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Corrie Lynne O. Player

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Member Since: Aug, 2006

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Corrie Lynne O. Player

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Change a child’s life, change the world
By Corrie Lynne O. Player   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2007

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Babies in dumpsters, teenagers shooting shoppers at malls, moms leaving 3 and 4-year-old kids alone for two days, and divorce rates outstripping marriages all indicate that families are in serious trouble today. That trouble will continue to escalate until each one of us takes responsibility to do something about it. Remember, the only behavior we can influence is our own.

Babies in dumpsters, teenagers shooting shoppers at malls, moms leaving 3 and 4-year-old kids alone for two days, and divorce rates outstripping marriages all indicate that families are in serious trouble today. That trouble will continue to escalate until each one of us takes responsibility to do something about it. Remember, the only behavior we can influence is our own.
There’s an old proverb that goes something like, “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but by the grace of God, I can do something.” It’s easy for us to cruise along in our familiar lives, to argue with our teen, hug our second grader, toss a salad, go to work and come back again, scan the newspaper, slump in front of a baseball game on television, or zone out plugged into an Ipod. Days flit by.
It’s time to climb out of our comfort zones, roll up our sleeves, and get to work to clean up the mess our society has managed to create. It boggles my mind that in the past 30 years, our selfish “look out for No. 1” attitudes have destroyed morals and family values that bound humanity together for thousands upon thousands of years!
Two dozen organizations, including the National Foster Parents Association, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, recently released some sobering statistics:
If nothing changes (in our society) by the year 2020:
• Nearly 14 million confirmed cases of child abuse and neglect will be reported.
• Approximately 22,500 children will die of abuse or neglect, most before their fifth birthday.
• More than 9 million children will experience the foster care system.
• More than 300,000 children will age out of the foster care system, in poor health and ill-prepared for success in higher education, technical college or the workforce; and, at least a third of them will be homeless.
The statistics on how many will suffer failed relationships or be incarcerated are even scarier. So, what can you, one person, do?
Research demonstrates that connecting to caring, stable adults during childhood is the single greatest predictor of life success. You can be a stable, caring adult in a child’s life.
In the middle 80s Dr. Robert S. Pynoos, a psychiatrist at the University of California in Los Angeles, studied 159 children who witnessed the murder of a classmate and the wounding of 11 others by a sniper who targeted their elementary school.
A year after the incident, many children suffered nightmares and were unable to play or study normally. But Roberts found several children who “seemed to have an inner strength that sustained them through their terrifying ordeal.” Those children were connected to a stable adult—a parent, grandparent, or other loved one.
This research indicates that family connections with a safe, caring adult are more important than any other factor in developing healthy personalities in children. In fact, if children don’t find this stability at home, they’ll turn to gangs or other negative associations.
In her Reader’s Digest article (I kept it in my files but didn’t write a date on it) “Kids Who Beat the Odds,” Claire Safran described studies of children who had suffered trauma and abuse but had grown into healthy, functioning, even happy adults. All of the studies revealed that it didn’t matter whether a child was born poor, neglected by psychotic or addicted parents, or endured a calamity like a school shooting—if the child had at least one, safe, caring adult active in his or her life.
So, like a couple of hundred families in southeastern Utah, decide today to be that safe, caring adult and get licensed as a resource family. The process is neither easy nor without emotional risk, but you will never regret being “a beacon and safe harbor” for a harmed child.
Call the Utah Foster Care Foundation toll-free 877-656-8065, for more information. Or email me at corrieplayer.hotmail.com if you want encouragement!



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