To understand more about adverse childhood experiences or ACEs.
What you will need
Spend a bit of time looking at the videos on what ACEs are (see the video link and the link). Be aware that these videos might trigger emotions and you may need to have someone on hand or make yourself available after the session to speak to people whose emotions were triggered by this session.
One way to deal better with young people that have traumatic childhood experiences is to be trauma informed. For example, in the past society viewed all behaviour as bad and made the child fully responsible without showing any sympathy. Schools would often punish or belt children that acted up in class. Now, there is much more effort to understand and appreciate that some behaviours are responses triggered by other things. It's not our fault. If we understand them, we can manage them better.
One way to remember this is the 4 R's: Realise - Recognise - Respond - Resist.
Ask the group if they think that the 4 R's is good advice, would it be helpful when they're in fight, flight or freeze mode?
Invite the group to make up a poster for adults. On one side list things that adults say which are unhelpful when they are in stress, frustrated or angry. On the opposite side write what adults should say instead. For example:
Now think about our self-talk. Reflecting on our discussion about things adults say, what do we say to ourselves that takes us to a negative or dark place? Are we too hard on ourselves at times? What sort of things can we say that would help us feel less annoyed, frustrated or angry?
Finish by inviting everyone to give one positive thing that they've learned about themselves today?