Former Foster Youth Shares Personal Journey From Pain to Power
Imagine being so scared to go to a school that you hide in the library so that you can be invisible.
Imagine being called names such as “blackie” and “ugly”, while walking to class by a group of your peers. Imagine what your life would be like if you are jumped, hit, chased and chronically teased at school, and no one comes to your rescue
Sadly, thousands of children in the Inland Empire, especially foster youth, are afraid to go to school because they are violently and verbally attacked.
I was one of those children. A quiet, shy kid who felt unloved and unworthy due to the trauma I faced, I was often the target of unwanted harassment. I wore the same clothes or hand-me-downs that were either too big or too small for me.
My hair was unkept because no one invested money to care for my hair. My clothing, dark skin, and coarse hair made me a target for daily bullying for a decade that...
(attached image here)
by Rosalia Rivera
Due to the #METOO movement, the word ‘CONSENT’ was brought to the forefront of cultural awareness. It’s unfortunate that it has taken a movement this big to create more awareness of what consent is and why it’s so important. Never the less, #METOO has helped to spread the concept of consent and make it mainstream.
Unfortunately, people think that it’s solely related to sexual consent. But in fact, it’s about our rights as free individuals to CHOOSE to have ANYTHING done with or to us.
Here’s the problem. We teach kids about consent only in the pre-teen or teen years, and some parents don’t teach it at all because they don’t know how to approach it.
Parents only relate consent to sexual consent and it makes them anxious to approach the topic. So their children are left unequipped to set or enforce boundaries or on the flip side, unsure how to ask for consent or read non-verbal cues.
While we complain about our first world problems, others look at us in the developed world wishing to have our problems.
I’ve been thinking a lot about a story I recently read. It was about the experience that Soad, a grandmother from Iraq and her son, Haider had when they were brought to Georgia so that her granddaughter, Noor could get medical attention. You can read more about baby Noor here.
While Soad and Haider were in the U.S. they saw many things in a very different light than most of us Americans do.
For example, Soad was astonished at how clean our produce is in American supermarkets. She was amazed that misters would spray the produce every so often to keep it fresh. And she noticed that produce was not swarmed with flies the way it was in markets in her country.
Soad and her son viewed the American medical system that we so much complain about in a whole different way:
“Their idea of medical care was limited to an Abu...
My daughter came up to me after a rough week of behavior challenges and asked, “Was I, good kid, today?”
This is to say, I was stunned by that question. I felt awful that she thought she was not a good kid at any time.
I also blamed myself for the way she was thinking of herself. Perhaps I’d been too strict. Maybe my tone was too harsh, but at the same time, I thought about the actions she had done that led to me correcting her.
Kids can go through phases of defiance. However, they don’t last long if we help kids correct those actions right away. I am not a perfect parent. Believe me. I have a lot of regrets about how I handled some situations.
Therefore, I try to consciously think things through even when I’ve very upset about something that my kids have done that I don’t agree with.
As I was having a conversation with some parents, one of them asked me about how to help a kid who has bullied others and is trying to do...
I walked into my daughter’s room and my irritability immediately shot up! After days of reminding her to clean her room, it appeared as if she hadn’t made any attempt whatsoever to improve the mess.
Can you relate?
Surely, every parent has experienced this type of frustration and anger. As I stood there looking at everything in that room, I realized that a lot of it was my fault.
It’s A Parent’s Responsibility
You see, my husband and I were the ones who allowed all the toys to come into the house. The high stack of stuffed animals didn’t just appear out of nowhere. And the overfilled hamper hadn’t been checked for two weeks.
When you make cleaning playful for kids, it doesn’t seem like a burden to do chores.
Similarly, the closet hadn’t been inspected by my husband or me either. Why? Because we were exhausted and we decided to see what would happen if we didn’t stay on top of their chores.
