Cluttered roomWe all experience times of chaos in our lives.  Right now for my family it is in our home.  My college junior is home for the summer and has moved in with all his belongings and his new found independence.  My youngest is preparing to leave for his first year of college and is busy with working, packing and preparing.  Our home is in chaos!  We are not anxious for our children to leave for college, yet we are anxious to get our home organized and uncluttered.  We need structure.

Likewise, our children here at Boys and Girls Homes need structure.  Our children come to us from chaotic environments where routine and consistency are far from the norm.   Structure and routine are one of the hallmarks of our program of care.  A structured routine reduces stress and anxiety.  If everyone expects and knows what is going to happen throughout the day, there is less uncertainty.  A routine creates expectations for all - where they need to be, when they need to be there and how they need to present themselves in various situations.  The structured routine provides a sense of security and while our children often will not admit it, they crave the structure, discipline and organization of our program. 

Summer is naturally a time when the structured routine of life is relaxed for children.  Here at B&GH, the routine is different, but it is still structured time.  We have school for those who want to get ahead or need to catch up a little.  We have a defined World of Work schedule where all the residents have a job and work on campus to earn their own personal spending money.  We even schedule time for fun activities where the children are able to relax and just be a kid again.  As the summer winds down and we start looking toward starting the academic year in the fall, the daily routine will change – but the structure in our program of healing remains consistent for those in our care.

Thank you for helping us provide structure in the lives of our children!

Ray Cockrell is the Vice President for Development at Boys and Girls Homes of NC.

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