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  • Jennifer Stafford

The kids are hurting and the adults forgot that they were once children…

A lot of kids are feeling consumed by unpleasant emotion right now. It isn't a new feeling for a child to experience, there is an amplification happening to where we are overtly reminded on a daily basis that they are in pain.

Whether their outlet is suffering in silence, suicidal ideation or behaviorally inflicting their pain upon others; their cry for help is LOUD. Present day, there are so many things that impact the development of one's sense of self. Don't you remember trying to understand what life was about? What about when you were trying to find your place in it? Some of us adults continue to struggle with these questions today.

If you as an adult feel like life has fallen short of what you imagined it to be like when you were younger, imagine being a young kid daring to dream in the world today. We are not just talking about the pandemic; kids have been hurting out loud for a while now. Hurt kids eventually become hurt adults so disregarding the impacts of childhood on our psyche is a recipe for insanity.

I ask you, does the world feel a bit insane today? As I shared, children have been hurting for a while now. The boldness of the hurt that the kids display today I experience as a courageous outcry for help and healing.

If you as an adult feel conflicted, overwhelmed and unappreciated then what do you imagine is happening to the heart and mind of most of the youth today?

Long forgotten is the idea of a "role model," we are at the point to where being a fellow human being is far more critical. Young children are also human beings, just like you you adult. When you were a kid, the adults around you were fellow human beings no matter what role they played in your life.

Remembering that you were impacted as a child is akin to returning yourself to your humanity. Even if they are wise, a child will never have the vantage point of life experience that an adult has. The nurturing and guidance that humans need to thrive in this life must come from somewhere and it starts in childhood.

Kids are hurting right now. If you are an adult, encourage yourself to compassionately remember what it was like for you growing up trying to understand what this whole life thing was about. Adults and their power just because they're older, even if they're wrong they're right because they said so. How frustrating was that for you? There are so many pre-teens and teenagers that are frustrated with the adults in their lives right now. Yet, this frustration is not new, we remember it from when we were younger don't we? I once talked a suicidal six-year-old out of jumping off of a fire escape, the little guy was irrationally trying to escape his emotional hurt and pain because feeling feelings wasn't something he was learning from the adults in his life.

Understanding and reminding ourselves, as adults, of the innocent humanity of children is so significant to our emotional wellbeing. All of us adults were once children. Once upon a time we were all innocent, joyous little humans that only cared about playing, pooping, peeing and sleeping.

This is for all my adults out there... Return to your humanity and remember that you first are a fellow human being. Taking care of yourself emotionally matters. It may be one of the most important things for you to pay attention to in your life. You need you and the kids need us. Year after year, there will always be a generational interdependence that we all rely upon. Hate it or love it, it's a human being thing.

"It ain't easy to build your own fire when it's freezing."- Jimmie Allen


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