Ok, with this post i would like to get some real conversation going. I want feedback and input from anybody and everybody, but most especially from parents! I sat in, what i felt was, a very productive meeting today with a couple of the key role players in the "street children" sector. To be exact, we sat and talked for almost five hours. Majority of our conversation, and the reason for our meeting was to talk about a small hand full of kids in town that are considered "hardened street kids". These are children that have pretty much been in and out of every facility, addicted to heavy drugs, totally sucked into street life, and extremely out of control of their lives (because of their drug addiction). Their families know their children need help but don't know how and feel disempowered. If you caught one of the kids in a rational moment even they themselves would admit they need help, but the addiction has a stronger hold on their lives than ration, reason, programs, family or any other outside force.
So one of the big questions today was "what do we do with these kids?". It is a small, workable group. But we know that whatever is done will have to be extreme, holistic, and most probably not optional. You see, these children have been allowed to make the choice to go and live on the streets, use heavy drugs, and partake in this destructive behaviour. They were not mature enough to make that decision in the first place, so we can equally not expect them to be mature enough to make the decision to leave this destructive cycle while they are still alive, especially considering the power an addiction can have (specifically crack cocaine) over a grown adult, much less a child! At what point do we as adults intervene, whether the child likes it or not, whether he or she is happy with us or not, for his or her own good. I know my mom would have gone to drastic measures to insure my safety and health, and though i may have been irritated with certain punishments or consequences from my actions, i know that she acted in love and looking back i appreciate it.
So now let's just put the case of these children aside for a second. i want you to get really personal with this. I want you to imagine that YOUR kids (let's just say ages anywhere from 12-17) are in this position (if you don't have kids you will have to take it a step further and imagine you have kids); they are addicted to crack cocaine, their drug addiction has taken them to the streets, grown adults give them money to feed their habits, grown adults sell them the drugs, sometimes grown adults smoke the drugs with them, your child often sells his or her body to get money for the drugs to wrinkly, old men, your child is totally spiralling out of control in a self destructive manner and you are literally watching him or her come closer to death with every day that passes by. Ok, got the mental picture? Now here is where i want your input...
1) Would you care?
2) If so, what extent would you go to to see your child get help?
3) If your child resisted all forms of "help", knowing that he or she is a minor, would you go to the extent of forcing him or her to go to a treatment facility/healing program against his or her will?
4) How would you feel about the "grown adults" in your child's life that are enabling his or her addiction? and
5) what would you suggest doing with them?
I would really appreciate your feedback!!