This past Monday we had a special Family Home Evening to celebrate Benjamin.
Ben's been having a hard start to the school year. Gratefully, we've heard nothing back from the school; the secretary is a friend of mine and she said Ben seems fine, and his teacher hasn't contacted us about any issues in class. However, every morning he is crying that he doesn't want to go, and every afternoon he gets off the bus angry and tired and complaining about the day. He says there is nothing good or fun about school and that he has no friends.
He's also had a hard time at home with us and his siblings. He teases everyone mercilessly, until someone is either crying or gets their block knocked out. He defies James and me at every turn and then dissolves in whining and crying when we discipline. We have been doing all we can to make things pleasant for him, but we seem to be at an impasse.
So we decided to celebrate Ben. When he came home, he asked to have a friend over, which then turned into an invite to that friend's house. I dropped him off, and then we got to work. We made a big banner with his name to hang in the kitchen. We each wrote ten things we love about Benjamin. We picked up his favourite foods for dinner (pizza, chocolate milk and sprinkle donuts.) After I picked him up and he walked through the door, James and the kids were all there to yell "surprise Ben!" and his face just lit up. After dinner we opened Family Home Evening with his favourite church song (Scripture Power) which quickly became a singing/dancing event. Then we all read our letters to him. Finally, we ended with his choice of activity: a video game. He was flying high.
The next morning brought no change in the previous attitude, but I am clutching dearly to the concept of making deposits into his emotional bank account: even when the negativity drains, the account isn't empty because we are depositing positivity into it on a regular basis.
I'm going to call it a phase. And give him six months to get over it. (Just kidding.)