Thursday, November 22, 2018

Read it Yourself | A Proclamation + Invitation to Thanksgiving by Abraham Lincoln | 1863

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State 

Monday, November 05, 2018

If nothing else, I hope they’ll vote on healthcare

If nothing else, vote on health care.

If some people are not ready to vote down racism, misogyny, corruption in the White House Cabinet and Staff, torrents of abuse and spectacularly flagrant lying by the chief executive, and/or a know-nothing/do-nothing Congress — all outlined and helpfully linked by Greg Sargent [] — I hope they will at least vote on health care.

Consider what Rachel Maddox carefully documented on October 23 []:

GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: In Wisconsin, preexisting conditions are covered. And as long as I`m governor, they always will be.

MADDOW: Actually, under Governor Scott Walker, Wisconsin is the lead named plaintiff on the federal lawsuit that would eliminate Obamacare, including specifically its protections for people with preexisting conditions.

JOSH HAWLEY (R), MISSOURI SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: I’m Josh Hawley. I support forcing insurance companies to cover all preexisting conditions.

MADDOW: Actually, Josh Hawley is the attorney general in the state of Missouri who is personally handling that state’s part in the federal lawsuit to kill Obamacare, including its protections for preexisting conditions.

GOV. RICK SCOTT (R), FLORIDA: I support forcing insurance companies to cover preexisting conditions.

MADDOW: Actually, under Florida Governor Rick Scott, his state is suing to allow insurance companies specifically to no longer cover preexisting conditions.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Everyone agrees we’re going to protect preexisting conditions.

REP. MARTHA MCSALLY (R), ARIZONA: I want the voters to know I’m committed to protecting people with preexisting conditions. I’m fighting for it. I fought for it, and I voted for it.

MADDOW: Nope. Martha McSally, no, you did not. You actually voted to get rid of Obamacare, including its protections for people with preexisting conditions. So did you, Ted Cruz, Texas senator up for reelection. So did you, Dean Heller, Nevada senator up for reelection. So did you, Dana Rohrabacher, Russian congressman up for reelection. So did you, Congressman Kevin Cramer, running for Senate now against Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota.

You all voted to end insurance coverage for people with preexisting
conditions. You all voted for it. You all voted to kill Obamacare,
including that provision of it.

And, Jennifer Rubin reminds us [] that, having blown a massive hole in the budget with unwarranted high-income tax cuts, on October 16, Mitch McConnell told us what he wants to do to gut healthcare protections as leader of the Senate majority "If we had the votes to completely start over, we’d do it," McConnell said. "But that depends on what happens in a couple of weeks…."

The G.O.P. is not, at present on our side. Only we can send them back home in sufficient numbers to get their attention, and remind them of the common good.

Friday, November 02, 2018

The president finally gets his military parade.

Deploying active duty service members against a grave national threat as footsore asylum-seekers inch their way toward the U.S. border (only 900 hundred miles to go!), Donald J. Trump finally gets his military parade — and just in time for the midterms!

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Geo. Washington’s Letter to Jews in Newport R.I.

Excerpts from President George Washington’s August 1790 letter to Jewish leaders in Newport, Rhode Island
The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy—a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship.
It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.
May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants—while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.
May the father of all mercies scatter light, and not darkness, upon our paths, and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in His own due time and way everlastingly happy.
G. Washington

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Bullies don’t work alone.

Imagine there was a bully at your school who was surrounded by flunkies who harassed and hounded the bully’s targets, and egged him on, and told baldfaced lies to cover for him.

Next, imagine you had the power to turn the flunkies into homeschoolers, just like that. And just like that, the bully was left to fend for himself....


Now, imagine there’s a bully in the White House ... and imagine the White House bully is surrounded by flunkies who do what he says, and egg him on, and cover for him the way flunkies do.

And imagine you have the power to send the flunkies home ... so, just like that, the bully is left to fend for himself....

We have that power.

Send the flunkies home. November 6 2018.

Monday, October 08, 2018

Sudden Onset Male Gender Dysphoria | A Story

“I look in the mirror and just hate what I see.”

Early that Fall, there was a run on thrift stores.

