Jesus said in Matthew 25:40 KJV, “Whatever you’ve done unto the least of these (kids or adults), you’ve done it unto me.”
I found a story I want to share with you, about a 7-year-old boy who was living with his mother in a temporary shelter due to his father’s domestic violence at home (typical life for kids like me). He asked Santa for books and a “very good dad.” The story was written by Alisha Ebrahimji, CNN.
“A 7-year old Texas boy temporarily living in a domestic violence shelter with his mom wrote a letter to Santa, the shelter shared, with a heartfelt plea for presents and something money can’t buy.
The boy asked Santa for chapter books, a dictionary, a compass and a watch — but perhaps the biggest ask for the man in red was for a “very very Very good dad.”
His mom found a handwritten letter in his backpack a few weeks ago and shared it with SafeHaven of Tarrant County staff, a shelter for domestic violence victims in Fort Worth, Texas, its president/CEO, Kathryn Jacob told CNN.
SafeHaven shared the letter on social media Wednesday morning, noting they changed the boy’s name to Blake for his family’s safety:
Dear Santa, we had to leave our house. Dad was mad. We had to do all the chores. Dad got everything he wanted. Mom said it was time to leave and she would take us to a safer place where we don’t have to be scared.
I’m still nervous. I don’t want to talk to the other kids. Are you going to come this Christmas? We don’t have any of our stuff here. Can you bring some chapter books, a dictionary, and a compass and a watch? I also want a very very Very good dad. Can you do that too?
Children Need Help Too!
Children in families experiencing alcohol or drug abuse need attention, guidance and support.
These children need to have their experiences validated. They also need safe, reliable adults in whom to confide and who will support them, reassure them, and provide them with appropriate help for their age. They need to have fun and just be kids.
Families with alcohol and drug problems usually have high levels of stress and confusion. High stress family environments are a risk factor for early and dangerous substance use, as well as mental and physical health problems.
It is important to talk honestly with children about what is happening in the family and to help them express their concerns and feelings. Children need to trust the adults in their lives and to believe that they will support them.
For More Information:
SAMHSA’s National Helpline
National Association for Children of Alcoholics: www.nacoa.org.
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence: www.ncadd.org.
Alcohol and Drug Addiction Happens in the Best of Families … and It Hurts.
It doesn’t have to be that way.~Reference DHHS Publication No. (SMA) 06-4159 Printed 2005 Reprinted 2006 NCADI Publication No. PHD1112.
From my own personal experience, I advocate for all kids like me to have a psychological evaluation (Medicaid pays for it.),which can identify problems/diagnoses the child is suffering with because of parental addiction and associated abuse/neglect.
Sometimes, kids like me have horrible social anxiety and can’t participate in groups, but it’s crucial they have a trauma informed counselor for individual counseling to help them understand that parental addiction is not their fault, to help them learn coping skills and help them identify personal strengths/talents.
Sometimes kids/teens are encouraged to get together and figure out solutions about our addict parents and the abuse/neglect dumped on us. What people don’t understand is that if kids like me get together to solve our problems, the end result will be addiction (just like our addict parents), cutting, and/or suicide. We’re kids. We need help from trauma informed professionals, but we can’t accomplish this by ourselves.
By the time my mother arrived with me and my baby sister in Alamosa, Alamosa Elementary fourth grade was my 16th school. I was so hungry I ate my hair and fingernails and pulled food scraps from trash cans and off the floor at school and at the Boys and Girls Club after school. People saw me doing this, but no one ever asked me if I needed help or if anything was wrong. This needs to change, now. If you suspect something is wrong, ask the child if he/she needs help.
You also need to understand that sometimes kids like me are too afraid to talk, but you should file a report anyway, immediately to Child Protective Services 719-589-7805. You don’t have to give your name. In my opinion, if you suspect something is wrong but choose to remain “uninvolved,” you are worse than the abuser.
Until next time, remember, Jesus loves you, and Jesus is Lord.