As CASAs, how about striving to inspire and lift up the spirits of our kiddos?
These little people come from environments that are full of criticizing and scolding. Their ears have heard domestic violence in one form or another. They have experienced hot tempers and vulgarity due to traumatic situations. Voices have escalated and the little beings have been caught in the middle. Even if the rage was not toward them directly, they still suffer the negative consequences. The abused and neglected have an elevated hunger to be loved, appreciated, and praised. They are starved and malnourished of this basic human need. In the words of one of my CASA kiddos, “My dog gets more attention than I do.” This motivates me to encourage him at every turn.
To my fellow CASA – on your next child visit, go with the specific intent to encourage that struggling soul. Have some positive words on the tip of your tongue, have your ears open for a specific reason to praise, and go with the goal of being inspiring and uplifting. Take a few moments before your visit to ponder the specific situation. Be prepared to love that child with positive words and praise. Give him a breath of wind in his sail to keep moving on.
Corinna Byler was sworn in as a Court Appointed Special Advocate in 2015 and is currently a volunteer Peer Coordinator.