It seemed to spread from high school boys and young men to their older brothers, uncles, dads, and grandfathers… but it happened fast, so who really knows….

What it was was all sorts of men all of a sudden buying and wearing clothing and accessories they found in the women’s section in places like Goodwill and Salvation Army. A scarf, a brooch, a hat, a skirt, a full ensemble ...  more Annie Hall than RuPaul in most instances, but always, always sober; always respectful.

As it gained velocity, preachers — ever hungry for sermon spice — swallowed half-digested news reports and social media overreactions, then spit them back out as culture war battle cries. (Though not all … in one congregation, when the head usher — and chairman of the board — showed up in a plaid skirt and navy blazer to honor his granddaughter one Sunday morning, the minister is said to have cut a couple of paragraphs from his homily on the fly.)

A bro clothing company rolled out a line of Toxic(TM) Brand wife beaters. The gag was met with eye-rolling and wisecracks, or simply ignored. In the end, more bros bought the undershirts than actually wore them. 

What caught many observers by surprise was the clarity with which so many men described their choice.

“It was my wife’s,” an old man said, his fingers rising to touch a sparkly brooch at his lapel. “She was molested by her grandfather — for years. After he died, people in the family said they knew something was up… but did they say anything at the time? No they did not. He was respected in the community. People looked the other way while he was violating a child. Now I’m saying something. The coverup is over.”

“I’m sick of it,” said a man with a flowered scarf. “I’m sick of men expecting women to kowtow. I’m sick of men expecting deference from women, and then playing the whiney victim when that’s questioned. There is no male prerogative to treat people that way. The clock is winding down on every institution that supports that.”

“Look, I’m not ashamed to be a man,” a guy in a pleated skirt told his friends. "What I’m ashamed of is that I accepted toxic masculinity as a substitute for manhood. So that’s on me, and I’m done with it,” he said, "I’ve starting to make amends."

A man wearing a small Ellen James Society button his daughter helped him find on Etsy, said, “I look in the mirror and just hate what I see. I look in the mirror and the jowly man looking back is my father. I was in my 30s before I understood how badly he treated women — I mean, I should have seen it, but I didn’t. I went along with his whole shtick — the whole ‘Women! Huh? Am I right boys?’ 

"One day, I thought about the women I’ve known, and the women I know… and I realized, ‘No, Dad, you’re not right ... you were never right about this. I mean, I guess I could blame his parents for raising him to raise me so poorly…. I bought the whole thing — at first because he was my father, and then because, you know, privilege is not having to mind ... not needing to even think about things unprivileged human beings have to think about every day, all day, because they’ve learned what not paying attention can cost them. So, no, Dad. I may look like you now, but I’m not you … not anymore. And I will never again treat women and girls the way I learned from you. This little button I’m wearing is a down payment on the debt I owe the women in my life.”

Whatever it was, the impulse peaked on Halloween, at workplaces and after-hours parties all over North America where men wore something that signified their pledge to stand alongside women and girls, and all sorts of marginalized people.

The peak was on Halloween, but not the end. Six days later, they went out and voted. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Polls

In August of 1972, I was so angry, troubled, and alarmed about the policies of my government that I traveled hundreds of miles, slept outdoors, tried and failed to hold my breath through clouds of tear gas, and was very nearly arrested, while protesting at the Republican National Convention in Miami. 

Three months later, in November, I did not vote. 

I had just moved ... I was unclear on voter registration requirements, and ... blah, blah, blah.... Excuses, all of it.

It turned out I was right about the corruption of Richard Nixon and the cynics who enabled him, seeking power and profit at the expense of poorer, less educated, more vulnerable people. 

I had good reasons to be angry, and troubled and alarmed. I had good reasons to push through the tear gas and resist those people and their abuses of power.

I had good reasons to vote.

I’m pretty sure I was smart enough, even without the internet,  to get all that sorted in a timely manner. As a freshman, I managed to stand on line for hours to get into college classes I wanted. As a sophomore, I managed to talk my way into a new college a week after classes began. But, as a junior, after the tear gas and drama of public protest, somehow I didn’t manage to hit the voter registration deadline

Those days in Miami stand out as my most memorable days of protest against injustice and corruption. But my most meaningful days of protest of positive action in the cause of liberty and justice for all — are the days when I registered to vote in each state where I lived after 1972 — Georgia, Colorado, California, back to Colorado, California again, and Washington — and the days when I’ve voted in local, state, and national elections.

