Nine-year-old “Kai” wasn’t getting dressed in time for school. He wasn’t brushing his teeth either – a small oversight that angered Dad, who had lost his own teeth and wanted better health for his six children. Kai also was exhibiting attention-seeking behaviors that were disrupting both home and classroom.
Trusted by Kai’s family, Friend Phillip was invited into their home to facilitate conversation around these challenges. “What did you hear your dad say?” he asked, helping Kai to register his parents’ needs, then showing mom and dad how Kai might feel lost in their large, busy family.
Kai and his parents quickly created systems for giving Kai the one-on-one time he craved and the structure he needed. For example, they listed morning to-dos on a white board and agreed that daily checkmarks would earn Kai time with electronics before school. A full week would mean a special outing.
With more attention and clearer structures, Kai became focused at home and engaged at school. In May 2022 he was named Student of the Month!
Whether reinforcing classroom lessons, supporting family negotiations, or teaching new skills, Friends play an important role in empowering a child to succeed. They do not replace family, but they can have the positive impact of a trusted family member.