We believe in do-overs. We support them. We encourage them. And, Empower Youth is all about helping youth and young families attack the do-over with such zeal that they never look back and walk through that valley again.
Mommy and Daddy love their children but they love them with broken wings. They were hurt along their life path and honestly, just like a bird’s wing that’s broken and not able to mend… they are not mended. They won’t ever fly.
Some children growing up in a household like this will naturally be able to look at the world around them and figure things out. With encouragement from others, like amazing intuitive teachers and pastors, they will start to get some air under their feet. Still other children never make it past the accomplishments or regrets of their parents. Broken people have trouble pouring good into anyone.
What can we do? Actually, what can you do? First, start in your own home. Are you a parent with a broken wing? Harsh, right? But really, take inventory. I often get requests from folks to fix their children and the best solution is to fix the one who’s asking!
A great determination of good grades and accomplishments in school is a stable home environment. Unfortunately, that’s not something a child can be in charge of. Worse, if a stable environment isn’t achieved while your child is still a child then when you are finally ready to settle when they are teens—your teen will begin to run your home. What is a stable home?
Routine is key. Do you have one? Maybe your routine is no routine exactly but your family knows that you rip and run until about 9p and then boom the house shuts down for a little peace before bedtime.
Visitors. Extended family. New love interests. Too much of a good thing is too much. If your child is constantly fighting for your attention because of all the commotion in your home, they will get attention other ways. And, it probably won’t end up being from you.
Influences. Drugs and alcohol. Whatever is influencing you is probably influencing them. So, if you allow for your house to be the recovery zone for a heroin addict, then your children will become a part of heroin. If you are influenced by the opposite sex, then don’t be surprised if one day your teen son or daughter uses relationships to ease their depression, their loneliness, the hole in their heart because you weren’t paying attention. You may say your child will never smoke because they are always asking you to put it out. Statistically speaking, children whose parents smoke are twice as likely as other children to start smoking between the ages of 13 and 21. Children of abusers of alcohol and drugs are 3 to 4 times as likely to become abusers of alcohol, pot, or other drugs. For every child, that spit on a parent’s cigarette as a means of disgust there is the story of that same child pulling cigarette butts out of the trash and smoking them when they become teens.
In the next few weeks, Empower Youth hopes to roll out some parenting groups and forums to help re-set broken wings. Please keep this in mind and if you think you might want to come to such a group or would like to be a part of a facebook discussion group, email me, Lori Conley at firstname.lastname@example.org. I assure you our exchanges will be confidential and we will start putting together a plan to empower you as a parent to empower your child.