The youth-written stories in YCteen give inspiration and information to teens in foster care while offering staff insight into those teens’ struggles.

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Teacher Lesson Return to "Living for Myself, Not My Mother"
Living for Myself, Not My Mother
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Protecting Yourself Without Cutting Ties

Have the group read “Living for Myself, Not My Mother” by Camilla Tecsy. Ask why Camilla decided to move out of her parents’ house and sign herself into foster care. (Her dad was an alcoholic; her mother didn’t take care of her; sometimes there was no food or electricity for her physical therapy.) Ask if people think she made the right decision and why. Ask them how she’s coped with the decision. (She doesn’t hide things anymore and asks for what she needs; she got a therapist; she goes to all her foster care meetings and participates in planning for her college and housing.)

Have the group discuss the way Camilla tries to have a safe, respectful, adult relationship with her mother. (She shares good things about her life and avoids talking about foster care; she doesn’t call her mother or take her calls when she doesn’t feel ready to deal with her; she focuses on the good in her mother.) What could she do differently? Ask them what Camilla expects and if she can get it by using these strategies with her mother.
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