Monday, November 16, 2015

He Changes Me

More than my husband (probably), more than three other kids combined, more than foster little boy with red hair has changed me more than any other person in my life - maybe. 

So yesterday after he traumatized, literally traumatized, his Sunday School teacher at church (basically he gave her the perma-angry, won't be talking to you, little old man scowl after she had to correct him for mocking another little girl) we had a little talk.

Everything about him is different than my other kids.  Some good, some bad.  And where I have found things that have worked in varying degrees with my other kids for discipline, they just don't work with him.

He's super sensitive to correction, take his greatest strength tender empathy for everyone, and the flip side of the coin is any kind of discipline brings out a very defensive, angry, Incredible Hulk self.  And where we have taught him that he can't yell, hit or aggressively act out his anger, he has taken to shutting completely down.  His emotion overwhelms his ability to talk, think or even largely function.

So we wait, wait just a little more, and then start a dialogue of asking questions.  "Can you tell me about your class in Church today?"  And the story comes out, every detail: the good, the bad, the ugly.  He's too guileless to try and hide his mistakes, his contributions to the problem, because with that time, he's already feeling pretty mad at himself and sorry for his behavior.  And as he tells me I gently stroke his cheek, wipe his tears, and rub his back because I know that helps him feel calm and loved despite the necessity I have of reaffirming what behavior is and is not acceptable.

So although it makes me bonkers that it takes 30 minutes plus to work through this issue, I feel just a little more like my Savior who is unendingly patient with me, my own stupidity, mistakes, inappropriate behavior and will take all the time I need to work through it and learn for the future. 

I may not know the end from the beginning, but I know that his red-head was sent to change me more than anything I'll ever be able to teach or help him with. 

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