One day, I had the privilege to meet a young mother with her nine-year-old son. The mother said that her son was a bright and smart student at school, but he had behavioral problem at home. He would make a drama scene whenever he felt unhappy with the schedules or rules at home. Once, he ran out of the house, asked for help from the neighbor because he was ‘forced’ to eat vegetables. On another occasion, he was running around with a scissor in his hand to chase his helper – because she reported his negative behavior to his mother through the phone.
His mom and I met for a few times and we discussed his progress, but sometimes we also communicate through emails, because she had to work and unable to meet me during counseling sessions. I loved to play with this young man, because he was very creative and he could easily create new games with ordinary stack of cards. He loved to play with me as well, because he could cheat on me – especially when I was still an amateur as his partner. Until one day, I saw with my own eyes that he held 5 cards with him, while the rule said that each player was allowed to hold 4 cards at one time. I asked him with my surprised tone, “Wow, how can you have 5 cards in you – while I only have 4?” He was blushing and said nothing. He just put the last card back to the deck.
As usual, after game sessions, we would have a chat. It was actually the reflection session that I made – due to his thinking and analyzing skills. I asked him about the incident during our game session. He told me that he was easily get bored when things are ordinary and without-any-suspense-moment along the way. That was why he loved to make such a drama. He would cheat during games with his friends at school and he would almost always able to get away from it. He also used the same strategy to send message to his mother that he wanted her to quit her work and stay at home with him. After a few sessions, he kept on mentioning the same thing – that he wanted his mother to quit her work. I delivered this message to his mother and let her decided – after we discussed on some important considerations.
At last, his mother decided to quit her work and build her own business from home. We worried that this transition may failed and her son might end up creating other drama scenes. But, all of our weariness was gone with the mother’s decision to stay at home. Eventually the counseling process was ended happily.
I still believe that this kind of happy ending is achievable – even though it takes perseverance and commitment from parents, for the goodness of their children. The decision that parents make depend on how they value their children. If parents put their children as priority, then it is manifested through their decision and attitude. Children can see it clearly! (CE)