I would face tear gas again. I’ll never again face a fellow citizen, or someone who wished she could be a U.S. citizen, and say my voice didn’t matter enough to solve whatever puzzles I had to solve in order register and vote.

Are you registered to vote at your current residence? You can register here

Sunday, June 17, 2018

separating displaced children from their parents

“In 2018, can we not as a nation find a kinder, more compassionate and more moral answer to this current crisis? I, for one, believe we can.”
Former First Lady Laura Bush

Thursday, June 07, 2018

On contemporary white Evangelical thought

I keep stumbling on passages that stand in the face of contemporary white Evangelical thought — like this today, from William Barclay’s commentary on 1 Peter 4:
...again and again in the New Testament the duty of hospitality is pressed upon the Christians. The Christian is to be given to hospitality (Rom.12:13). A bishop is to be given to hospitality (1Tim.3:2);  the widows of the Church must have lodged strangers  (1Tim.5:10). The Christian must not forget to entertain strangers and must remember  that some who have done so have entertained angels unawares. (Heb.13:2). The bishop must be a lover of hospitality (Tit.1:8). And it is ever to be remembered that it was said to those on the right hand: “I was a stranger, and you welcomed me” while the condemnation of those on the left hand was: “I was a stranger, and you did not welcome me” (Matt.25:35,43).
From that, how did we come to this....

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Where are all the Promise Keepers?

The company I worked for in the 1990s made dozens of movies for Promise Keepers. I interviewed dozens and dozens of you guys from coast to coast. I stood next to you — tens of thousands at a time — at stadium events all over the U.S. 

You made commitments to stand with your brown skinned brothers no matter what. 

So... where are you now?

You made commitments to stand with your spouses, and sisters, and mothers, and daughters, no matter what?

Where are you now?

You made those commitments in the name of Jesus....

What can we expect from you? 

Where are you now?

Sunday, May 20, 2018

A Recap of What We’ve Learned About School Shooters + a Few Real World Suggestions

The picture of lethal violence among American adolescents is never more sobering than the morning after an event like the one that took place in Texas last Friday. The details of that story are yet to be revealed so there’s little to be said today about what led up that fateful incident.

In a bigger picture, the U. S. Secret Service and the U.S. Department of Education conducted an exhaustive study of school shootings from 1974 - 2000. [1] Here are some of their findings: 

• Targeted school violence is rarely as sudden and impulsive as it appears.  
— About half of attackers develop the idea for at least a month.
— Most prepare their attack for at least two days.

• Few attackers are loners or losers. 
— Most appear to be mainstream kids. 
— Most live in two-parent homes. 
— Most are doing reasonably well in school. 
— Few have been in serious trouble at school. 
— Few have histories of violence toward others or cruelty to animals. 
— Many are involved in organized social groups in or out of school. 
— Nearly all act alone, but most have close friends.

• Almost all attackers engage in behavior that signals a need for help. — Most tell at least one peer what they’re thinking about. 
— In most cases at least one adult is concerned by pre-attack behavior. — About 60% display interest in violent media or personal writings.

• More than half of attackers are motivated by revenge.
— Most feel bullied, threatened, attacked, or injured by others. 
— More than half target one or more adults employed by the school. 
— Two-thirds tell someone about their grievance before the attack. 
— Less than one in five threatens his target(s) directly.

• Most attackers are sad before they’re angry. 
— Nearly 2/3 have a documented history of depression or desperation. 
— More than three-quarters have a history of suicidal expressions. 
— Almost all experience or perceive a significant loss prior to the attack. 
— Most exhibit considerable difficulty coping with that loss.

• Nearly all attackers use guns. 
— Handguns are most common, followed by rifles and shotguns.
— Nearly half carry more than one weapon into the attack.
— 68% of the guns are acquired at home or at the home of a relative.

Here’s the thing: If you’re looking for obvious patterns to help you spot kids who are likely to take guns to school with the intent to harm themselves or others, there is none. 

