When I was younger and naive, I used to believe that there was no such thing as a bad kid.
Until I met Chaim. He was a terror.
Chaim was kicked out of his school, and trust me, for good reason. Aside from not being interested in learning, he was very disruptive in class. He would walk in late and on his way to his seat he strolled through the classroom, kicking a few kids on the way. If someone walked by his desk, his foot “happened” to trip him. He would talk, pass notes, and behave obnoxiously to the teacher and school.
At home, he was even worse. He was being mean and abusive to his siblings, arguing, fighting with and disrespecting his parents, and destroying the peace at home. It came to a point where his father threatened him to throw him out of the house.
That’s when he came to my office, the week before he was being thrown out of his house. I looked him in the eyes, and said, “What’s going on?” It took about forty minutes for him to open up, but this is what came out.
He cried. He spoke about how he used to live in a small apartment but his family was warm, close and friendly. Then they moved into a large house. His mother had to take another job to pay the bills. The parents were constantly fighting and arguing. His house became a very stressful place. So even though he got his own room and had more space, it came at the price of losing the warmth of his family.
All he wanted was to move back into the small apartment and spend time with his family. He missed the days when the family would lovingly sit together around the small table.
It was such a powerful reminder for me. A child that is “BAD” is a child in pain.
Can you relate?