difficult child does a GREAT job helping! :)

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Andy, Dec 29, 2008.

  1. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    difficult child and I headed out on what usually takes about 2 hours to see my parents today. We planned on making it a day trip - to visit a few hours and head back. I was a little concerned about the roads but packed clothes to stay over two nights if need be. We drove about 10 miles out of town and I did not feel comfortable going over 45 miles per hour so I called mom and told her that we would not be coming. We have a snowstorm coming tonight and I didn't want to face driving back tomorrow or Wednesday following a snowstorm.

    When we got back to town, we went to church to find out when the funeral was that I was asked to help with. Each group serves about once or twice a year if even that so I try to help out when it is my turn if I can. It was a 1:00 funeral but there were three ladies there at 9:30 setting tables, ect. so difficult child and I stayed to help. They were surprised and happy to see us.

    Once difficult child started helping, he started, on his own, looking and asking for ways to help and was FANTASTIC! He helped set dishes on the 17 tables, filled the pickle dishes, covered the plates of buns, put water on the table, filled the coffee pots with hot water, played host for many of the tables, helped clear dirty dishes, helped put table and chairs away, and helped me turn down the dishwasher. I could just tell he felt so grown up helping out - especially when he was the only one who could open the pickle jar.

    difficult child kept watch for when the funeral ended to give us the cue to uncover the cake and sandwich platters. At one point he did say he felt weird because he was bored so he was looking for ways to keep busy to keep from getting bored. Boredom is about the most noticeable trigger to his anxiety.

    One of the older ladies gave difficult child a hug and several kept telling him how they were so glad he was there to help. When we were just about done with the clean up, the lady in charge told difficult child that if he ever wanted a job, any of the kitchen ladies would love to have him help them and then made an announcement that difficult child helped so much, let's give him a hand so everyone clapped for him. He looked very pleased with himself.

    The funeral home had three funerals today so called on a hearse driver from another town to come help. The driver happened to come from my parent's town. He said the roads were very clear until just before the town we had turned around at. So, if I had gone 5 more miles (giving it one more town to decide) we would have gone to my parents! Even though visiting my parents is very important, I think today it was o.k. that we didn't make it there. What a great self esteem grower for difficult child to be involved with.
  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Good for difficult child! Learning to keep busy with the right sorts of things is a very good lesson to learn. :thumbsup:
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Way to Go difficult child!!!

    Andy, I think you are very right about it being OK to not go to your parents' home today. Even though the roads were clear just a little past where you were, you had that feeling that made you turn around for a reason.

    That reason just may have been to give difficult child this opportunity to help and get such positive reinforcement. It really is a big deal to our kids when they help out and are told they are doing things RIGHT. So often they hear the opposite, that they are doing it wrong, and it wears on them. Days like today make a lasting impression.

    I am sorry there were so many funerals, but I honestly think that you were MEANT to turn back so that difficult child could have this opportunity.

    I don't know if you did volunteer work in jr high or high school. I was a candy striper at age 16. And my first job was actually as much volunteer as anything - I worked in a used bookstore owned by a little old lady who couldn't sit for more than 2 hours. By working there I earned less $$ than my friends did, but I got all the books I could read (Heavensent for a bookworm like me!) and I got a real sense that I made a difference in someone's life.

    If you can, with-o making a big deal of it, maybe you can find other occasions/ways difficult child can volunteer. It can make a BIG difference in self esteem.

    Hugs to both of you! And to your parents who will miss you tonight.

  4. ML

    ML Guest

    What a great day. I'm glad it turned out this way and really glad you weren't stuck driving in a snowstorm.
  5. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    Wow, good for difficult child. It's so nice to be able to report good days - hu? I am glad you had such a nice day. :)
  6. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Very cool! I love that your difficult child did so much to help. I agree with Susie about the volunteering thing. When I was younger I did a lot of volunteering, started when I was 12 and was a candy striper when I was 15. I've always wanted to get my kids into volunteering but neither child showed any interest.
  7. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Thank you!

    I did a lot of volunteering while growing up. Usually helping with events at church. I have worked serving so often that I would not even cringe if someone asked me to set up a reception for a large event. It would come naturally.

    While easy child was growing up, I was involved in a community group and she watched me help others. She has volunteered at the local Veterans Home and hospital. One of my favorite volunteer positions was Service Unit Chair for Girl Scouts at which time I directed a 3 day day-camp. That was so much fun.

    I try to get my kids to help me whenever I can when I volunteer. difficult child has helped me with my Sunday School Superintendent duties. He helps me set up classrooms, take attendance, make copies, whatever I need him to do.

    Both kids enjoyed working at the local race track for several years before it went out of business. I managed the concession stand and they each had their duties in setting up, running, and cleaning up. The last two years of the races, difficult child even started learning the cash register during the slow times. He was also in charge of the popcorn maker and loved to make the popcorn. I can't thank the owners enough for allowing my kids this opportunity.

    I just told a friend of mine today that it is so much easier to give than to get. I love to do my part in making life easier for others. Volunteering is important in self-esteem.
  8. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    You are absolutely correct Andy! Knowing that I have something to offer has gone a long way toward helping to heal me as parent of a difficult child. And Duckie likes to help as well. :)
  9. Jena

    Jena New Member


    That is very cool and i'm really happy that he had that experience. Volunteering is a great thing, it's something that i'm looking to start with easy child. better late than never, and i would love to begin something with difficult child as well.

    glad you had a good day. :)
  10. Nancy423

    Nancy423 do I have to be the mom?

    here's another STANDING OVATION for difficult child's participation!!!! See if you can squeeze in more opportunities like this for him. :)