The Secret Service/Department of Education report concludes, “There is no accurate or useful ‘profile’ of students who engaged in targeted school violence.”

By no accurate or useful ‘profile’ they mean simply that adolescent school shooters are typically Caucasian male students who struggle with a self-defined loss and have relatively easy access to a firearm. 

Which means we need to keep an eye on roughly one in three American high school kids? Not very helpful... 

But it is what it is — both simpler and more complicated than almost anyone is prepared to accept: 

Preventing lethal adolescent violence depends on sustained, attentive relationships with ordinary schoolboys. 

This is quite simple because these guys are in constant contact with adults and peers who have a pretty good chance at reading the signals of potential violence.

And it’s complicated because sustained, attentive relationships require taking time for deep listening against the backdrop of observable behavior. 

It’s also complicated because it means taking the risk of thinking the unthinkable and speaking the unspeakable.

No one wants to think her son is capable of harming himself or others. But he may be. No one enjoys the prospect of asking her student if he’s having thoughts about suicide, or asking a youth group kid if he’s thinking about taking revenge on someone who caused him harm. But that’s what we have to do, want to or not.

Some practical suggestions:

Secure your guns
In 2017, 15,618 individuals died from firearm injuries in the United States—the death toll more than doubles if we include suicides.[2] Homes with guns are nearly five times more likely to experience suicide than homes without guns.[3] 68% of school shooters from 1974 through Columbine got their weapons at home from from the home of a relative.[1] 

This is not a Constitutional crisis — it’s due diligence. If you own guns, secure them and tell your relatives you expect them to do the same.[4]

Don’t frustrate kids needlessly 
Parents, teachers, coaches, employers, youth workers: consider this ancient wisdom: “…don’t come down too hard on your children or you’ll crush their spirits” (Colossians 3:21, The Message). 

Perhaps the most common way adults come down too hard on kids is expecting more than an individual child can deliver at his or her stage of life. 

No matter how intelligent or accomplished he is, a teenaged boy is still a boy; relatively inexperienced, and subject to tidal surges of emotion; not yet fully mature in reasoning and judgment. Instead of coming down hard when a kid fails to live up to adult performance standards, bend down a little and meet him where he is. 

On our best days, we know what our children feel because we once felt it ourselves in a life that may seem long ago and far away but which nonetheless connects us to our children and each other. 

Remembering requires periodic trips through emotional neighborhoods many of us would just as soon not revisit. But it’s worth the journey because that kind of remembering helps us identify with an adolescent’s feelings and frame them in a larger context (all without diminishing the immediate circumstances and responsibilities). Sometimes that means holding a kid’s feet to the fire; other times it means knowing when to let up and show some mercy.

Look for signs of depression, desperation, and suicide 
Overall, adolescents stand a greater chance of dying by suicide than murder and a much greater chance of ending their own lives than ending the lives of others. None of us wishes to lose a child either way. 

This post is based on a chapter of a book I wrote with Rich Van Pelt called The Parent’s Guide to Helping Teenagers in Crisis. The Parent’s Guide includes chapters on dealing with Anger, Bullying, Death, Divorce, Hazing, Sexual Abuse, and Sexual Identity Crises — any of which may contribute to the possibility that a depressed or desperate young man may be a danger to himself or to others.

Pay attention to self-expression
Over a third of targeted school attackers have expressed themselves in violent writings — poems, essays, or journal entries — prior to their attacks. That’s three times as many as those who expressed interest in violent video games and half again as many as expressed interest in violent movies and books.[1] 

Creative writers shouldn’t be punished for creativity; writers should be able to discuss what they’ve written in age-appropriate literary terms. Trust your senses. If what a kid says about what he wrote (or drew or sang or painted) doesn’t pass the smell test, get help to sort it out sooner rather than later.

Create safe places
Kids need sanctuaries where they can vent and grieve and gain perspective without having to endure moralizing sermons. Do everything you can to create safe places where kids you care about are immune from physical, emotional and spiritual danger, judgment, and inhumanity.

I don’t think it’s too much to expect that safety should the norm among the adult and peer friendships, extended families, schools, workplaces and youth groups inhabited by our children. 

