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Summer is supposed to be magical for kids. It’s a time for ice cream, swimming pools, riding bikes, chasing fireflies, and hanging out with friends. You know, the stuff that childhood memories are made of.
However, moms like me know that isn’t always the case. In fact, summertime can downright suck. (Pardon my French.) It’s when our kids’ social awkwardness seems more obvious than ever.
Unstructured times have a way of amplifying that.
And while everyone else is running around laughing, our kids aren’t welcome. Sure, we can take them on excursions and plan fun activities, but we can’t do that every single day. And in those moments of stillness, the rejection can feel painfully obvious.
Enough is enough
June 20, 2018, was one of those countless awkward days. It was a Wednesday and my seven-year-old had been telling me since Monday that a fellow Vacation Bible School camper kept bothering him. The counselors tried to separate them, but this boy was like a wolf, always lurking and waiting to pounce.
(I didn’t usually hear about instances like this until months later, so I should have known this kid’s disdain was more extreme.)
As my kids loaded into the car that afternoon, my son announced that the boy had tried to punch him in the face. (Thankfully, my son has quick reflexes.)
For nine months or more, I’d been fearing this moment. That the aggressiveness a handful of teammates and other boys had exhibited, would turn into something even more serious.
And the moment had finally arrived.
As the camp director later told me, it was simply a personality conflict – a useless explanation I’d heard several times before. I knew there had to be more to it, but what?
I’d been trying to coach my son, but I couldn’t even determine what was making them upset. All I knew for certain was that these social dynamics weren’t going away. In fact, they were getting worse.
A day of reckoning
Although I didn’t know what was going on, it was time for some meaningful answers…
And so that day, in the VBS parking lot, became the day that I said, “no more.” I didn’t know where to turn, but come hell or high water, someone was going to give me a better explanation.
It started a trajectory I could never have envisioned…not only for my son, but for me.
So much has changed since then. That’s why June 20, 2019, feels like the perfect day to officially start promoting this labor of love – a little place on the Internet offering information and hope to those who need it.
Thank you for joining me on this journey. Now, let’s go shatter some myths about children who are “the G word” or, as I call them, “kite kids.” (here’s why)
If this sounds like a child you know, I have a lot to tell you.