Other Thoughts

Pray for Our Children,
Our Families, Our Communities, Our World.

We need to change our childrearing practices. We need to change the malignant and destructive view that children are the property of their biological parents. Human beings evolved not as individuals, but as communities. Despite Western conceptualizations, the smallest functional biological unit of humankind is not the individual -- it is the clan. No individual, no single parent-child dyad, no nuclear family could survive alone. We survived and evolved as a clan -- interdependent socially, emotionally, and biologically. Children belong to the community; they are entrusted to parents. American society, and its communities, have failed parents and children alike. We have not provided parents with the information and resources to optimize their children's potential and, when parents fail, we act too late and with impotence to protect and care for maltreated children.... The most critical and formative experiences are those provided to the developing child in the incubator of the family and, optimally, by a vital, invested community.

--Bruce D. Perry (1997). Incubated in terror: Neurodevelopmental Factors in the "Cycle of violence." In J.O. Osofsky (Ed.), Children in a Violent Society, p. 144.

• It DOES Take A Village: A True Story
In her dream, Caroline Stewart, a young American mother of two sons, boards a plane and flies across thousands of miles to try to find her long, lost daughter. Unlike her sons, her daughter is blond and fragile and fair. She has a big red bow in her hair and wears an oversized red-and-green plaid dress. Her daughter is sitting, staring out of a frosted window waiting for her mother to come and take her home. "Where are you, mama?" the little girl cries silently each night, all alone in her small bed. "Don't you love me anymore?"

• What Are We About?
Commentary: Yoiks! Give me a break! Is This Really Our Goal? This may be the age of short-term therapy, but let's not get carried away. The emphasis should still be on therapy rather than short-term.

• Resources for Dealing with School and Community Violence
Lost Boys: Why Our Sons Turn Violent and How We Can Save Them, by James Garbarino, Ph.D., an well-respected expert on this subject. Published by the Free Press, 1999. This book is a must read for anyone interested in trying to begin to understand this topic.

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Here is a toll free phone number for someone who is being abused or knows someone who is: 1-800-4A-CHILD.
This is the number of a child abuse hotline, Child Help USA. As I understand it, the call does not appear on any phone bill.

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