The youth-written stories in Represent 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 "She Misplaced My Childhood"
She Misplaced My Childhood
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Protecting Yourself

Reading and Discussion: 20 minutes
Have the group read “She Misplaced My Childhood” by C.F. Ask them to identify specific examples of ways the author’s mom let him down. [She didn’t show up to court; she disappeared for days at a time; she promised to take her kids out to eat and didn’t show up]. Ask them how C.F. protected himself [he said “I don’t need you” and took care of himself; he began to advocate for himself in care; he stopped telling his mom personal details or letting her touch his stuff]. Why did he create this boundary with his mom? [the disappointment felt horrible; he saw what nice motherly support felt like from his aunts and his best friend’s mother]. Ask teens if they agree with his choice to distance himself from his mom. Why or why not?

Ask the group what they think of C.F.’s story. Is it sad? Did he do the right thing? Ask them if both things can be true. Ask them how they would try to cope with their disappointment if they were the author.

Closing Activity: (10 min)
Write the following prompt on the board, and give teens five minutes to respond in a freewrite. If there’s time, ask for volunteers to share.

Think about a time when you drew a boundary with someone. How did you do it, and why? Are you glad you did it? Why or why not? (If you can’t remember ever setting a boundary with someone, write about a time when you wish you had.)
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