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TEEN ISSUES-----the at-risk problem 2

Punims Posted - 11 August 2000 12:37

The program NCSY is made for ppl. that were not frum and are becoming frum. The program ReJEWvenation is for ppl. who were frum but became not frum.

What about the ppl. who are frum and remained frum? They get no attention. I just finished reading the site on Project ReJewvenation and it sounds like all the rabbis care about are ppl. who messed up their life and got into drugs and all that.

Some of us feel left out. The site did it's job by helping ppl come back to Judaism except its not helping those who are already frum.

In fact, it's doing the opposite, now I feel that if I'm always good and I always do the right thing... no one cares. No one makes a big deal about it.

MODERATOR Posted - 11 August 2000 17:47

Well, you are right that a lot of attention is being focused on the problematic kids to the exclusion of the safe ones. Anony-mouse, and others on these boards, expressed your sentiment in their own ways. This whole at-risk youth (sic) issue has been so mishandled in so many ways, and it's really getting out of hand (I am following this trend and the community's activities very closely, and am involved very deeply). What you are describing is one of the prices we are paying for pandering to political agendas and for "shooting from the hip".

It’s like the community is traveling on a bridge with a big hole in it. Kids fall into the hole and get hurt. The community’s solutions have mostly been to build a hospital under the bridge. So you don’t get help until you get hurt. I understand what you are saying. It is a problem, and many kids are paying the price. Some are even jumping into the hole on purpose because it’s sometimes better to be in the hospital than on the bridge. At least in the hospital, people care.

That having been said, your schools are supposed to be the ones that give you that kind of attention. And your homes. The reason, at least in theory, why the problematic kids receive so much attention is because they do not get it from the normal sources such as school and home. The assumption is that the other kids are getting it there. But the assumption is often not true.

That’s one of the reasons that we started these boards. Currently, the count is 1,123 posts, in about 2 months, with zero advertising or publicity! That shows the tremendous demand for frum teens to find help for the issues they are facing.

You’d be surprised at the amount of people who agree with you about this. That’s why we were able to get the money, effort, and time to run these boards. It’s just that currently, the fashionable thing to talk about is drugs. It’s a good “scapegoat” to blame, and a profitable one, too, for a number of people. And it’s non-sectarian, something that everyone agrees is bad, so it’s safe to impugn without getting into debates about religion, Yeshivas, homes or communities.

But don’t worry. People like you may not get on the TV, but you’re not alone. There’s a “silent majority” of people who are with you. Stick around long enough and I will make sure you meet enough of them to keep you company until you’re an old lady.

People say our community was in “denial” of the problem of troubled teens. They were. But they have not come out of the denial. They still don’t get it. They are not addressing the problem, but rather its symptoms.

qwert Posted - 14 August 2000 12:44

Yea, punims is right I just got back from a priority one shabbaton, and most of them are turning back and loving Judaism, so why cant they teach me to love Judaism like that, they want me to go on drugs and needa be in special care so I can see the light like these guys do?

Dina Posted - 14 August 2000 17:04

Don't believe it qwert, it's all *****. I know lots of kids like that and most of them don’t want get better and a lot get worse. they only show you the ones who get better to make money they don’t show you all who get worse or don't get any better.

qwert Posted - 15 August 2000 12:57

But some are getting better, and they even say it themselves you havta wanna get better, and I do, so I will look for it.

Those who are forced to go and don’t wanna go at all wont take nothing to prove its bs when really it might not be, but if they showed 5 kids who were all the way out there totally smoking, drugs, stealing, fighting... and those 5 got better then that shows something, yea, they said they saw their life going no where so they looked for the right way, so don’t go saying its ***** cuz its helping a=lot.

And when your friends quit denial they will look for the light and priority 1 will be right there along side, on their side.. helping.

Now in norm schools they woulda been kicked out already, they wulda said there’s no hope, so look at that, right there that shows something.

Dina Posted - 15 August 2000 17:03

I don't believe it. I would bet that for every one that gets better 10 get worse, and they're only showing you what they want you to see.

MODERATOR Posted - 15 August 2000 17:14

The statement "You have to want to get better" is not true. It implies that if a kid does not want to get better, he is not yet "helpable". This gives people (adults) an excuse not to work with kids unless they "want help". While it is true that you have to want help before you get it, you can still help someone to want to be helped. Some of those who do not know how to do this think, in their arrogance, that because they cannot do it therefore it cannot be done.

In the "Yedid nefesh" song it says "nichsof nichsafti", which means "Hashem, I want, I want to see your glory." The meforshim say that the double "I want" means, "I don't really want to be so religious now to see Your glory, but at least I want to want".

There are kids that want to be helped.

There are kids who don't want, but wish they did want.

There are kids who don't want even that, but wish they did.

And there are kids who don't want at all.

They all have beautiful Neshomos, and they can all be reached. Of course, nobody can MAKE anyone change, and even those who do want to be helped may not, in the end, choose to put in the effort. But nobody is beyond help, and nobody is hopeless.

It's easy to help those who come begging for help. It's less easy, but as important, to show those who don't want to be helped, why they should want to be.

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