Saturday, April 19, 2008


Engraving of Hippocrates by Peter Paul Rubens, 1638.Image via WikipediaThere is a huge escalation in the attitudes and actions of our youth today. There is an increasing element that children are migrating to, forcing parents to take issue with their behavior and start researching and admitting them to these wilderness programs. Where does that leave our children when it comes to their college education. If we send them to these camps, there goes their college fund, and any funds you might plan to live on after retirement. (Who can retire?) Why are teens escalating into this behavior mode? Why are we so indulgent with our children? We allow our children to act in ways we would never have considered acting, as teens ourselves. We learned to be responsible for our behavior and we were severely punished for misbehavior and for disrespect.

In an effort to raise our children differently than we were raised, we ended up overindulging them and the result of that is that our children have no respect for us as parents and less respect for the material goods we provide for them. They take us and their possessions for granted. Why did we do this? We did it because we were abused as children and so many other children around us were also, so we believed it was the way things were supposed to be. But as we grew up we began to recognize that there were children that had been raised differently so we began to research and discover that there were other ways to raise children. We vowed not to raise our children the same way we were raised. Was that a mistake? I think it was. I look back now and realize that I was a single parent with 2 sets of children and I worked 3 and sometimes 4 jobs at a time to make sure they did not know we were poor. I was finally blessed with subsidized housing and was able to reduce the number of jobs I worked, because I could now afford to live in a beautiful rural area with good and safe schools. I still, at times, worked an extra job. My children did not know they were poor until around their teens. And they always had a lot more than their wealthier friends families provided for them. My children were active in school programs,. I spent many a Sunday afternoon on the bleachers watching cheerleaders, football players and majorettes, until my butt was numb, only to do it again the next week. And lets not forget the practices. Children do not learn
those activities without a great deal of practice. I always felt bad for the parents of hockey players, those early morning hours, and the long distance traveling was something I could live without.

I have been trying to help a friend find support and help for her teen. What we have found is that the only available help for troubled teens are these outrageously priced wilderness camps and boarding schools. As we started to research them I began to see how ridiculously they were priced. I began to think, seriously…what is happening to our teens, why are they acting this way and the answer is not one that most parents will want to hear. We are not in the present with our children. I was trying to explain to my friend and her husband about non-reaction and how effective it is to be in the present with our children. Being in the present comes from “within.” If you are not aware of “within” then whatever way you interact with your child now, will never change. The change begins “within”, for both you and your child. The parents and the child must change how they interact with each other. During the research I ran across a gentleman that is doing an online support program for parents of troubled teens. I think that is an alternative a lot of parents might want to try before one of these expensive programs.

I know that my children had a lot of activities and I worked a couple of jobs but there was something missing when I raised my children, something I regret more than anything in my entire life. I did not raise my children in the church. I did not continue to go on my own either.

As hard as we try, we cannot help them when they need it the most because we have not given them the one thing our parents made sure we had….We had God. I have had a relationship with God all along, but I did not share it with my children, in the sense that I took them to church and they were part of a COMMUNITY. I taught them to be good people, and not a day has gone by that I have ever thought of them any other way. I know that whether they have a strong belief in a higher power or not, they are wonderful human beings. The regret is that I get so much from my relationship with God, so I feel that I have deprived my children.

None of this is stated to make any less of what my friend, her husband and other parents are experiencing. I am only trying to find the answer to the question “What is happening to our children?” Why is there such an increase in the number of children that are being labeled with initials like ADD, ADHD, ODD and names like, bipolar, manic depression, and depressed? Where did all these wilderness programs, boarding schools, alternative education facilities and any other type of “lock up facility” come from? Why do we have such a huge need for these facilities? Why does it cost more than a college education to raise teens through high school?

In the short time we were searching online for an affordable solution, the number of alternative education facilities became enormous. I felt overwhelmed with the resources, and yet very little was available as an alternative to these programs. In other words, “this is the only thing out there and you can’t afford it so give up.” There are actually parents doing that, as I have mentioned before. I have been suggesting a particular program to my friend that involves both parent and child and is a method of meditation, but like a lot of other parents, it is “new age” and these other programs have been around so long and no one really talks about the success rate of them, but I do know a great many parents are sending their children to programs like this. But I really have a problem with the cost of these programs, and the small amount of resources offered to parents to help in this area. Why is that? Well, I assume the first thing is that insurance companies will not pay for it, so there is no cap on the amount of money these companies are able to charge. The other thing is that really good parents want to do the very best they can for their children and if this is the only way then they will mortgage their home, give up retirement, and yet, will they really end up with good kids after all of that? Hhmmm

So who is benefiting from these programs, is it the children? The parents? The Camps? For the first time we can say, it is not the insurance companies, but who is it? Like most bureaucratic issues there is an agenda somewhere, where do you think it is? hhmmm

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