Saturday, January 24, 2009

Quick update on the last couple posts . . .

Well, Rafin didn't go home for a discipline.  I'm not sure what he got DSC_0924 instead but he's still here.  Please pray for him if you think of it - this is a boy who needs to know that in life, there are consequences for our actions!  And thankfully, there is much grace to be found in Jesus as well!

My three boys arrived home on Wednesday.  I was in South Africa til Friday night late so haven't had a decent chance to talk with them about what they have or haven't learned but will today.  They each greeted me with giant hugs and said they are glad to be back!

I've received some encouraging feedback about our "tough love" - thanks for your prayers and comments!

I'm always aware of the drawbacks to "institutional living" as compared to being raised in a family - difficulty in following through and proper consequences is one of those.  Another aspect I often ponder is that I rarely see much in the way of remorse in the boys.  It's as if the behavior has passed so everything is over.  I don't often see the kids trying to "make up for" their behavior or smooth over things with someone they've hurt. 

One wise person (my director Ros!) commented that in a family, you are always together - you are in the same (relatively) small house, eat at the same table, sit on the same couch, drive in the same car, etc.  So if you've had a conflict, you can't just go off to play with one of 300 other people, you have to pretty much work it out and make things better or everyone is miserable.  Here, it's easy for the kids to avoid problems rather than work through them. 

Another thing to ask my readers to keep in prayer - wisdom and discernment in all of these areas so that we raise Godly, mature, wise, kind, loving, responsible young men! (and women, there are girls in this center too, I just don't work with them!)

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Regarding the lack of trying to "make up for" you see in your boys... When I was a new teacher in a poor district, I was asked to read a book call A Framework for Understanding Poverty, by Ruby Payne. It is based on research in the US, but might carry over to where you are.

She writes that in poverty, when a person gets in trouble, there is a punishment, and so long as the offender says "I'm sorry," everything goes back to normal. In poverty, she writes, there is no concept of change.

I know that doesn't solve your problem, but it seems to be what is happening in your situation as well. Maybe understanding it more from a poverty perspective will help you handle your own reaction to these types of situations. These kids probably don't come from a place where change and remorse, and even repentance, are even expected, let alone taught.

You are doing a great thing by loving these boys enough to help them work through these issues.