Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Cop and a Principal

When it comes to parent a RAD child...I believe it "takes a village". I have realized that I am not an advocate for George and his "disorder". I need to educate everyone who comes in regular contact with him...neighbors, teachers and coaches. George can't be treated like every other child - his life started out with so much trauma mandates that he have his own set of "rules".

And my job, as a parent who truly loves George, is to tell everyone how we can all work together to help George LEARN how to trust and bond.

So, we have had two instances this past week in which I could call on "the village" to help me.

First, there is "The Saga Of The Lunch"

George has decided he hates the lunch I pack him and that a school lunch is the bomb. He says "Moms who really love their kids give them what they want..and I want a school lunch!" Now, Joe and I have discussed this and have agreed that this is an area in which we could say "YES!" But the WAY in which George has treated this issue caused us to say "NO...for now." So, in anger, George threw his lunch away one day. The next day, he left it at home. And after that, he decided HE would pack his lunch. The result? George racked up over $5.00 in lunch fees. And I refuse to pay that fee.

So, I sat down with his principal and told her about RAD, how George desperately needs to understand that his actions have consequences, and asked for her assistance with the "lunch ladies" (who are now harassing me with regular phone calls about the $5.00). She never once doubted me or argued with me or laughed at me...instead, she said, "I've got an idea!"

Yesterday, the principal pulled George into her office and laid out the "bill" from the lunch room. She explained that he just couldn't go through the line and take things. George responded, "I have $20 from my birthday. I'll pay it later." By the way..that is a big fat lie and he knows it! He spent his $20 on really cheap toy from CVS because he couldn't STAND not spending that $20 right away. But that is another story! The principal knew better...she said, "No George. I paid your bill so now you owe me the $5.00" George answered, "My mom will pay you. Can I leave now?" "No George. Your momma didn't take $5.o0 worth of food from the lunch line...YOU did. YOU owe me. And here is how you are going to pay me back. For the next 5 days, you are going to work during recess for me. I have some weeds that need to be pulled - you can start there. And then, I need these white boards cleaned real well. I have some other jobs, too. When you finish those 5 days, you will have paid me back."

She also talked with George about WHY there are school and at home. She explained that when parents love their children, they will make rules to protect them and encourage them to be good people when they grow up. And..she finished by saying if parents love their children, they won't give them what ever they want. She then had George write down what he had learned.

She called me and read what he wrote. He seems to have understood.

So..that was yesterday at school.

Then, after school "The iPod Saga" played out.

Last week, George stole Joe's iPod and tried to sell it to our neighbor. Thankfully, our neighbor asked Harry if George really was allowed to sell the iPod and Harry immediately figured out what was going on. Joe was furious. And so, this weekend, Joe walked down the street to the Greenville police officer who lives a few houses down for us and explained the situation.

Yesterday, while the kids were working on home work, the door bell rang.

"Mom! A cop is here!"

There he was...a 6'2" African-American man dressed in his uniform with his car parked right in front of our house.

"Can I speak to George, please?"

George's knees started shaking.

He pulled George outside to talk "man to man". He told George that he heard about the stealing and that he wanted to make sure that George knew that stealing was wrong. He then told George that there are places where the police have to take boys who make bad choices and that deciding to steal was a bad choice. The cop told George, "You have a loving family around you. I see you with your family all the time! They love you...and they care about the person you are and who you will become! Now, you need to start making really good decisions."

He shook George's hand, asked him to keep a watch out at his house while he is at work, and then told George that if he hears that he is doing better, he'll let George play around in his police car.

And yes..this is THE SAME cop who threatened to kill Gunnar....but that was a really bad day for him!

The point is that I have had to ask for help from people I would have never asked to help me. I am not one to EVER ask for help. But when it comes to George, I HAVE to ask for help!

I need as many people as possible to speak truth and love into George's life. And I am so appreciative for the double-whammy of support George got yesterday.

1 comment:

Brooke said...

What amazing stories. I love that they both helped you and in such perfect ways! Keep asking for help, Traci. I know you are doing a great job as George's mom, but I have got to believe that being told by other authority figures what is right and wrong and WHY, will have very positive influence on G. I remember being a kid and my parents trying to teach me to ski. I wouldn't listen to my dad and his instruction, so he had his good friend take me on the hill. I was skiing within an hour of being with him. Keep it up! You and Joe are wise to seek others! :)