What is a teachable moment? It's learning through family. That's what Boys Town provides to tens of thousands of children and parents everyday. And that's what we'll focus on here. Stories of those who we've seen succeed, and ideas on how to help bring Teachable Moments to your home and family, too.

Tag Archives: Healing Families

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Father Steven Boes, President and National Executive Director of Boys Town

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Standing on the Shoulders of Genius

The following is from a “State of Child Care” presentation by Father Steven Boes, President and National Executive Director of Boys Town, at a recent celebration of Boys Town’s 100-year anniversary. They illustrate Boys Town’s ongoing efforts to adapt our mission to meet the ever-changing needs of America’s children and families as we begin our second century of service.  Boys Town’s founder, Father Edward Flanagan, was a genius. I believe at the heart of that genius was his openness to explore ...

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Daniel Daly, Boys Town Psychologist

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Teens are more stressed and anxious, but they don’t know why. Here’s how parents can help.

Article courtesy of The Washington Post.  The teenage years can be tough, marked with physical and emotional changes, new choices and responsibilities, and evolving relationships with the people who surround us. But a recent report shows that hormones aren’t the only thing troubling the teen years; young people are increasingly showing a general inability to identify the source of their angst and pain. These results have serious implications for those who care for kids. A review of more than 830,000 calls, text messages, ...

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By Father Steven Boes, President and National Executive Director, Boys Town

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Acceptance and Equality Must Be Part of Every Child’s Life Lessons

Father Edward J. Flanagan was far ahead of his time, sometimes dangerously so. When he founded his home for boys (later to become known as Boys Town) 100 years ago in Omaha, Nebraska, he welcomed youngsters of all races, religions and cultural backgrounds, and he provided care for all of them under one roof. This approach was unheard of in the early 1900s, and even though many local citizens supported Father Flanagan’s work, there were those who disapproved and even made threats ...

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Boys Town Contributor

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Boys Town Centennial Celebration Featured on NBC Nightly News

Video courtesy of NBC Nightly News. Recently, NBC Nightly News sent correspondent Anne Thompson to Omaha to check in on Boys Town as it celebrates its centennial birthday. Check out the video below and share it with your friends.

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Maggie McGill, Boys Town In Home Family Consultant

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3 Tips for Creating a Parenting Plan with your Co-Parent

This article was originally published on momaha.com. Co-parenting can be difficult because you need to remain consistent with addressing behavior, and you might have different expectations than your child’s other parent. Creating a parenting plan can help parents work together to appropriately and consistently address children’s behaviors. Use the following steps to create a parenting plan of your own. Find a time to sit down and discuss what rules you have for your children. Make a list if needed to help you remember. ...

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Boys Town Contributor

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Boys Town Supporters Are Everywhere

We like to say, “Boys Town kids are everywhere.” And they are. Given a second chance for success, they graduate from Boys Town to become teachers, police officers, congressional interns, social workers and more. At the midpoint of our 100th year, we can also say, “Boys Town supporters are everywhere.” To celebrate our centennial, we first asked corporate sponsors and community partners across the nation to show their support for Boys Town by displaying our centennial materials around their buildings, campuses ...

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Boys Town Contributor

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Here’s to the Difference-Makers

Boys Town has always been and will always be a nonprofit organization, which means our existence depends on the generosity and assistance of others. Our supporters include individual donors and corporations around the country who not only help further Boys Town’s mission financially but also donate goods or services to at-risk children and families. One company making a real difference is Fat Brain Toys. Founded in 2000 in Elkhorn, Nebraska, Fat Brain manufactures and sells educational games and toys that help ...

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Jennifer Lawrence | Boys Town Alumna

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Boys Town Alumna Returns to Make a Difference

Jennifer Lawrence, a 2006 Boys Town graduate, recently reflected on why she considers Boys Town her home. After serving 10 years in the Navy, Jennifer returned to Boys Town to become a staff member and currently works at our high school. When I first came to Boys Town from California, I felt abandoned and unloved. After my father remarried and he and his new wife had a baby, I felt like an outcast in my own family. I really hated ...

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Boys Town Contributer

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Boys Town Central Florida Helps Family through Tough Times

Maxine Nelson had always put family first, so she didn't think twice when it came to deciding that she and her husband would become the primary caregivers of their 10-year-old great-grandson, Da'Kendrik. Da'Kendrik was nearly alone in the world. His mother passed away when he was 6, and his father was never really involved in his life. His grandparents were also deceased. The Nelsons did the best they could to raise Da'Kendrik, but when Maxine’s husband passed away, it caused tremendous financial ...

