7/09/2018

SPD, Sunday School and Broken Hearts

Yesterday I was about ready to just quit church. Like forever. God's people really are big ball of hot mess a lot of the time. And grace is a good thing. We all need it. But man, sometimes I wish I could call in a smiting.


I've talked once before about younger boy's sensory processing disorder and how it is making church really, really hard. After that first post, we did indeed pull the boy from Sunday school and have him sit in church with us for a couple of weeks. It went okay and was getting better with each iteration, but the children's minister was like "No, bring him back! We want him to be with his peers! It'll be fine!" And honestly, all those exclamation marks should've been my first clue. But whatever, we went ahead and took him back.

For a while it seemed to be going okay. And then yesterday.

Yesterday, I was greeted at the door at pickup time by the substitute teacher (who, admittedly, if I'd done drop off? I would not have left younger boy in the class. But Tim didn't know.) who told me that littlest had been hitting and mean the whole time with no provocation.

I have so many problems with this, it's hard to know where to start. First up - I don't buy the no provocation. Now, I'll easily admit that his response may have been WAY out of proportion to the provocation, but I'm betting there was some. He routinely comes home and at some point that day or the next will cry to me about how the kids at church are mean to him and say, "Go away, we hate you." and how that makes him angry and so he hits them. We're working on that last part, because it's not okay to hit when you're angry, but that first part? Who's working on that? I'll tell you who. No one. Because no one believes it's happening. But I don't think six year olds make that up. I just don't. When I tried to investigate that, this woman says, "Well he did. I was there."

Fine. Whatever. I don't believe you, but whatever.

Let's address the second bit, shall we? If a kid -- any kid -- is hitting and mean more than like let's say twice, why are the parents not being called? They know how to contact me. I've explicitly ASKED them to get me out of the service if he's having a hard time. No one expects children's ministry workers to keep dealing with a kid who isn't having it for a particular day. No one.

So was the whole time hyperbole? Or was he really that awful for the full 90 minutes? And even if it wasn't the full 90 minutes, if it was more than twice then we return to my initial statement of COME AND GET ME BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT I'VE ASKED TO HAVE HAPPEN MULTIPLE TIMES.

Which makes me wonder whether things were actually going well for that little while or were they just not telling me about it at pickup? Given my trust level at this point, I'm going to assume it's the latter.

I spent the bulk of yesterday vacillating between anger and sobbing. Sometimes a mixture. Because I don't really know what to do. He obviously can't go back to Sunday school. (And talking to him about it a little this afternoon, that doesn't really upset him. Which breaks my heart even more, because there's obviously something going on that's prompting him lashing out. It may be as simple as it being over crowded (cause it is) or maybe there's something else. I have no idea.) But when do I try again? When we move classes in the fall? I don't see that being any better -- if anything, 1st grade SS is a smaller room and it's one with no toys. If he did badly in the K room, he'll fail miserably in the 1st grade room. But at the same time, I want him to have the opportunity to learn how to navigate social situations. And it seems like he needs to learn how to navigate them without mom holding his hand, but maybe not. Maybe the answer is for me to go to SS with him - not to help anyone else, but to simply help him moderate his behavior. And maybe with me there, other kids wouldn't be so mean to him.

For now, he'll be coming to service with us.

And I've bailed out of teaching VBS. If he can't handle Sunday school, there's no way he's going to handle 300 kids of all ages in VBS. There just isn't. And that breaks my heart too, because in the past he's enjoyed that week. The lady in charge asked me if maybe I took around a group of five, one of whom was little bit, did I think that would work and my answer is that I have no idea. It might. But it could also fail spectacularly. And if I did that? I'd be there for my doodle. Which means that if it was clear it wasn't working, there'd be four kids who'd have to be reassigned or something because at this point I'll pull him in a heartbeat if it's an unpleasant situation. So really, that equates to no, it won't work.

I don't like any of the solutions. They all seem to have one thing in common - my child loses. And all because the church has no semblance of an idea how to deal with kids who need a little extra something.

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