I had a realization this morning.  I think one reason I get so frustrated with the behavior of my sons and students is because I unconsciously try to take the sole responsibility for changing it.  Realistically, no one person can own that change.  It has to be a team effort.  This is especially true for children with very challenging behaviors.  Behavior is communication, and often a child is telling us, “My behavior is too severe to be the responsibility of one adult.”

This thought dawned on me this morning as I was desperately trying to get my second born child out of bed for church.  My two oldest came in town for the weekend, so I had this grandiose vision of all four St. Romain young men attending the service together.  Did I mention this was my plan, and that Micah wanted no part it?  I even tried infusing guilt by reminding him his mother would be singing during communion.  Nothing.  Then, just as I relinquished control and gave up my quest, I received a text that brothers got him up, and they were all on their way to church.

Rather than focusing on our individual successes and failures with a child, I believe it is important to remember our interactions are adding to a larger group effort.  I understand that with some children (my own, for example), my interactions contribute to a great degree.  With others, however, my exchanges are simply part of a broader fabric of support the child will receive over a lifetime, so I need to cut myself some slack, and do the best I am able.

If it were up to my efforts, Micah would probably still be in bed, and wouldn’t have made it to church; but luckily, brothers intervened, and the team pulled out a victory.  As much as it might pain me, I best continue my homework on this subject this evening by watching the Super Bowl.  I feel certain the group with the best team effort will be triumphant, thus validating my thoughts on this subject.