(attached image here)
By Jessica Bonner-Gomez
In October 2019, it was reported that Alabama 4th graders ranked 49th (out of 52 U.S. territories) in reading on the nation’s report card. This rank is two levels below the former rank in 2017, indicating that reading proficiency has decreased.
I’m particularly concerned about Alabama 4th-grader reading performance because I am an Alabama educator. Aside from teaching English Composition I and II to college freshmen for 3 and ½ years, I have been tutoring students for the last 11 years in English and writing (the last 4 years include more focus on reading through my tutoring business, For Other Prizes Consulting).
(attached image here)
Further, this month I have finished my master’s degree in speech-language pathology, a field that helps students enhance their speech and language (including reading) skills.
Disheartened by the numbers, I attempted to understand why they were so low. I realized,...
One of the most stressful parts of gift-giving holidays for me has always been shopping. I’m unsure if the reason behind my stress is because I think very practically about spending money or because I don’t like shopping. The act of shopping has always given me anxiety.
Too many things and too many choices seem like a heavy burden for me. It truly kills the joy out of trying to gift someone something special. As I said, it might just be me, but I feel like the push for me to spend money is so prevalent and strong that I’m turned off to gifting.
Can you relate? I’m sure I can’t be the only one to feel this way.
One of my main goals is for my children to not grow up to expect gifts for holidays or special days or to think that those events are all about gifts.
It’s important for me that my children understand that the material things aren’t the main focus of any celebration and when I’ve tried to do a non-gift event,...
In 2013, a friend of mine asked me if I was interested in volunteering for an organization called Honor Flight Austin. This organization’s mission is to find World War II veterans who have never been to Washington, D.C. to see their monuments. While Honor Flight Austin’s main focus is WW II vets, they also make this trip possible to Vietnam and Korean War Veterans free of cost.
Honor Flight Austin provides free airfare, meals, and lodging for our heroes and they rely heavily on volunteers who are called Guardians so that each veteran is assisted for an entire evening and day in D.C.
As we all know, this generation of veterans is getting very old and one thing that Honor Flight Austin wants to do is to get as many WWI veterans to D.C. before they are no longer with us.
Although their highest priority is to make this trip available to WWII Veterans, they offer this trip to other able and willing veterans on a first-come, first-served basis and then priority goes to our...
He kept calling me a dumb Mexican because I have an accent, but so does Jimmy. He’s from France. I just don’t get it. I know English just as much as he does. I’m also not from Mexico.
-8 year old, Ana in Maryland
When adults hear about conflicts among kids such as Ana’s, they’re often dismissed as child bickery, a rough phase of childhood, or just part of being a kid. But if this scenario where between two adults, it would be considered harassment or discrimination.
So, why aren’t educators taking the time to teach kids to not use stereotypes in the classrooms? Sadly, schools also don’t strongly consider the effects of stereotyping (such as misogyny or sexual harassment) more seriously-and they should! They know they exist, but they don’t actively focus on this issue.
Subconscious stereotyping is important because
As the year comes to a close, a lot of people start creating their list of new year goals (download our free worksheet- Reflecting + Goals 2017). But instead of making ONLY your new year goals, consider making a list of all the things you appreciated this year no matter how many bad things happened to you in 2016.
Focusing on this will help you realize how many blessings you’ve had and that in the midst of not such good times, very good things DO happen. We must start appreciating what we’ve got before we start expecting more blessings.
This year, I got to travel back to Nicaragua, the country I was born in. It was a very expensive trip for my family because it was several of us. However, my husband insisted on going because I’d always say we’d go and the total trip expenses always seemed so high.
I’d always say we’d go next year and I have many excuses. Excuses like….next year because our savings would be larger and I’d feel...
Most kids NEVER tell an adult that they're being bullied because they try to handle the situation alone or they fear that telling an adult might make matters worse.
DOWNLOAD your free guide to know the SIGNS OF BULLYING.
You will also receive a weekly newsletter with parenting tips and information about bullying awareness and prevention.