When there is a youth in crisis,
there is a family in crisis.
Wonder why the American family has changed,
and the lack of respect for authority is a problem?
Bad behavior seen among adults today
(family, friends, politicians, athletes, movie / music stars)
trickles down to youth.
- When we consider the dangers from which children should be protected, we should also include psychological abuse. Parents or other caregivers or teachers or peers who demean, bully, or humiliate children or youth can inflict harm more permanent than physical injury. Making a child or youth feel worthless, unloved, or unwanted can inflict serious and long-lasting injury on his or her emotional well-being and development. (Kim Painter, “Parents Can Inflict Deep Emotional Harm,” USA Today, July 30, 2012, B8; Rachel Lowry, “Mental Abuse as Injurious as Other Forms of Child Abuse, Study Shows,” Deseret News, Aug. 5, 2012, A3)
- The single most important thing you can do for your family
may be the simplest of all: develop a strong family narrative,
according to Marshall Duke, a psychologist at Emory University. Dr.
Marshall Duke and Dr. Fivush tested this hypothesis, and reached an
overwhelming conclusion. The more children knew about their family’s
history, the stronger their sense of control over their lives, the
higher their self-esteem and the more successfully they believed their
families functioned. The “Do You Know?” scale turned out to be the best
single predictor of children’s emotional health and happiness.
Why does knowing where your grandmother went to school help
a child overcome something as minor as a skinned knee or as major as a
terrorist attack? “The answers have to do with a child’s sense of being
part of a larger family,” Dr. Duke said.
Psychologists have found that every family has a unifying narrative, he explained, and those narratives take one of three shapes.
First, the ascending family narrative: “Son,
when we came to this country, we had nothing. Our family worked. We
opened a store. Your grandfather went to high school. Your father went
to college. And now you...”
Second is the descending narrative: “Sweetheart, we used to have it all. Then we lost everything.”
“The most healthful narrative,” Dr.
Duke continued, “is the third one. It’s called the oscillating family
narrative: ‘Dear, let me tell you, we’ve had ups and downs in our
family. We built a family business. Your grandfather was a pillar of the
community. Your mother was on the board of the hospital. But we also
had setbacks. You had an uncle who was once arrested. We had a house
burn down. Your father lost a job. But no matter what happened, we
always stuck together as a family.’ ”
Children who have the most self-confidence have
what Dr. Duke and Dr. Fivush call a strong “intergenerational self.”
They know they belong to something bigger than themselves. Decades of
research have shown that most happy families communicate effectively.
But talking doesn’t mean simply “talking through problems,” as important
as that is. Talking also means telling a positive story about
yourselves. When faced with a challenge, happy families, like happy
people, just add a new chapter to their life story that shows them
overcoming the hardship. This skill is particularly important for
children, whose identity tends to get locked in during adolescence.
The bottom line:
If you want a happier family, create, refine and retell the story of
your family’s positive moments and your ability to bounce back from the
difficult ones. That act alone may increase the odds that your family
will thrive for many generations to come. (Source: The Stories That
Bind Us,” by Bruce Feiler, The New York Times, March 15, 2013)
- Stop School Bullying and Violence. Encourage students to form
new friendships and help stop bullying, violence, and social isolation
in their schools. Many students feel bullied, left out, alone,
misunderstood, without friends, or invisible. These painful feelings
lead to social isolation, which is often a precursor to bullying. These
feelings are often highlighted at lunchtime, when kids are left to fend
for themselves socially. Unfortunately, for some students, lunchtime
is the hardest part of their day. Everyone needs to know that others
genuinely care about them, and some schools are doing something about
We Dine Together is a club at Boca Raton
Community High School in Florida, where students make sure that no one
in school sits alone at lunch. The message is to make outsiders always
feel included, valued and accepted by their peers. It consists of
students (including the coolest kids in school) who roam their school’s
courtyard during lunch looking for students who are eating alone. They
introduce themselves, and talk with them to get to know the students and
help them feel accepted. Open a We Dine Together Chapter at your
No One Eats Alone
is another program designed to help students make an effort to eat a
meal with their new classmates and peers. This lunchtime event seeks to
reverse the trends of social isolation by asking students to engage in a
simple act of kindness at lunch - making sure that no one is eating
alone. Learn more at https://www.nooneeatsalone.org/questions/
- President Barack H. Obama. "And so what we should be thinking about, is our responsibility to care for (children), and shield them from harm, and give them the tools they need to grow up, and do everything that they're capable of doing. This is our first task as a society, keeping our children safe. This is how we will be judged. And their voices should compel us to change.
"…we must do something to protect our communities and our kids…We have to examine ourselves in our hearts, and ask yourselves what is important? This will not happen, unless the American people demand it. If parents and teachers, police officers, and pastors, if hunters and sportsman, if responsible gun owners, if
Americans of every background stand up and say, enough. We've suffered
too much pain, and care too much about our children to allow this to
continue, then change will -- change will come.
"Along with our freedom to live our lives as we will, comes an obligation to allow others to do the same. We don't live in isolation. We live in a society, a government for and by the people. We are responsible for each other.
" …when it comes to protecting the most vulnerable among us, we must act now,
for Grace, for the 25 other innocent children and devoted educators who
had so much left to give; for the men and women in big cities and small
towns who fall victims to senseless violence each and every day; for all the Americans who are counting on us to keep them safe from harm.
"Let's do the right thing. Let's do the right thing for (our children) and for this country that we love so much."
Report Child Abuse.
have concerns about the safety of a child, and believe a child is at
immediate risk of severe harm or death, please call 911. Law
enforcement has the authority to shelter a child. That is what they do,
and what they are paid to do. Child abuse is a top priority in
Spokane. Please call--do not let fear paralyze you. To report suspected
child abuse or neglect, call:
363-3333 Child Protective Services (Spokane County),
8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m./M-F,
or (800) 562-5624 after 4:30 p.m. and weekends.
456-2233 Crime Check - report non-emergency suspicious activity
838-6596 Crosswalk (teens)
838-4428 First Call for Help (Spokane Mental Health)
National Runaway Switchboard
1-800-RUNAWAY / 1-800-786-2929 http://www.1800runaway.org
624-7273 SAFeT Response Center
327-5111 Secret Witness (PO Box 1205, Spokane, WA 99210)
477-2240 Sheriff’s Office
(800) 422-4453 The National Child Abuse Hotline: (1-800-4-A-CHILD)
242-8477 Tip-Line. 535-3155 Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery(866) 363-4276 Washington State's DSHS
Anonymous Spokane Police Dept. phone line to report any crime that is NOT an Emergency (abuse, domestic violence, gang activity, possible drug activity, fraud, theft, etc.) (509) 242-TIPS An officer will call back to verify the information
and forward the complaint to the appropriate department within 24 hours; however, after the person has reported and verified the complaint, the caller can remain anonymous. Email: email@example.com
(Dept. of Social and Health Services)