The question hit me like a ton of bricks.
At first it sounded ridiculous. Everybody’s got their own problems. Why did SHE think she and her wayward son deserved more attention than anyone else?
It doesn’t happen often, but every once in a while, you get crystal-clarity on a complicated issue you’ve been looking at for years. This was one of those times. In less than three seconds, I managed to get past the obvious, and stared back at myself through this troubled lady’s eyes.
She’d visited the school more times than I could count. Sometimes we called her. Sometimes she just showed up to see if we needed any help with him. Not a single week went by when she hadn’t been there at least twice.
But that wasn’t all. Truth is, this lady had tried everything we recommended. She’d work extra hours for the money to pay for consultations with a child-psychologist. She’d followed every advice from every teacher. And any changes to her attitude or approach that I recommended for her to take in the home, she did her best to put into practice. I couldn’t recall her ever making an excuse, and that’s more than I can say for many of the other parents of children with severe behavior problems.
But there’s an even bigger issue here. This mother asked the question. You ask a question when you’re aware of a problem. But isn’t this a problem that ALL parents face? How many parents can honestly say they’re absolutely sure their children are getting everything they need at home AND in school, in order to develop to their full potential? Can any of us really say that about even the children getting straight A’s in school?