All parents want to help & protect their children, but most don’t know how to initiate serious conversations with them. This deceptively simple new book makes it easy to open conversations about some "hard to start" subjects. The glimpse into the diaries of real kids leads to discussion openers about topics such as stress, illness and loss, family problems, school, racial discrimination, violence, teasing, bullying, body image, sexuality, rape, pregnancy, drugs, and most importantly, concerns about what the future might hold. A way to open conversations about important subjects is to discuss topics such as the ones that are brought up in the writings below. Topics and stories will change frequently.
Just be understanding
Don't always be trying to pretct me so much. Just be understanding when I have problems and try to help me out if I need you to.”
"We did everything together. What happened? We were like two peas in a pod. What happened? I barely recognize you anymore. What happened?"
The Loss of a Parent
Judy Schiffman, LCSW, Director or Children's Grief Center writes, “Loss of a parent comes in many forms. By young adulthood it is estimated that 15-20% of children will lose a parent through death. Others find their living and home situations changed by divorce, illness, accidents, abandonment, homelessness or violence. Each of these children go through a process of grieving whether it is for the parent they lost, the parent they wanted or the parent they won’t have. For most children, it is all of these images of their parent. They are confronted with what they had and expected to always have no matter what the relationship was like. Children grieve differently than adults. They often move in and out of their grief. As they grow, they keep reworking their loss. Studies have shown us that the loss of a parent is profound and that there are throughout life constant reminders and thoughts about the parent. Often following the loss, the child will take on a characteristic or interest of the lost parent as a way to keep them close. We need to let children grieve. We need to expect them to be children and not replace the lost parent. We need most of all to allow the child to talk about his loss. Acting as if it didn’t happen or being afraid to discuss it only burdens the child more. Our own grief may be overshadowed by how available we are to the child, but we need to learn to be open and honest. It is okay to tell a child you are sad or angry or guilty. He knows it anyway. It also helps him know that there are many different feelings that are evoked by a loss. It helps him feel less alone. Judy Schiffman, LCSW
Here is the Truth
“All these years I have been locked up, chained up inside. Has that ever occurred to you? Why I always played by myself? Why I am so quiet? Why I never cry in your presence? Why I try to comfort myself? Why I never say what’s wrong with me? Why I have no group to hang around with all the time? It hurts, knowing you are there for me, but emotionally you are not. It hurts knowing I have never had a birth family to care for me. And above all, knowing the scars I hold will never be healed.The empty space in my heart will never be occupied.Hoping one day my family will show up on the corner. But they never show up."
My dad is great
“My dad is a wonderful father. He knows how to love life and has given me the best example there is."
I don't have a social security number
I am a Latina and because I don’t’ have a social security number I am afraid I will never get a good paying job. Or a scholarship, which is the only way I can go to college. But I hope that one day people like me will be able to have the opportunity to realize their dreams. For now, at least I know I have my family and I know they will always be with me. If I am ever successful I want to be able to provide for my parents. They came to the United States from Mexico and faced many obstacles. They didn’t know English and they had money problems but, even with their difficulties, they worked hard and they give everything to their children. I want to give back to them one day. I have strong hopes for the future.