The 12 Steps help our students begin to find restoration for lives that have spun out of control in adolescence. A major element of the process is the identification of wrongdoing and an attempt to address in a concrete manner the understanding of self that emerges. While the exercise of these tasks are explicit, leading to a variety of conversations that would likely end up avoided or ignored, students often express a freedom from the way their pasts had tormented them after sincerely working the amends in Steps 8 and 9.
Practicing making amends also helps our students recognize the importance of being able to forgive.
Practicing forgiveness, with ourselves or with others involved, may be challenging, but will surely be beneficial in terms of our mental well-being. Alden Tan contributed a blog post to Tinybuddha.com about letting go of his anger, which can certainly foster a forgiving nature as well.
“Let it go, not just for a better future, but also because you’re a good person,” he writes. “And a good person isn’t angry most of the time. Instead, he sees beauty in the world and strives for a positive life, in which others around him can be inspired too. Choose to let go of your anger so you can be that person.” The Question of Forgiveness
One of the common characteristics of the students that end up enrolling at The Family Foundation School is developmentally delayed moral reasoning. The 12 Steps help to establish a framework and provide some orientation to foster the growth that is needed.