. Avatar ScarletNumbers says:

    Interesting referring to the 17-year-old as a client.Report

    • I was wondering if anybody would end up asking about this. I have two explanations:

      -the first is that this is one of the terms we used when working. Whether there’s some deeper meaning to it – perhaps to make us forget that we were working with children? – I can’t say for certain, but client was one of our words.

      -the second is that I had originally written “How To Restrain A 17-Year-Old Boy” and I was afraid of the unintended ramifications of such a headline, so I changed it.Report

      • Avatar Jim Heffman in reply to Sam Wilkinson says:

        “client” implies a partnership between you and the person who needs help. The staff and the client are working together to help the client get to a place where they can re-enter society. It suggests that this is something that’s a two-way street, with the client being empowered and having a role in the decision-making process.

        “boy” implies that the staff is in the role of a parent or teacher, dictating terms to a naughty child. You’re here because you were bad and you’ll stay here until you learn to do as you’re told.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Sam Wilkinson says:

        so client is less patronizing?Report

      • I’ve also seen and heard the term “consumer” used in other circumstances, although of course that word is something of a euphemism too.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Sam Wilkinson says:

        makes me wonder what a lawyer refers to the person he is in charge of “keeping out of trouble” when he’s not actually paying for said service (and thus, to my way of thinking, is not the client).Report

  6. Avatar Miss Mary says:

    I’ve never worked with children, but I’ve lived this with adults. We consciously avoid “client” or “consumer”. When you just work with people, these moments become increasingly more rare. I like to live and work by the theory that happy people don’t do these things usually, so let’s help people be happy.Report