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.