Growing Pains

Quotes are all taken from Wikipedia in this post.

Growing pains- “pain symptoms relatively common in children.” Since we have started after school programs last week there have been many changes. As I think through these changes, the best way to describe them is growing pains.

Graffiti 2 has moved to another building. New relationships with churches, new block, new neighbors. Growing pains. Graffiti 2 has 2 after school programs simultaneously happening in that 1 building. Thirty kids. Thirty teenagers. Six staff members. Four part time employees. Eighteen parent volunteers spread out through the week. Managing all this at the same time- growing pains.

We were blessed to receive some money to purchase 15 laptops. Students can work on homework on the computer when needed. We also have some online curriculum for each student to work on reading and math skills. It has taken a week to get all computers ready and running at the same time. Every day those computers have to be set up and taken down to be stored in a safe location. Growing pains.

We added a new component to after school programs this year to make it more fun. We call it Enrichment “Happy Hour”. Every day from 5-6 we stop homework and other activities. That last hour of program the kids and teens have an enrichment class they choose to attend for 4 weeks. This month the class choices are “Diamonds and Duggouts” (baseball) and “All About Fall” for the kids and “What’s Next?” (high school selection for middle schoolers) and “Tough Critic” (movie review) for teens. Our staff is stretched thin during happy hour. Growing pains.

“Growing pains are said to typically occur in two periods during a child’s life, firstly, between about 3 and 5 years old, then later in 8 to 12 year olds.” Graffiti 2 is in its 8th year of after school programs. When I think back to when I first came to Graffiti 2, it was in that first stage and I’m sure there were plenty of growing pains then too, I just figured it was me adjusting to it all!

“Treatment…Parents and children can be substantially reassured by explaining the benign and self limiting nature of the pains. There are no substantial studies of the effectiveness of any intervention; however local massage, hot baths and analgesic drugs such as acetaminophen are often used.” Our staff has had a couple of debriefing sessions to work through these growing pains and problem solve when needed. We are all still very excited about the changes this year is bringing to Graffiti 2 and confident that God is working through us and through our growth. Not saying we would turn down a massage or some Tylenol though!


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