Fighting the War on Kids

img_6362When I got home from work today, I walked into my living room to see this gorgeous bookshelf my father made me.

Of course, I immediately began to stress about how to decide which books would be housed in this stunning home. Too many choices. I don’t do well with too many choices. Based on my understanding of Brene Brown’s research, this is likely related to some sort of perfectionism shame gremlin I’ve been holding onto for a good portion of my life. I’m working on it.

So, instead of feeding into the rising panic, I opted to read. I recently received Professor Cara Drinan’s new book “War on Kids: How American Juvenile Justice Lost Its Way” and I’ve been anxious to get started.

 

Twenty six pages. It took exactly twenty six pages for me to start crying. By page 28, I was screaming and cursing our juvenile justice system, our children protective services system, and the general ignorance and/or apathy of our entire country. By page 30, I had to stop.

I’ll get back to it. I can’t actually go to bed tonight without finishing the chapter I started.

But the point is, I’m angry and frustrated and devastated that we seem to have lost our concern for our children. Particularly those children that we are unlikely to encounter outside of our own personal lives. Those children that we may encounter regularly if we work in fields like juvenile justice or human services or education. Those children that probably anger and frustrate and devastate us by their actions and seeming disregard for basic social expectations.

Until I can get back into the field in which I am called to work, I will fight the battles that I can. For now, that includes helping young girls develop their sense of self, self-esteem, self-confidence, self-worth, so that they may avoid becoming part of a broken and largely ineffective social system.

Spring registration for Girls on the Run is open now. If you are the parent of an elementary or middle school girl, I STRONGLY encourage you to find out about this program and talk to your daughter about participating.

If you’re in the Central Virginia area, click here to register your daughter for this season. If you’re in the Roanoke Valley area, click here to register your daughter for this season.
If you want to find a Girls on the Run council outside of Central VA and the Roanoke Valley, click here.

And if you’d like to help me raise $1,000 for Girls on the Run, click here.

Now, I’m going to watch some Indiana basketball and hope that helps lower my blood pressure a bit before I try to finish this chapter.

And eventually I’ll place this book on that gorgeous bookshelf as a gentle reminder of the work I’m supposed to be doing.

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