Stick Figure Family

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

When all else fails, ask...

We were out running errands today. One child hadn't taken his ADHD medication and it was obvious. We walked through WalMart to get a few specific items on my list. He was ornery and ranting and was getting more out of control by the minute. I stopped him and told him I wouldn't have any more of that kind of behavior. He calmed down - for about 20 seconds - and then continued. All the way out to the car.

I was on the verge of creating a scene! I finally turned to him and asked what was going on. "I have to go to the bathroom." Was that all it was? I sent him back in the store with his brother to take care of business. So glad I finally caught on and asked. Seems like I'll never learn that lesson.

It reminded me of a time ten years ago when my big boy started taking money. Nothing I said or did seemed to stop the stealing. One afternoon after discovering money missing from my purse - again - I got so frustrated that I marched over to the elementary school, took him out of class and drove to the police station. I figured this child needed some major intervention or he'd end up a career criminal.

When we arrived, I dragged my reluctant man into the building. I pulled him up to the clerk's window and asked to speak with a police officer. In due time a uniformed man came out to see us. I explained the situation to him. He showed us to an office and sat us down. After a few preliminaries, he point blank asked my boy why he took the money. The answer made me feel like such a heel: "I want to buy hot lunch at school instead of bringing a cold lunch."

He HAD been asking for hot lunch for months. All the while, I had been trying to save money by sending a sack lunch to school. I realized that my stubbornness had driven him to this thievery. It was MY fault. From that day on I paid for hot lunch. Problem solved. No more stealing. It was that simple. So, I guess, when all else fails, ask! I may figure it out yet...

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