Perspective! Some things can only be appreciated when placed in proper perspective. This morning my precious, big hearted, young man awoke and chose not to get out to bed on time. I politely stirred him; I was met with whining, anger and moaning. Usually, I get upset with this behavior. Then I put it into perspective and said to myself "I have been there-sometimes I don't want to get up either; someone being sweet only aggravates me more" He will get up soon because he will not want to hear my gentle prods turn to full throttle attacks. Perspective based on previous experiences is usually right on.

I am doing a little at home video workout as he emerges from his room, dressed, head hung, hair in his face and grumpy! He flops on the couch and proceeds to politely tell me I am not doing the exercise right. This might usually discourage me and I might snap back a flippant comment,; instead perspective speaks and hey, he is probably just trying to help. “Thank you Hunter, you are probably right." He leaves and heads to the kitchen I hear clunking and shuffling and all sorts of amazing sounds coming from the kitchen. I couldn't quite tell if he was unloading the dishwasher or what. Then I hear it "UUUGHHHH! What the... long drawn out sigh.” He is dramatically making sounds of frustration that I ignore as I recognize them completely: Hunter has realized he can't have what he wants. Even more dramatically he tries to assert response from me by making more sounds and moving into my line of sight so that I can clearly see his dissatisfaction and frustration. I continue on working out. In my head I know this is a bad start to a day with Hunter--given these upsetting situations it can at times send him further and further into anger and because he's tough and cool so he has to keep up the act. It is an act because this is one of the sweetest boys ever! The mystery of his drama is revealed Hunter he has realized that there is no...dun, dun, dun- milk!

I finish my routine and go join Hunter at the table. "Hunter" I ask "what is the matter?" While holding his head in one hand he flings his other hand in the direction of the counter which was covered with bowls, a skillet, baking mix, measuring cups etc. "There is no milk!" I cannot go through all the dialogue; to sum up: his life is ruined because there is no milk. I asked him was there milk for dad, me, Brit--I don't know...yeah but he didn't get all this stuff up and now I am going to have to...yada yada-I am sure you get the picture. Of course you know I went through all the food options to combat the "there's nothing to eat" statement. For times sake let me just say: being my unusually calm self, I proceeded to let Hunter know that because of his attitude he was not going to be allowed to have breakfast this morning. That was met with the old faithful "I don't care" then as I didn't respond he hits me with a "you can go to jail for this you know" "No, Hunter, I will not go to jail" "you will.... more dialogue… to sum it up Hunter was trying to talk about something he knows nothing about but by God he is not going to back down now. I go about my business of the morning and time was ticking by and Hunter was not taking care of any of his responsibilities.

Testing! Usually mothers get to hand their kids off to some unsuspecting teacher and let them deal with the little booger; but no-praise God! I get to be both. I warn him that there is 20 minutes before school...10...Hunter it's 9:59 "Then I still have one minute" he says. Oh! Boy he is in rare form; I should maintain a good distance to avoid bodily contact or I might just go to jail and the obstinate one would be right! 10:00 hits and I say "Hunter as your mother I want to let you know that I am upset that you have not cleaned up your mess and now you are going to be late for school. As your teacher I want you to know that I am not happy that you are late for school and not ready to begin as required. No I'm not late-oh yes you are-no I’m here--GO clean your mess! He is huffing and puffing but cleaning no less. Then I notice a softening. It is the softening that comes before he is about to beg or do something that he hopes that I will have mercy on him and say nothing. Too bad-I said it!--he was getting out bread, peanut butter… Hunter you are not having breakfast this morning. Full on pout! And a cryyyyy that would challenge any two year old that just found the freedom in the word NO! No reaction from me; again, unusual.

He goes to his desk "starving!" and sits. I do not see him getting out any text books, or looking over his lessons, just sitting and doing nothing. I am working on the computer; of course I am google-ing if I really could go to jail, actually how long it takes to starve, hunger in the US, the world, statistics anything any good home schooling mom would do with a TEACHABLE MOMENT of this magnitude. I look over and my baby boy is fiddling doing nothing he has now sat at his desk for 40 minutes. “Hunter, why aren’t you starting school?” “I’m on strike” “Okay, well that is your choice.” Look at how cool I am remaining; those that know me know that I am full of words, FULL of words! I can slice a man to his kneecaps giving 15 seconds of air time. This is NOT an admirable trait in a wife or mother and I am no condoning any chopping of men in this blog.

I can tell from the tone of his voice he is remorseful; see I told you he was a sweetie. “Mom, thank you for cleaning my desk” “you’re welcome Hunter” “and I’m sorry for my attitude earlier” “I know you are Hunter-I know that was not who you are--so when I see you act like that I know it isn’t you and I am not going to put up with you being or acting like someone you are not.” “I know; I’m sorry.”

Luckily for him, and you, I had stumbled upon some great teachable material! VIDEOS! Thanks to my wonderful friends at World Vision International I remembered hearing about the forty hour famine. No, I am not going to make Hunter go without food for forty hours (if he chose to do that I would support him) and you’ll see why. There is a new danger to our youth; you will really want to check this out. It is called “Affluenza!” Thankfully research has been conducted and I can share with you; my friends and family, the truth about this common condition.

Please if you have made it this far you can last another 12 minutes and 36 seconds for 2 short videos (and whatever time it takes for your browser to load-I like to be honest and precise and would never want to---I am wasting precious time that you could be watching these amazing, creative videos! Go moms, aunts, grand-parents, one and all! Let’s take a look from a different perspective!

Teenage affluenza is spreading:

Do Something Real:

Needless to say, my sweet Hunter was very thankful to watch these. He was moved to compassion. He just needs some perspective at times. Enjoy shifting yours!

Getting perspective,
Jen Polk (feel free to pass this on to someone you love)
This is a true story. The contents have been approved for sharing by Hunter and His father (my husband) the amazing Trent Polk!