Monday, June 8, 2015

Awards Day Anxiety

Today was the awards day at Cava's school. Unlike last year, this year, he was not receiving one. This, of course, caused anxiety in my wife and I since we were worried about how Cava would take it since he, like all the kids in his grade, would have to attend the ceremony during the school day. How would he deal with not getting an award and having to sit there to watch others receive one or more, especially kids from his class. It has been a bumpy school year this year and we did not want it to end on a bad note. The night before the awards day, we set Cava down and explained to him that he was not getting an award but that we were no less proud of him. We spoke to him about being happy for one's friends when they get one or more. We also talked to him about how it's okay to be disappointed, but it wasn't okay to let disappointment become bad behavior.

Cava took the talk well, but we were still nervous about how this day would go. Knowing what time the awards ceremony was, I know I was praying for Cava. It's hard for him to feel left out. I imagined my little boy having to sit there and watch others around him going up, getting their award and hearing others applaud for them and feeling like he was, once again, not of value. After eight years of hearing that he was bad and that he wasn't smart, he desperately craves validation, acceptance, and approbation.

Despite watching his friends around him get awards, Cava kept it together and didn't get angry. He congratulated them. It was only after the ceremony was over that he got sad and began to cry when he noticed other kids' parents were there and we weren't (something we had not thought of and had not talked to him about). But he even handled this well and asked his principal for a hug. He gave her a big hug and she gave him a big hug back. We absolutely love the principal of his school and are thankful to have her, as she is extremely patient and understanding of Cava and he adores her.

While Cava may not have received an award today, his Mom and I couldn't have been more proud of how he handled himself. This was a huge step forward for him. Way to go Cava!

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