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Father Steven Boes, President and National Executive Director, Boys Town

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Today’s Boys Town Care Is a Family Affair

Father Edward Flanagan was a true visionary. When he founded Boys Town nearly a century ago in December 1917 as a humble home for wayward boys, Father Flanagan’s bigger dream was to someday reach out to help children all across America. Through sound leadership and groundbreaking innovations, that vision has been realized as Boys Town has grown into a national leader in child care. Over the last three decades, Boys Town has evolved and expanded its programs to meet the growing ...

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Dr. Reznicek | Superintendent, Boys Town High School

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Thoughts on Christmas at Boys Town

  The holiday season here at Boys Town is big — really big. The first thing you must understand is that for many of these kids, this is the first time they’re truly getting to celebrate Christmas and the New Year. They often come to us from distressed families in at-risk urban, suburban or rural neighborhoods, where students are sometimes lucky just to make it through the day without being shot, robbed or arrested. Many consider themselves fortunate just to have ...

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Your Friends at Boys Town

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Calling All Boys Town Supporters

This is it. The start of something big. REALLY BIG! After all, how many organizations get to celebrate 100 years of service? First Things First Throughout our history, Boys Town employees have been the key to successfully carrying out our mission of saving children, healing families and strengthening communities. So it was fitting that we launched the beginning of our 100th year with a special employee appreciation event for all our sites around the country. Josh Temple, star of various HGTV and DIY ...

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Father Steven Boes, Boys Town National Executive Director

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Invest in Their Future This Giving Tuesday

Imagine growing up with absent parents, surrounded by gang violence and rampant drug activity. Imagine having to steal food just to survive day to day. Today is your chance to give these children hope by donating on Giving Tuesday. Boys Town works with the kids who have slipped through society’s cracks. Just like all children, they have potential – they just need hope and someone to believe in them. Boys Town provides both to thousands of at-risk children each year. Make ...

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Christina Kreikemeier, Boys Town Alum and Mentoring Instructional Facilitator

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I Found a Home at Boys Town

My life has always been a little tumultuous. When I was just a few days old, my father tried to sell me on the black market for money. Sometimes my grandmother would say it would’ve been better if she had let him because I would’ve had a better life. I always disagreed with her. You see, if my grandmother hadn’t intervened, I never would have had the opportunity to come to Boys Town, Nebraska. Yes, I came to Boys Town because of ...

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Paul Blomenkamp, Boys Town High School Associate Principal and Athletic Director

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Boys Town, Allstate Team Up Again to Compete with Character

Most of the boys and girls who come to Boys Town have known only failure. Many have done poorly in school, struggling to keep up academically or facing suspensions or expulsion. Few have played sports, so they’ve never had anyone cheer for them or experienced the thrill of victory. At Boys Town, these kids get their first real opportunity to learn social skills, succeed in the classroom, and participate in athletics as part of a team. In everything they do as ...

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Dan Daly, Executive Vice President, Director of Youth Care, Boys Town

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Candidates Miss Opportunity to Address At-Risk Children

The article was previously published on Roll Call. Presidential candidates are quick to complain that an extended campaign means giving the same rote answers to the same rote questions, the same stump speech to the same political reporters.   But if the candidates take advantage of this time, the campaign is actually an opportunity to have a discussion about a national crisis that, to date, has gone under the radar: how our next leader plans to care for the hundreds of thousands ...

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Father Steven Boes, Boys Town National Executive Director 

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When Children Must Grieve

Recently at Boys Town, our kids went through the sad, painful experience of losing one of their friends and fellow residents. The young man who passed away was well liked, a good student and a good athlete, and on his way to a bright future. His death was a shock to our boys and girls, not only because of its suddenness but also because most young people are not prepared to deal with the loss of someone their own age. We ...

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Elizabeth, caller of The Boys Town National Hotline

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A Desperate Call for Help is Answered

The following is an actual letter from a young woman who was engaging in self-harm. I want to thank you for all you have done for me. I remember learning of the Your Life Your Voice website when I was around eighteen, and I used it often between the ages of eighteen and twenty. I have struggled with self-harm for about four and a half years. I remember at my lowest points I was self-harming badly multiple times a day, and I’ve ...

