Somedays I am overwhelmed by how hard things are for some children in our society. I feel weighted down by the awful situations some children live in. I’ve seen this with students I’ve taught, other students I’ve known, and my daughters’ friends.
For some it is living in poverty and all of the difficulties that come with that. The lack of stability around housing and food. The difficulties getting places without a car.
For others it is health challenges, physical or mental. Kids who struggle to do things that we see as normal parts of childhood.
Those hurt me to see and I want to do all I can to help those children and I feel we, as a society, could often do better for them.
The kids that break me the most, however, are those in family situations that are harming them. Kids in the LGBTQ community whose families do not accept them. Kids who are being abused by someone who should be caring for them. I have enough anger when school is not a safe place for children. When it is home that isn’t safe, it is enough to drive me over the edge.
Far too often these children carry the weights of what life has given them without complaint. They do all they can to live a ‘normal’ life. The challenges, the pain, the trauma are all buried.
It is not acceptable. Children should be children. We, the adults in our society, need to ensure that is possible. We need to do what is necessary to guarantee that children can play, learn, love, and grow. That is a basic human right.
(In case you are worried about my students, I do not currently have a student who is making me feel this way. I have had, in the past. I’m sure I will have, in the future. I may have, right now, and just don’t know it yet. I have kids I worry about, of course, as I am a teacher, but not like this. This was not prompted by school. As unusual as that may be.)