I don’t think that's too much to expect, but here in the real world we have to work hard and tirelessly to produce and sustain safe environments for our children. Mostly we seem to get that done a little at a time over a period of years. That’s fine…whatever it takes, for as long as it takes.

[Hint: If your child sees you enduring a relationship where you’re not safe — with a family member, "friend," spouse or romantic partner, neighbor, or church leader — chances are your child feels unsafe as well.

Keep checking in
You can’t know if your son is depressed or desperate about a real or perceived loss or injustice if you go for days at a time without meaningful contact. And that’s hard — everyone is busy and stressed and fatigued. 

Do it anyway. If you can’t come up with anything else, if you’re fortunate enough to have a dishwasher, disconnect it and get your son to dry while you wash. Talk about your day and ask honest, open-ended questions about his day. Do that enough days in a row, and he’ll start to believe you want an honest answer when you ask how things are going. Di whatever it takes to stay in touch.

Build Alliances with other adults
It takes a village. Shut up; it does.

It takes more than one or two adults to bring a child to adulthood. If you don’t have partners and collaborators, this will be much harder than it has to be; much harder than it should be. 

Find trustworthy people who agree with you about this and build mutually beneficial alliances to support each other for the wellbeing of your kids.

[1] B. Vossekuil, R. Fein, M. Reddy, R. Borum, and W. Modzeleski, The Final Report and Findings of the Safe School Initiative: Implications for the Prevention of School Attacks in the United States. U.S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program and U.S. Secret Service, National Threat Assessment Center, Washington DC, 2002, (accessed 20 May, 2018).


[3] J. Doan, S. Roggenbaum, & K. Lazear. (2003). Youth suicide prevention schoolbased guide(c/p/r/s)—True/False 1: Information dissemination in schools—The Facts about Adolescent Suicide. Tampa, FL: Department of Child and Family Studies, Division of State and Local Support, Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida. (FMHI Series Publication #219-1t), (accessed 20 May 2018).

[4] …And think very seriously about voting for candidates ready to resist the gun cartel and take common sense measures to secure "our guns" collectively. Again: not a constitutional crisis.This is about gun safety for the common good.

Also, see Crisis HelpSheets for Youth Workers, especially Rage, Bullying | Aggressor, Bullying | Target, and Suicide + Homicide Threat

Friday, May 18, 2018

Trauma Crisis HelpSheet for Youth Workers | Free Today

Traumatic Events Crisis HelpSheet is free through the weekend. Sad and angry it’s come to mass gun violence again…. Please share with youth worker friends.

Monday, May 07, 2018

Responding to Bullies | A Crisis HelpSheet

There's lots of attention on responding to the targets of bullying ... not as much on responding to aggressors beyond zero-tolerance banishment or other forms of retribution that don't address the need to make things right, as much as possible, and prevent further aggression in the context of community rather than in exile.

This Crisis HelpSheet — Bullying | Aggressor — covers what to do when you believe, or have good faith knowledge, that a teenager has bullied someone.

Also, see the Crisis HelpSheet, Bullying | Target.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Childlike ≠ Childish

I've been thinking lately, about Flannel Graph Jesus

Because, honestly, why would we expect young men and women to stay engaged in a childish conservation about faith and spiritual formation? 

We see a difference between "childlike" faith and "childish" faith, don’t we?

Are you involved with a group of people who are interested in spiritual formation? I wonder what stories, observations, questions, or lessons you might unearth after watching Flannel Graph Jesus together....

You can view the post-ironic millennial’s mild rant about Flannel Graph Jesus here:

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Ahh! | Crisis HelpSheets for Youth Workers

I see a lot of Facebook pleas from youth workers who just got a call from a parent or teenager in a crisis....
Ahh! I have a parent coming to meet me in an hour — her daughter was molested ... they need help now ... what do I do!!!
This is not, it turns out, a good time to recommend a book — or even a chapter in a book. 

When the clock is ticking, the right amount of help, offered right now, is worth more than a crisis master class next month.

That’s why I launched Crisis HelpSheets for Youth Workers — because sometimes what a person needs is a one-page download with enough information to get through the day.

