Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Not Around My Friends, Okay?

Ken had asked his youth leader, Doug, to help him talk to his parents about things not going well at home. When the conversation got a little tense, Doug cut in respectfully. "Ken, maybe it would help if you told your Dad what you'd like to hear him say in a situation like the other night." Turning toward his dad, Ken said, "I would have felt better if you said something like, 'How is your homework going?' And when I showed you my worksheet, you might say, 'Good job so far. If you need any help, ask me, and don't let the music distract you.'" His father nodded, “I'm sorry I was hard on you the other night, and at other times too. I guess I am so eager for you to succeed that I forget to notice when you do succeed. I'm very sorry, Ken. His mother added, "We'll do our best to notice your strengths and good behavior and mention them to you."

Ken went on, "It would be great sometimes," he concluded, "if you could just come into my room, ask how I'm doing, and listen to me." His parents apologized again and promised to be more attentive. "And … uh … I kind of miss the hugs, and I still like to hear you say 'I love you.'" Ken's Mom was on her feet immediately "I'm so happy to hear you say that, Ken. I haven't hugged you as much lately because I thought you didn't want to be treated like a child. "There's just one thing," Ken said, wiping away his tears with a smile. "I want hugs and kisses, but not when my friends are around, okay?" The four of them enjoyed a good, long laugh.

Doug prayed for the family and Ken walked him to the front door. "Thanks a lot Doug, for ... you know ... just, thanks." "You did a great job, and your parents ... well, I think they really love you. Are you feeling okay about talking to Todd?” Ken said, “I think I can do it by myself... except for your prayers, of course." Closing the door, he was almost excited about clearing the air with his friend Todd. And he would enjoy talking to Doug - and his parents - about the meeting afterward.

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