Jasmine and I went to the camp for peanut commissioning. The Mustard Seeds and the early teens were commissioning too so it was a long service. But very lively.
Adam was his true self. I met his leader. She's had him before and said she sees a big improvement in him this year, so I have the feeling past years were not so easy for his counselors. But she said he's doing a good job and that's always good to hear.
He was chosen to take part in the flag ceremony. He took his dress shirt off and wore his black dress pants and a filthy undershirt. Does anyone understand how teen boys think???
Kayla's team sang.
Kaleb's team sang.
The behaviors were worse than I thought. With Kayla it was mostly some stubbornness and constant wetting herself. Doing laundry for a camper is unheard of here but they did it several times, charging Jessica for it! That was one drawback of her being there. They needed to treat Kayla and Kaleb as they would any other campers. They also did Kaleb's laundry, and he refused to wear a pull up at night so his stuff was always soaked. I threw out his sleeping bag and pillow because the smell will never come out, and they were washed so much they were lumpy. Right now he is scrubbing his bedroom floor because he decided to just pee on his floor rather than walk three feet to the toilet.
Kaleb really, really acted out. His leaders didn't deal with the behaviors right away, so they lost control of him. But they did take away his supper dessert because he would run around crazy at night and not go to bed, so he got no sugar at supper. Neither got the 500 gallon shake for that reason. On the day they were supposed to go to the nursing home to sing, Kaleb started hitting and kicking other kids. When the leader restrained him, he bit and scratched. He got to eat his McDonald's on the bus with a leader, not inside with the other kids. He's lucky. If I'd been there he'd have gotten a peanut butter sandwich.
The frustrating thing for Jessica is that they'd ask her what to do about him, then not do what she suggested.
I'm not used to seeing these charts come home so empty : (
With Kayla I've been able to talk to her about the behaviors and how to fix them next year. I showed her that her nice laminated team picture was the one where she was pouting and refusing to look at the camera. I reminded her that this was the only picture the children had to remember her by. I hope she really gets it.
The disappointing part is that they are both capable of following rules. They can both be very fun, loving children. They can both be good workers. It's sad that they didn't choose to show their leaders that side. I think they did part of the time, but I'd like to see them get to the point where they do right just because it's right, not because I"m there giving them "the look." I want them to be able to act appropriately away from me and not have it just be because I'll give them an extra job or take a privilege for poor behavior.
I know that some of you reading this have no clue why I'd post all this. And you can't picture the things I'm talking about. That's okay. Maybe you can go find some cheery blog about a family where all the kids obey happily all the time.
On the other side of it, some of you have children who act like angels in front of others, but are mean and can throw a two hour tantrum at home. Then others think you are the problem. And it does no good to try and explain because they don't get it. Even if they saw it, they would think it was because you didn't love the child enough, understand the child etc. They don't get that they are being played, and they think it's precious that the child is so warm to them. In fact, they probably try to give your child extra stuff to make up for you not giving them things (never mind that you do and that they destroy them or hide them so it looks like you didn't). They sabotage all your efforts. I've been there too. I think it's easier with the twins because others do see the behaviors. They went into school hitting, biting and screaming when they didn't get their way. When others see it, they mostly try to help by setting up some kind of behavior chart.
I know this post is going on and on. I'm processing things from the twins' acting out behavior, and I know of many parents who are dealing with the other situation where the child saves the awful behavior for them. And there are parents out there hurting because they've had to make the hard choice of getting residential help for a child or having children turn on them. It's hard. It bites. But it's the life we've chosen. And God is bigger than it all. But wouldn't it help if others really got behind you to help you instead of stabbing you in the back?
Okay, just my thoughts. And the next post will be brighter. There's lots more to tell about what Jasmine and I did and what the guys did here at home while we were all away.