Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Stories I Could Tell

Most people know that I am a columnist for a local newspaper and an author. But I should say that I am probably best known for the work that I have done for teens. Teenagers and children are my first love. If you asked me how I got so involved with teens, I couldn't really answer that question. I believe it started for me right after college. I guess I felled right into it. Plus teenagers draw to me.

When my daughter was around 4 or 5 I would sit outside with about 10 little kids playing childhood games like Ms. Mary Mack, and other games. I would have the kids make circles and each would take turns singing songs and playing hand games. When I would get tired, which was always before the kids, I would go into the house and bring out fresh baked brownies, cookies, or sliced pickles. I smile when I think of how many days the little kids would return to the door and ask for the Brownie Lady. That's funny! I was a very young, proud mother and I wanted my child to have the presence of her mother and father in her life and if that meant I had to play outside and sit in a circle on the hot concrete driveway, I did.

So to make a long story short, I grew into working with teen moms and their boyfriends. But with a host of nieces and nephews I learned to communicate with kids of all ages. Thus it wasn't unusual for them to confied in me. They told me about their pain, their happiness, their toys, family life and other interesting things. I even had parents call me to try to get me to spy. Some mothers would even call me to ask me to convince a 15 year old daughter not to have sex. I did and that young lady has a college degree plus her masters. She waited until she was in college and even had the nerves to call me and tell me that she was ready to do it, as she said. I simply phoned her mother and she called the father who had been on standby for years waiting to take her to the doctor for birth control pills. It was because the mother said I just can't stand to see a boy humping on my daughter...oh what stories I could tell.

There are too many stories of pain, of hunger or disappointment. All I have ever done was provide a listening ear and referrals to mothers to take their child to get help. But what bugged me the most was finding a child who was too depressed but didn't want to receive help because in their opinions, “seeing a therapist was for crazy people.” (I'll post part two in couple of days-don't want the post to be too long)

Have you volunteered to help teens improve their lives?

21 comments:

Nella said...

You do many great things for many people, which I am sure they are all great-ful for. Enjoy your week!

Stephen Bess said...

My classroom would often turn into sessions when kids discussed their journals. I think that they were able to work through a lot of their difficulties just by writing and talking about it. Keep up the great work!

Miz JJ said...

I've never volunteered, but I have worked with teens. They can be both enlightening and exasperating.

Luke Cage said...

Nicely done miss Rose. I would like to commend you on a job well done. I've never volunteered to work with teens, but my teenage goddaughter was beginning to get curious and felt that she couldn't go to her mother about the feelings she was experiencing. Her body after all was beginning to go thru changes and the lure of getting with that 'cute' boy was calling. She didn't want to go to her mom because she didn't feel like being lectured, but she was definitely interested in getting what she was feeling off of her chest with just someone who could provide a listening ear. We spoke, we laughed, she cried a little, but in the end she held on. No sex for my lil mama that's for sure. Of course, there is the constant harangue I have to go thru with my nephew, but that in itself is a blog for another day. (smile)

Shirazi said...

Well done Rose.

Andrew said...

I have been a youth basketball coach for many years and you would be amazed how many off-the-court issues you get to help out with. It's very gratifying.
To Love, Honor and Dismay

urban butterfly said...

I've never volunterred to help teens improve their lives. I haven't even given it a thought because I find it somewhat difficult to relate to teens, I'm not sure why. I think everyone has their gifts and I don't think thats one of mine. I adore children greatly. I love kids so much and I feel I would do well with children.

Clare said...

You do great work Rose.

Nourah said...

wow this is great =D
i wish we have ppl like u in here !

The Gig said...

Wow, Rose -- what a great post. The whole time I was reading it, I was thinking about how I would love to be an influence on kids like that. I love kids and teenagers too. I work in a program for at-risk kids and I can usually see the mellow side of them. I believe they all just need to know that somebody really loves and care about them. I admire you for what you have been doing with kids. God Bless You!

Mistress Regina said...

I received your comment, Rose, at Ladies, Goddesses And Bitches. Did you have an opportunity to read other installments we have had submitted?

Did you notice the link that says Read Our Stories? We have set up a new site for our library, Tales Of Ladies, Goddesses And Bitches, where you can read the individual stories in their entirety. I do not want to litter your comment box with links. This is easy enough, I think, to find when you visit our site.

I will look for email from you, Rose. That will be more efficient going forward.

Elizabeth said...

It's the really crazy people who never see therapists.

I'm a therapist, and my patients include a CFO of a successful corporation, a lawyer, a librarian, a PhD candidate, etc. Those homeless people you see in the streets--they didn't go to therapists. You could try telling that to the depressed teens...

Jaimie said...

i don't work with teens, but i work with children every day since i am a teacher.

its the best job in the world.

princessdominique said...

That's the best thing you can do, lend an ear. They really do want to open up. I was a teen and know that I wanted to talk and appreciated those who were persistent enough to care.

Brownsoul said...

Rose you are indeed a special person. One of the reasons why I have reconsidered my ideas of persuing a career in education is my patience. My job takes patience and often times I don't really have enough patience to deal with my clients. I know that patience is the one thing that will hold me back from being EXCELLENT at what I do.

I want to reach out to youngsters, but I'm not patient enough. How do you tell someone who's never felt important that they matter. It's take a special kind of person. I am not one of those people.

E said...

I don't know if I could relate to today's teens. It's cool that you're reaching out to them because they need the support.

iremy said...

Great job Rose... what an inspiration!

Shawn said...

I've never volunteered to help teens. I've always wanted to do it though but never took the initiative.

I have always tried to help me teens cousins through those rough years.

Xavier said...

You are special. I like you. :-D

Xavier said...

I would like one day to work with problem kids. The bad apples that everyone else gives up on. And also unadoptable (because they are too old) orphans. I would also like to do a radio talk show devoted to teenagers and the real-world issues they dal with.

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