Normal is just a setting on the dryer

Clothes dryer setting knobI keep hearing that we will eventually enter a “new normal.”

No one knows when or what that will look like.

I have a different perspective on that, perhaps because as I was growing up I repeatedly heard “Normal is just a setting on the dryer.”

Normal is all a matter of perspective. For many of the children served by Boys and Girls Homes, they came from a “normal” that involves missing school, being physically unsafe, having food insecurity, and not being able to depend on anyone.

When a child arrives in the services of B&GH, whether in a foster home or on our Lake Waccamaw campus, they are introduced to a “new normal” for them. That means an expectation to attend classes, a physically safe environment, nutritious food, and a group of adults that are dependable.

This change is meant to be for the benefit of the child, but that doesn’t mean it is easy. Remember the discomfort you felt when your routine was turned upside down over night by stay at home orders? That was done for your benefit, but it took a toll emotionally and often physically. That is the same experience these children have with even less potential warning.

We know that the turbulence of this transition is one of the most challenging for all involved – the child, foster parents and residential counselors. We also know that as the consistent, compassionate care becomes more familiar, the new normal becomes the welcome change the child needed.

How you can help

Melissa Hopkins is the Director of Public Relations and Marketing for Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina.

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