Crisis HelpSheets for Youth Workers Cover

— what to look for

— what to ask about

— what to do first

— what to do going forward

The life-or-death Crisis HelpSheets are free — the are just $2 each.

PRO TIP: You can wait for that panicky phone call from a parent with a teenager in crisis … OR … you can download a double-handful of Crisis HelpSheets right now and put them in a folder for when you need them, so….

BRO TIP: If you’re in
 a social network with folks who care for teenagers, tell them about Crisis HelpSheets for Youth Workers. They’re not gonna hate you for that.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Crisis HelpSheets for Youth Workers (and friends)

I keep seeing social media posts from youth workers who need help fast. They just took a call from a parent or teenager looking for help in a crisis....
Ahh! I have a parent coming to meet me in an hour — her daughter was molested ... they need help now ... what do I do!!!
 It turns out that's a bad time to recommend a book — or even a chapter in a book. The clock is ticking ... the right amount of help right now is more valuable than a crisis master class next weekend.

In response, I've launched a collection of Crisis HelpSheets for Youth Workers — one-page downloads that cover

— what to look for

— what to ask about

— what to do first

— what to do going forward

At present, about half the Crisis HelpSheets are free — three weeks after the mass murder in Parkland, in I'm not going to charge you for a HelpSheet on how to talk with someone you believe may be a threat to himself or others....

The HelpSheets that aren't free are just $2.

- If you're a youth worker, help yourself at

- If you have a friend in youth work, send her on over.

- If you follow a social network of people who care for teenagers please let them know about the Crisis HelpSheets for Youth Workers.


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Rage | A New Crisis HelpSheet for Youth Workers

Rage | A New Crisis HelpSheet for Youth Workers

Kids don’t usually get in trouble for being angry, frustrated, or afraid. 
Kids get in trouble when they break people’s stuff.
They get in trouble for making public threats.

They get in trouble when they hurt people, animals, and themselves.
Kids get in trouble when they rage.
Rage is uncontrolled fury, expressed in lashing out, violence, destruction, or self-harm. 
A new one-page Crisis HelpSheet for Youth Workers can help you figure out what to do when a kid rages. It’s part of a collection from Jim Hancock + that includes free and low-cost Crisis HelpSheets on...
….with more in the pipeline, coming soon.

Crisis HelpSheets for Youth Workers aren’t everything — they’re not, for example, legal or medical advice, or counseling manuals. What they are, is an answer to the question, "What do I say to the parent who's bringing her kid to talk with me this afternoon about bullying, self-harm, sexual abuse, suicide…."

Rage is the newest Crisis HelpSheet for Youth Workers. Drop by thetinycompanycalledme and pick up your copy — or send a youth worker friend who could use some help figuring out what to do when people are in a tough spot.


Jim Hancock

PS: Stay tuned for more Crisis HelpSheets in the months ahead.... 

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Crisis HelpSheets for Youth Workers

A dozen years ago, Rich Van Pelt + I literally wrote the book on youth workers helping teenagers in crisis. It's called  The Youth Worker’s Guide to Helping Teenagers in Crisis. It’s still available at Amazon + Zondervan.

What’s been missing is quick reference guides — one-pagers — on what to do when a teenager has been sexually abused … or bullied … or hazed … or neglected … or….

So, reflecting new experiences + ongoing research in crisis response, I’m rolling out a line of Crisis HelpSheets for Youth Workers at

So far, there are 10 Crisis HelpSheets.
1. Asking Good Questions
2. Bullying
3. Confidentiality
4. Cutting + Self-Harm
5. Hazing
6. Sexual Abuse
7. Referral | Getting Professional Help
8. Reporting Abuse + Neglect
9. Suicide + Homicide Threat
10. Traumatic Events
Look for more in the pipeline in the months ahead.

For the record: Crisis HelpSheets for Youth Workers offer good-faith practices based on four decades of engagement with youth workers, teenagers + families in crisis — plus a lot of work to stay current on the research. I don’t offer medical or legal advice — I am not licensed in either field.

Crisis HelpSheets for Youth Workers are inexpensive — a handful are free; the rest are just $2 each.