Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Talk

DH went to Dave's house yesterday to talk to him about Ryan. Dave said that he hadn't seen a note on his door, although I still kind of doubt that since I had taped it A LOT and it was gone afterwards, but I really don't care. I can see how this would be the kind of conversation that a person would want to avoid.

Anyway, DH said that it went really, really well, and that poor Dave's face fell a mile when he heard what had happened. He was almost in tears. He said that now that Ryan's mom has moved 45 minutes away, he hasn't been able to spend as much time with Ryan as he would like, and he feels like he's failing as a father. He knows that Ryan doesn't get a lot of attention at home, and has been worried about his lack of many friends in his new school. They talked a long time about things Dave could do, like when he *is* here taking him to places where they can both be involved with a lot of other people who would be good influences on Ryan and maybe help both of them. He said that they used to go to church on Sunday mornings, but that lately they'd been just sleeping in instead, and DH said that he *almost* invited him to come to our church, since we have an excellent children's program and parenting classes every Sunday morning that all our friends there go to (in particular, there's a new series coming up about how to raise kids to be respectful and aware in a digital age, which I think is going to be really interesting, since it will talk about older kids as well as younger ones), but he couldn't quite bring himself to do it at the moment. Dave said that it will probably actually be helpful that Ryan can't come here anymore, since it will be a continual reminder that his behavior needs to change, and he will be affected by it every time he's here and ends up bored, or sees Patrick playing outside, or something. DH told him we definitely don't want either of them to feel like we're washing our hands of Ryan, because we do care about them, but we just can't know when we'll feel comfortable trusting him to be in our house again. Dave said that when DH left, he was going to call Ryan's mom and talk to her, and that he expected her to be terribly upset as well, since she's an animal lover and has two pugs. We all agree that it wasn't a thing where he meant to kill Luke on purpose, just that he needs serious help in making better decisions. DH told me that he also had to stop Ryan from throwing some 2x4's that we have on the upstairs porch over the railing to the yard below, where they could have killed the dogs (rather than having the dogs catch them, like he was probably thinking) or, God forbid, a person who happened to pop outside to call the dogs or something! So, they both need help, and Dave said that he was first going to try to get the story out of Ryan to see whether he would admit freely to what he'd done, and what his attitude about it was (whether he would tell the story like it was funny, or if he sounded malicious, or if he would lie about it compeltely). How Ryan reacts will depend on what Dave does, because it will mean the difference between him having supressed anger problems and taking out aggression on others, or whether he is simply not getting from cause to effect very well in his head. Regardless, he said he was going to talk to Ryan's mom about talking with the school about the guidance counselor involved. Phew.

So, it went very, very well, and DH was almost in tears when he got home because he felt so bad for Dave. I know it has to be tough to be a single guy, with one kid who you don't even live with, to know how to really make a lasting impression on him. I think I'm probably going to stop by there later on and invite him to come to church with us. I think the social thing will really help them both, because where we go really and truly is like a big family, and we all care for and discipline everyone's children, and do things together frequently outside as well. It's a great support system, and I think that having a lot of like-minded reinforcement in a tough situation can be really helpful. If they weren' t church goers already, I wouldn't mention it, but since they are, it can't hurt. Plus, I don't think Ryan and Patrick would be in the same class, since Ryan is ahead of him in school, but also I don't think Patrick hates Ryan anyway. He just knows that he can't come over anymore because he makes bad choices. So, as much as I don't want Ryan in the house, I'm over feeling like I don't even want to look at him ever again. He's just a messed up little kid who needs some better guidance. Now that I'm over being furious, I'm really, really sad for him, and I'm sorry that I don't feel like I can be more of a part of his life anymore.

8 comments:

d e v a n said...

I'm glad it went well. I bet that was tough on all sides. I hope that he gets the help he needs!

Shelly Overlook said...

What a relief for you to know the situation has been addressed and is being handled by his father, who obviously cares about him deeply. You and your husband are good people.

creative kerfuffle said...

i'm glad it went well and it does sound like ryan's dad really cares and wants to help him. whew. glad that conversation's over. i'm sure that was tough on dh too.

Melissa said...

Man, if that's how you were feeling about the conversation .. imagine how he was thinking it was going to go? =/

Really glad the conversation went well on all sides! It was the right thing to do, hope everything gets better for them both.

Not Your Aunt Bea said...

Glad his father is concerned, appalled, and will take steps to help his son. I hope that in a few months you're writing about how Ryan has really changed and is making wiser decisions.

Kristi said...

I'm glad everything went well!

Elizabeth Channel said...

Oh, these situations are so hard. We had a similar situation a few years ago with a child who could not maintain privacy. It was so difficult...sorry you are dealing with this...

Susiewearsthepants said...

I'm sure you are both relieved to have this talk behind you now. I'm glad Ryan's dad is not in denial about his son's behavior. Maybe he can get to the bottom of this and get Ryan some help. Y'all did the right thing.