I had an appointment with a therapist one day, which was not surprising since my husband and I were raising 6 teenagers at the time. I asked him, “Why is it that some kids go through hard times and seem to use their experiences as building blocks to become stronger, while others are drowned by their experiences and never recover.”
He first answered, “Well, we know it’s not therapy that causes that outcome. We’ve done the research on that.” He chuckled and went on, “What we think makes the difference is one approving adult. It could be a teacher, neighbor, camp counselor, coach, parent or grandparent. It doesn’t matter. The child who has a constant caring adult to trust and confide in has a much better chance of a positive recovery, regardless of hard times.”
Wow. That is the secret? It made me think how lucky I had been, with so many approving adults in my life—both parents, devoted teachers, a youth minister, not to mention this therapist. I vowed I would be this person for all our kids, and I knew my husband would too.
In my first book, You Don’t LOOK Sick, Dr. Overman gave me time to tell him not just about the physical pain my illness was causing, but the emotional pain as well. He listened carefully, he let me know he believed me. He even wrote a book with me. In CeeGee’s Gift, Mr. Tindale not only spends a day listening to the struggles and guilt CeeGee is facing because of her gift, but he invites her back the next day to learn more. He makes a commitment to stay with her as she learns to give her gift generously.
So, I ask, have you had in your life, or are you, that one approving adult? I’d like to know.