Friday, February 9, 2007

Bonding Boot Camp

My son has a problem communicating with non-family-member
adults. He rarely makes eye contact
with them and does not respond well when other adults attempt to discipline
him. These are not very good qualities
and it is something that I am working on. If you were to ask my friend Jacquelyn, she would say that she does not
have much of a relationship with my son. I do, however, have a very close relationship with both of her children
and they know and love me (at least I think they do). I know them very well too and feel a pretty strong bond with
them. I wish that these feelings were
reciprocated in my son’s relationship with Jacquelyn.

We’ve got a plan to make my wish come true. Tonight my son is at Bonding Boot Camp. He is spending the night at Jacquelyn’s house and they are going
to run through a series of bonding exercises. First, she is going to put some type of solid obstacle in an unusual
place in a high traffic area of her home. The chance that my son will run into it at least once during the course
of his stay is 99 percent. She will
ensure that she is there when the incident happens and comfort him with gusto
in the absence of me. This should build
trust between my son and Jacquelyn and, hopefully, will not cause a serious
injury. Secondly, she is planning to
serve him a meal that he does not like. He will complain about it and refuse to eat it. Instead of chiding him and forcing him to go
without food if he doesn’t eat what is on his plate, she will offer him chicken
dinos and mandarin oranges as an alternative. This will send my son the message that he can eat the foods he likes in
her house and will thus cause him to feel love for Jacquelyn. We discussed the possibility of performing
some type of trust fall with the children but decided against it as it would
not be a fair match up. Jacquelyn has
about 100 pounds on Truman and it might result in a serious injury for her. The last thing I want to do
is weaken the bond that she feels towards him. 

After tonight my son and Jacquelyn should have a renewed
relationship. Perhaps he might even
start making eye contact with her. That
would be major progress. I’m not
expecting a miracle but I would like to avoid incidents like the one that
happened a couple weeks ago when I told my son to apologize to a friend and he
responded, “But Mommy. I don’t say ‘I’m
sorry’ to any grown-ups but you.” Yeah,
I’ve got my work cut out for me.


  1. "Good luck with that!" comes to mind, sounds as if, at least, you guys have a plan, keep us posted on this one.

  2. 7:55PM Update:
    Truman has in fact run into a piece of furniture in my foyer. And I did comfort him with great enthusiasm. He even let me cuddle him a bit. :)
    He also refused to eat the pizza that we served stating that he only liked "Bug Pizza". I asked him if he would like for me to go out into the yard and dig up some bugs for him. When he declined, I said, "OK then, well get busy owe me two bites." He took two teenie tiny bites and I gave him a fruit rollup. Not sure if I scored any points there, but I did feel very proud that I could get him to take his mandatory two bites.

  3. 10:05PM Update:
    Kids are asleep and I even got a good-night hug from T. That's progress for sure.
    Earlier in the evening I jokingly told the kids that we might just have Truman come live with us. My daughter, Katherine, asked, "Well, where would we all sleep?" So I said, "Well, I guess we would have to get rid of either you or Patrick." Without missing a beat she said, "CAN I GO LIVE WITH NANNY??"
    Perhaps I should work on a little bonding with my own children?!?!?

  4. Grandma and "Pop Pop"February 10, 2007 at 2:17 PM

    Wow, two bites AND a hug. You are sure to earn the title of "Auntie Jacquelyn" very soon.
    Thanks for the progress notes. I think that "Bonding Camp" is a wonderful idea. Sounds like your plan is getting results.
    Anxious to read the morning update.

  5. Jacquelyn-
    Thanks so much for your hard work with my son. You would have clearly made an outstanding camp counselor. Forget about technology. There's a future for you in camps!

  6. Well, he didn't profess his undying love for you upon returning home, Jacquelyn, but he did say he had a ton of fun and he DID let you cut his nails. Major progress. We're coming along!