“I’m hangry!” she said to her therapist.

And the therapist celebrated!

So, here’s the rest of the story.

First, I’ve raised three kids to adulthood. One thing I learned is that teenagers eat a lot. All the time. They are hungry shortly after a full meal. They are hungry before and after sports, church, and their favorite TV show. They are growing, their bodies are changing, and they are active.

Second, children at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch have often experienced food instability. Where and when their next meal was coming was often unpredictable. Sometimes, the cause was poverty. Other times, food was not a priority due to the chaos in their home. Many of the children at the Ranch have been hungry a lot.

Next, children in abuse and neglect situations learn early not to draw attention to themselves. They learn to keep their feelings stuffed inside and avoid anything that might endanger them. They learn to ignore their emotions, to the point of not knowing what they’re feeling.

“I’m hangry,” from a child who has not been able to advocate for herself or share her feelings is a really big, really healing two-word powerhouse phrase. It says, “I am hungry, and that is making me out of sorts. I know what is wrong and how to fix it.”

So we all celebrate.

Please keep our children and staff in your prayers!

In His love,

Joy Ryan, President/CEO
Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

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