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That is wonderful! Building a rapport is the best thing at this point because it helps you be more open and direct when Mr R returns. You are much more hopeful than the last time we talked, and I am very glad!
Yes, call the therapist and discuss your anticipations and agenda for the next session. This will help you prepare emotionally. You may want to write down specific topics you want to discuss as well. Some therapists really like for you to set the agenda, and they go with the flow.
Please let me know if I can assist you further. I am glad you are talking about your feelings and concerns. Gina
I like receiving your comments to my reply and questions. It helps me keep on the right track. I hope that on my next session with the therapist, that I will still be feeling hopeful and positive about our conversations particularly when we have a joint session with Mr. R.
As for Joseph, we spent a wonderful week-end together. His father is away on vacation until next Thursday, so I have been taking this opportunity to bond with Joseph. We went to the Newseum together, which he enjoyed and to his basketball game this evening among other things. We have been having a lot of conversations about honesty, attitude, how to focus on what he is doing, why we pray, etc. We had his friends over for pizza and he also spent some time at another friends house today. When he went to bed this evening, he thanked me for a great weekend. I have to say that we are more relaxed because his father is not with us. I realized that the challenge for me is how to integrate his father with us, because we do things separately with Joseph. Joseph usually does things with his father, excluding me. And I do things with Joseph and except for meals in the evening, we do very few things together with his father. This is a pattern that Mr. R. started since Joseph was 5 years old. He defended it as just between "father and son". Joseph would cry a lot whenever his father would insist on taking him somewhere without me. So Joseph learned to adapt to do things with his father and to do separate things with me.
He is more responsible when he is with me about picking up after himself, eating properly, doing his schoolwork, helping with chores and has been very affectionate through it all.
I am reading a wonderful book by Dr. Meg Meeker called 7 Secrets to Raising Healthy Sons and I see me and Joseph all throughout this book. It has affirmed a lot of things I have been doing with Joseph in guiding him particularly as he is going through pre-teen stage.
I will take up your suggestion on preparing an agenda of specific things to discuss with the therapist so we make the best use of the session. I feel that we have to have a session with him again soon so we don't loose track of what we are trying to accomplish.
It sounds as if Joseph feels very secure with you since he is well aware of the expectations you have of him. Boundaries help children feel safe.
It is important that his father spend time with him as well, but he is probably not accustomed to consistent time with his father, and this will be a transition for him. In addition, you are typically the disciplinarian, so the time with father is probably fun and games. Joseph may need an adjustment period for this as well, especially if his father begins discipline measures of his own.
I am glad you and Joseph are well bonded. He sounds like a wonderful young man!
Please let me know how it is going, and if you have any questions. Gina