Friday, June 6, 2008

Innocence Lost?

Yesterday my sister and I made the trek to Little Rock with her oldest son (he's 8yrs. old) to the Dennis Developmental Center. They specialize in assessing developmental conditions such as learning disabilities, impulsivity, ADD, atypical social interaction, inability to communicate and much more. They help the families find coping strategies and therapy that works, so that their child can thrive. We left bright and early...4:30am!! Traffic was not too bad until we reached the city and then it was at a stand-still. We knew this would be a long day for all of us. Daniel had several tests that were going to be done starting at 8am. We had a break for lunch (Cracker Barrell) and then went back for round two. We left at 4pm! LONG DAY!! He was a trooper and didn't complain too much. This was our 2nd trip and we are very pleased to have a diagnosis and a plan to help Daniel begin to have success...academically and socially...but I was struck by some things.

One thing that I seen over and over, is parents that were harsh with their children. We were there for 8 hours, so we seen ALOT, so many parents never offered kind or encouraging words to their child. They expected their child to behave like a mini adult...I remind you we were in a developmental center. I mean, let's get real...kids are kids...and these kids need a little extra love and attention. There was a play room for them to run and play in and some of these parents wouldn't even let their kids be free in there. I even seen one mother strike her child on the arm. I'm not a therapist. I don't have a PHD. But even I could see that a huge part of the problem with some of these children is their caregivers don't seem to care. My heart was broken. I fear that many of these kids may not only be a prison in their own bodies, but also in their homes, where they're supposed to feel safe and loved. Another thing I noticed is that no one ever stepped in and told the parents that this was unacceptable behavior by them. (including myself) What is wrong with our world that we sit idly by and watch innocence be destroyed over and over again? My mind cannot stop thinking about one child in particular. All I know to do is pray and cry out to the Father to comfort and protect these children.

3 comments:

Angie said...

I was really convicted by this yesterday when I read it. I feel like I've been one of those harsh parents lately. Not that I've been mean to my kids in the extreme you witnessed, I just know I haven't been kind and gentle like I ought to be. Thanks for reminding me of their innocence and fragile spirits. My heart breaks for the children you described!! :(

Belle-ah said...

Oh, what a hard day! Thank you for this post because I know I am guilty of being too hard on my boys...the mini adult syndrome. I need the reminder to hug them more and appreciate all that they are.

mindi said...

I;ve ben the same way - too harsh because my temper is short. I told myself just this morning I need to lighten up and let them be kids!! Thanks for the reminder of a vow I had already made . . .