How to L-O-V-E Hurting Kids

In his book “Help my Kids are Hurting,” my friend Marv Penner offers an acronym to help us think through the skills needed to help wounded kids. The letter L stands for listening – the most fundamental skill needed by anyone working with hurting kids. We must close our mouths and listen intently as they tell their story. O refers to what we offer students. They’ve opened up with us because they believe we have something they need. We must offer hope and the willingness to go deeper with them. V calls us to validate what’s happening in the lives of hurting kids. We must let them know that their pain and feelings are real and legitimate. E reminds us to eliminate immediate dangers including behaviors and relationships, especially if they are on a path to hurting themselves or others. Our culture leaves kids hurting and they desperately need our LOVE.