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Father Steven Boes, Boys Town National Executive Director

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Valero’s Continued Support Helps Boys Town Programs Grow

The Valero Foundation recently awarded a combined total of $100,000 to Boys Town Louisiana and Boys Town Texas from proceeds received through the 2015 Valero Texas Open Benefit for Children. Every donated dollar makes all the difference in the world to the life a child who is struggling. That’s why we are so thankful to the Valero Foundation for its continued support of our programs across the country. Boys Town Louisiana received $40,000 to help more children through the site’s Care ...

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Father Steven Boes, Boys Town National Executive Director

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Giving Your Children the Gift of the Holidays

The last six weeks of the year are a magical time, here at Boys Town and across our great nation, as families prepare to celebrate that final stretch of holidays, from Thanksgiving, to Hanukkah, to Christmas, to New Year’s Day. Holidays are special, not only because they commemorate important events or times of the year, but also because they are a way for us to mark time, both chronologically and spiritually, and observe traditions and rituals that give flavor and meaning ...

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Lisa Hukill, Development Associate Vice President

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Giving Tuesday Is Your Chance to Make a Difference

When Black Friday comes around, people come out in hoards to purchase gifts for the holidays. Others wait until CyberMonday to snag that deal. But what about Giving Tuesday? Giving Tuesday, also known as December 1st this year, is a day dedicated to giving ‐‐ when charities, families, businesses, community centers, students, retailers and more will all come together. Boys Town encourages you to make your donation in celebration of this day! When you choose Boys Town on Giving Tuesday, you are ...

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Boys Town Contributor

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Donor Stories: Jack McGraw Moves Boys Town’s Mission Forward

As a Leader and Advocate, Jack McGraw Moves Boys Town’s Mission Forward Jack McGraw was wearing a football uniform and playing for Omaha (NE) Creighton Prep High School when he had his first close encounter with the young men of Boys Town in 1947. He could not have known then that while he played against Boys Town’s football team that day, he would someday be part of Boys Town’s child and family care team as one of its most dedicated supporters. A Steady ...

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Father Boes, President & National Executive Director of Boys Town

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When Kids Can’t Make Sense of the World, Sensitive Parenting Is a Must

Recently in the news, we saw the heart-breaking photos of a little boy whose body had washed up on a beach after he drowned during his family’s attempt to flee their war-torn homeland of Syria. The family was part of a group of refugees who were desperately trying to cross the sea from Turkey to Greece in an inflatable boat. The boat capsized and the little boy, his brother and mother were among the 12 people who did not survive. Parents often ...

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Boys Town Contributor

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Donor Stories: Harriet Karol’s Playground

We would like to spend a few moments to shine a spotlight on one of our awesome donors. Because it’s the deep, heartfelt generosity of donors just like them—and like you—that have helped Boys Town achieve Father Flanagan’s vision of saving children and healing families. In this post we’re featuring a longtime donor, California mother and grandmother Harriet Karol. Situated just outside the new Boys Town Residential Treatment Center, there is a special playground where troubled young children can play and romp ...

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Father Steven Boes, President and National Executive Director of Boys Town

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Boys Town’s National Reach and Impact

On beautiful spring days like today, I love to sit outside and reflect on all of God’s glorious deeds. The miracles of the heart that happen for the young people in our care at Boys Town would certainly be high on that list for me. What an absolute blessing it is to see Father Flanagan’s dream continue every day in the lives of the children and families with whom we work. What started nearly a hundred years ago with a few ...

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Boys Town Contributor

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What If There Were No Boys Town?

We wanted to know… what if there were no Boys Town? We asked some of the children and families that we heal each day. Here are a few of their responses: There is not a doubt in my mind. I would have gone back to gangs, gone back to drugs. I would not have graduated high school. Mariah They are the reason that I’m here today; I actually graduated college, I actually did something with my life. Boys Town gave me opportunity, ...

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Father Boes

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In-Home Family Services: A Better Solution

I recently came across an article from the Chicago Tribune about how the government is removing severely obese children from their homes. These removals aren’t happening because these children are being abused or because their behavior threatens others. Rather, these boys and girls are being taken from their families because a doctor says they’re too fat. Boys Town has a better answer. We believe that in most situations, the best place for a child is with his or her family. Even when ...

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Father Boes

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Every Child and Family is Worth Saving

Photo from Landfill Harmonic YouTube. I saw a video the other day that reminded me just how beautiful the human spirit is. The video, Landfill Harmonic, is about people who live in a slum on a landfill in Cateura, Paraguay. Despite their dismal and impoverished surroundings, they create violins, cellos and other musical instruments out of recycled trash. Then they give the instruments to children so they learn how to play and develop a love of music. Watch their amazing story. These residents ...