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"Each of us must come to care about everyone else's children. We must recognize that the well being of our own children is intimately linked to the well being of all other people's children. After all, when one of our children needs life-saving surgery, someone else's child will perform it. When one of our children is harmed by violence, someone else's child will commit it. The good life for our own children can be secured only if it is also secured for all other people's children. But to work for the well being of all children is not just a practical matter-- it is also right!" - Lilian G. Katz, Phd.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Life is Not Fair

Konal is not the best communicator in the world. He came home from school last night in a bad mood. As a result, he decided to give me the silent treatment. I would love to say that it didn't bother me at all, that I enjoyed the unusual silence. If I said that, I would be wrong. I am a natural communicator and the silent treatment drives me insane. If I don't consciously rein it in, I will badger a person to an extreme.

Well I am tired and cyclic, and I badgered. Finally, with a huge flourish, I was handed this note:

As part of the consequences from last night, he had lost the book he was reading until this morning. Two things about consequences in this house- they are as natural as possible and they are time limited. The book was involved in the incident, therefore it was taken away. Then chaos ensued.

He pouted all evening about the consquences, but was still unable to see his part in the incident. This is a concept he struggles with greatly. The best story to illustrate the point of view we are struggling with comes from a few years ago, in a time before direct supports.

I don't remember the context of the incident, but I remember the incident vividly. It was one of the few times he broke skin biting me. He had gotten lockjawed on my hand, and I had to press his head in, then break the seal to get free. I had a bloody bruised place the size of a silver dollar and was crying at this point.

He looked at me with a face etched with the indignity of the situation and angrily marched over to the phone where he dialed 911.

"My mom is hurting me. She hurt my mouth."

More conversation followed, but the gist of it was that I was a horrible parent because I hurt him. He completely did not, and still does not, see the progression and the culpability leading up to that pain.

We had fun when the police came. That was one of the few times I was worried he would actually be arrested, and he was only 10.