This mom was calling out of great concern for my son. She said that she has worked in the school twice over the last two weeks and both times she has seen my son looking sad and all alone during recess. She said, “It was more than him being upset, it was his whole body language, he looked depressed.”
She said that she saw him standing alone against the fence with his head down and shoulders hunched over. She shared with a very delicate, loving approach how worried she was for him and wanted to let me know about it in case something was going on at school that I may not know about.
I listened carefully as my mind searched for the right answers. While at the same time, feeling sad for my son and concerned that his struggles are becoming more obvious at school.
What do I say?
How do I explain what’s going on without exposing my son to rejection?
Which, by the way, we faced when he lost his best friend a few years back after they found out about his illness.
My heart raced and I felt nervous inside. I knew that this woman truly cared about my son. But I care about protecting my son more.
So I didn’t tell her the whole truth of what was going on, instead I was very vague.
I used words like “struggle” and avoided words like “disorder”. There was no mention of therapists and medication, instead, I explained that it was harder for him to socialize and that he was better with kids one-on-one. I explained that what she saw at school was something that he was dealing with internally and not a result of something that had happened at school.
I could tell she was concerned that I didn’t realize the severity of the situation when she followed with questions like, “Have you contacted your pediatrician?” and “Can the school help your son?” I explained that yes we’ve discussed it with his doctor and they were helping us and that the school has been great too. I explained that as he gets older we hope social situations will only get better.
With a sincere heart she shared how sad she felt seeing my son today and asked if there was anything she could do to help.
Snagging the opportunity I said, “Yes! Maybe we can get the boys together this summer to play. I explained that the more time he had playing with kids one-on-one, the more comfortable he felt socializing with them at school.
I also told her how touched I was that she reached out to share her concern for my son and that I was very thankful for her call.
It truly takes a village to raise our kids.