I really appreciate the emphasis on the community’s responsibility to children and families. I think it’s easy to fall into the “bystander effect” and, just like the speaker says, brush off someone else’s situation (“it’s not MY kid”).
Thank you for your comment! I think the focus on individual responsibility enforces the idea of the “other, ” instead of encouraging ways to build relationships and greater community, which would provide greater support to those in need.
I really love the concept of a child being able to be a child. It is so important for our development as human beings. I also think the creation healthy spaces run by individuals who may not have a biological or familial connection is crucial in allowing the concepts of love, play, and safety to cultivate.
I 100% agree, allowing children to be children is so critical. Kids need to have safe spaces to learn how to be in relationships, how to communicate, and how regulate emotions, and how to do that in a healthy way. You don’t have to be a biological parent to be able to care for a young person, and sometimes those safe adults can be more influential that biological relatives because of that. Those adults who are able to look a child, wholly unrelated to them, and tell them “I see you and I care about you, simply because you deserve that as a human,” and actually get the child to believe them and that they deserve that – those people are truly heroes.
A great conversation, thank you for sharing this! I resonated with your idea that kids that have run away inherit a prejudice that they no longer have a future, when that couldn’t be further from the truth. How do you think we can get more ‘adults’ inspired to enable the ‘kids’ that have fallen through the cracks?
David, that’s such an awesome question – I’m so sorry I’m just seeing it now. I think that as adults, it can be really easy to forget what a confusing and scary and challenging thing it is to be a young person in general, even more so when there is trauma or abuse added in to the mix. I think that if adults were able to see their younger selves, or maybe younger siblings or family members, in the youth that are being stereotyped, maybe they would have more patience and compassion for the young people. I don’t know how to accomplish that on a large scale, but I think if any adult has the desire to connect with a young person, listening to their perspective can be a huge way to build a positive relationship with a young person. Once a healthy and safe relationship is established, opportunities to support and encourage and inspire open up organically.
Excellent points Christine on community responsibility…I agree, they’re OUR kids! …it takes a village….
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