Friday, March 15th 2019
At bedtime two nights ago I ask my son if anything is on his mind. And how! Turns out he is gripped with fear because a huge school project is almost due and he hasn’t done it. Eek!
Surprisingly, I just listen, breathe deeply, hold him closer, wait and feel his tense body relax and slip off to sleep. Huzzah! Things are always sunnier in the morning. Moreover this gives me time in which to formulate -with Daddy- The Parental Response.
In the morning we sit down and I tell him I see three parts to this problem;
1. I know what it feels like to have these feelings of shame, fear, embarassment, confusion and self-loathing (all to which he nods vigorously). This happens to EVERYONE at some point in their lives, and we can learn from it. (Our pediatrician called it the “Shame Spiral.“)
2. Instead of letting these feelings get the best of us and continuing to avoid the problem, it’s time to have courage; to dig deep and focus on what can be done. See what we can do to turn this around and restore what integrity we can in these last 24-hours.
3. Looking past this, to accept that “Houston, We Have a Problem” with Executive Functioning, and that going forward this is our opportunity to LEARN from the struggle and EMBRACE what E.F. TOOLS we can find to help accommodate this “weakness.”
And PS: 4. It’s okay to have weaknesses!
Long story short; he was much relieved. Threw himself into the business of the project right after school that day. Worked his butt pretty hard. Produced some decent quality work. Hugged me and said, “Huh. Before I didn’t even want to GO to school tomorrow. But now I’m kind of excited!”
The project was Ancient Civilization, there were four components to it and everything turned out fine. So I’m proud of him for that.
That same day we even get to Meet the New Teacher AND it’s Crazy Hair Day.
He styled his Crazy Hair himself AND had the balls to wear it to school all day and I’m proud of him for that too.