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Bedford Ramblings
Steve Mills

The term endangered teen has been used a lot lately.

Posted Wednesday, May 3, 2017, at 8:38 PM
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  • When I was young (In the late 70's early 80's) and running up and down Madison St. circling McDonald's then back around to Burger Chef almost every night, we had nothing to do that we liked, except joyriding or playing pool at Brown's Pool Hall. When the bowling alley opened and we had a few pinball games (mostly poker games) we hung out there some but bowling was not really all that "cool" back then! I did learn draw poker and that 5 ball drop Bally machine that paid off and made gas money from time to time!

    We were asking then for a skateboard park and the answers back then to that was insurance was way to expensive. Fishing was an option but limited to Duck river....we did swim both in the Duck, sometimes in the few rock quarry's that were around or the public pool during the summers.

    At an age when rebellion set in as a norm it all bored you really quick doing the same thing everyday....not much has really changed as far as options to get youth plugged into activities to stay busy exspecially if you don't fit in with others well or are a loner most the time like I was back then!

    There are church youth groups locally if that's your cup of tea so to speak, with a few really great youth pastors that focus on individuals and use their ideas to build character in teens..."I have seen that work well in intercity areas and small towns! However, It takes a skilled mind to see and know those who are at an endangered status and get them involved.

    Parenting is crucial during endangered times or rebellion years and there are so many single parents that work constantly to make ends meet! This day and time even the nuclear family scenario (2 parent family) both parents have to constantly pull income and kids are left to manage themselves which can be great if there is good communication and structure in the family unit. It's those who are out there without the structure or peers that start a risk!

    It takes the whole community...grandparents, teachers, friends, preachers, neighbors, mothers, fathers and everyone else to stir the endangered at times in our community!...Not by barking directives but with compassion and it takes a lot of one on one from friends and parents to make it work!....We use to say there are a few that slip through the cracks and wisdom in gentle ways makes the biggest impact!...I got lucky and I'm real thankful for it!...I still need some work and I'm a grandfather!

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Thu, May 4, 2017, at 1:19 AM
  • When I was in 6th grade I had an older guy who decided to pick on me. He had been held back a few times and therefore was older than all of us and apparently one of the "troubled" kid.

    My older siblings would have normally "taken care" of the situation but they were just old enough to be in a different school so they were not able to help. My mother was a teacher in the school but rather than use that position to intimidate him, she took interest in him as a person,called him by name, asked about how school was going, etc..

    My problem went away and Joe actually became a protector of mine and was able to get out of grade school without further delinquent activity. I'm not sure how he turned out in life and actually tried to track him down a few years ago out of curiosity.

    By 8th grade I was the one who became rebellious and it was an 8th grade science teacher in his first year of teaching who paid extra attention to a few of us restless youth. It made a BIG difference in our attitude toward school and fitting into society.

    Fortunately, we have befriended each other on Face Book and I have been able to thank him. Being linked in that way, my opinion of him has been reinforced many times over by all the students who thank him as I did.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, May 5, 2017, at 12:18 PM
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