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 "Temper Tamers?"
Temper Tamers?
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Miguel Ayala looks at the various kinds of school, hospital, and community programs that have helped him try to control his anger. What’s worked best are places that allowed him freedom and the ability to build authentic relationships with staff.

Prompts for discussion and/or writing:

--Miguel couldn’t tell his therapist the truth about his abusive mother, because he didn’t want to tell his problems to an outsider. Did you have a similar experience in therapy? Were you eventually able to tell the therapist the truth? Why or why not?

--When Miguel stops going to therapy, he wishes the counselor had kept calling his house to ask where he was. That way, he says, he would have realized someone cared about him. Was there a time you wished an adult put in more effort to help you? What could that person have done, and how would it have affected you?

--Miguel likes one program he’s in, because he’s allowed freedom to leave school to buy lunch or to smoke. Because he feels trusted, he’s happier. Do you wish you had more freedom in your foster home or group home? Why? How would it affect your behavior?

--Miguel is helped most when he’s able to form “real relationships” with the staff, “based on trust and honesty, where there were no phony smiles.” How do you define a “real relationship”? Have you been able to form them with adults? With other teens? If so, what enabled you to have these relationships? If not, what prevented you?

--Miguel says that in order for him to get better while still living with his mother, “she would have had to get better too.” Could anything have been done to help Miguel’s mother get better, while he was still living at home? Or should he have been removed sooner from his home?
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