Saturday, January 24, 2009

Teen pregnancy and troubled kids

As you probably know, I'm a counselor at a small school, so I see all ages of kids. Last week was especially stressful and busy. One day I was with the diagnostician trying to make sure I know what kids are taking what TAKS tests and I had several kids having meltdowns and had to leave the diagnostician, which is my family so she understood. I had calls from parents and I had to go take care of an incident at elementary. Poor Dana just had to wait patiently for me. In fact, she helped me get through that afternoon by giving me moral support. I was glad she was there. She was my counselor that day. I was stressed and upset talking to these kids that were so troubled. I obviously can't say any details about the kids or what was going on, but I can say that every kid that I see, no matter what age, is from a broken home. Their mother won't be able to handle them so she sends them to their dad, who sends them back or they live with their grandparents. They have no stable home. No wonder they are having meltdowns! I just want to scream at these so-called adults and tell them to take care of their kids. Once you have kids, the kids should come first. Then I think that probably these parents were treated the same way when they were young, so that's probably the only thing they know, which is what is going to happen to these kids now. The cycle will never end.

Don't get me wrong....there are some single parents that do a great job with their kids. In some situations, divorce is the best thing as long as the kids are taken into account first, which is true in the people close to me. The single mothers I'm talking about do a great job taking care of their kids almost all alone. It does take a good support from the family, though.

One of my professors once told me when we were talking about this, that it means job security for me. They will always need counselors. In fact, a couple of kids needed outside counseling, but when I tried to get it for them the guy who usually comes said he was retiring and the other guy quit, so there is no one. When they are at school, they are my kids and I do the best I can with them while they are there, but when school is out, it is out of my hands.

Another big problem we have is teen pregnancy. We have just had the 4th baby born this school year. There are 2 juniors and 2 seniors that are now mothers. There is another senior due before school is out. I have to go to their house and take them work during their six weeks out of school. I do everything I can to keep them from dropping out. So far, they are still in school, despite the fact that they are struggling to find babysitters, they are having to work, and their boyfriends are not much help. It's very hard on them. I don't know how to prevent this and if I did, I would be a rich woman. It is a problem in all schools, but it seems like 5 girls out of 93 kids is an extreme amount.

Friday was a better day. When I went to elementary, a couple of boys that I had seen the day before came and hugged my neck and told me that they were having a better day, which makes me feel better. Not that I had anything to do with it, but I was glad they were better. And the high school boy that I saw also came and told me things were getting better for him.

Since I'm a counselor, I can't very well counsel myself, so this is my therapy. So thank you to those of you that are still reading. You are my counselors. And if you have any advice for me, I'll take it.


granny f said...

Sometimes I think that 'moment' of silence we observe in the morning should be stretched to several (SEVERAL) moments. Hang in there - those kids need you.

Anonymous said...

oh Lana, you are such a sweet soul. Your empathy for children is so obvious and I understand your feelings. I have had this horrible urge to shake some of my student's parents these last few weeks. How do you not know your child didn't do their homework for the thousandth time or you forgot to wash their clothes? Where do they go after school? Who do we call when they are sick and the only phone number we have is now out of service? OOOOOhhhhhh! You understand. One day I will be rich and can take everyone of them home with me and give them the life God intended them to have. My aunt told me when I became a teacher to just remember that "you can't save them all". I can't live with that. I have to try. Some days I feel like I am letting my own children suffer. What a cycle!!!Thanks for being who you are. I love that little grandson of yours and push him all the way. He can do it and he will succeed! Kim

Lana said...

Thanks so much for those kind words. It really is frustating sometimes that these kids can't have what our kids have......2 parents that love them and take care of them. Erick loves you and your class. He said he was going to tell you to move to 4th grade with him next year. I just got on to him for not reading, but he said he had a book somewhere in that house, but he can't find it. So I will stay on him until he does what he is suppose to do. He really is a sweet kid!!!