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"If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way" ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Max and Mels Terrible Adventure - The Prodigal Son Returns Home
Posted by:Sally--Tuesday, April 06, 2010

As everyone told us he would, our son David returned home on Sunday night, after being gone for a total of 10 days. We were relieved but very cautious - Mel and I had made sure we were mentally prepared.

All week long we discussed what would be the best thing to say, or not say, when he finally walked in. We agreed that on the first evening at least, we would remain calm, would not get into any deep discussion, and make sure we told him we loved him. We were going to do this no matter what mood brought him in the door.

When he walked in, he strode by me quickly, my sense being he was afraid of what I was going to do. What I did do, was call him, make him come to where I was, and gave him a bear hug that I held on to for a while. He hugged back. Then the same thing with Mel. We told him to get a shower, get something to eat, and we'll talk soon.

That said...a counselor we have worked with at Gateway said to us "I can always tell when I am getting somewhere when the kid starts behaving like the possessed girl from The Exorcist - They will try several ways of fighting you (the Exorcist) until they (the possessed) are broken down and are ready to be repaired". I thought that was an apt analogy, so I didn't get overly excited when our son was pleasant and reasonable in our first round of discussions: our talking points were: what did you learn from this, do you understand how and why things got to this point, do you understand as a result, that further consequences will occur? No one yelled, no one argued, he was calm, and seemed to understand what we were saying. Again, Mel and I made sure to add how much we love him, and that anything we do in regards to him is about keeping him physically and emotionally safe so he can grow up and have choices in his life.

The next day, the demon started to rear his head. He couldn't get out of bed, didn't want to go to school, wouldn't go to Gateway, announced that he was going out, he couldn't possibly stay home all day, it was beautiful out and he was bored. I put my foot down. Still didn't yell, but went over again the reasons he had gotten himself into this jam in the first place. He started to scream "I shouldn't be in this at all...all I had was a little weed for personal use, and the cop could have let it go, but NOOOOO, he has to get ME, and everyone else got away!!"

I said " first of all, weed in any amount is illegal. Secondly, you are under age. Thirdly, the cop did what he was supposed to, thankfully. And finally, you are blaming everyone else for your situation except for yourself! You need to learn that you control your choices, and therefore any consequence, good or bad that comes with it, is something you have earned". After much back and forth on this note, he finished "You guys are @$$holes!" I decided to use a little what I learned in PSST. I got into his physical space, leaned towards him and agreed with him.."we may be @$$holes, but we are @$$holes who love you and care about you more than any human on this earth!" The phone rang - it was his PO telling us we have a detention hearing for him tomorrow at Shuman. More to come...

(Clipart from Clipartheaven.com)

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