I have spent ages today on youtube and the internet in general, trying to find an Indonesian version of Ten Green Bottles, and have been totally unable to. I found some other songs that I can use, but I really thought that would be an easy one to find and was surprised that it was not. Some of the other songs are funny though, and it’s quite good practice to try and figure out what they were singing about when I can only understand about one word in ten. My language skills seriously suck.
Emma was watching some with me, and she was so pleased with herself when she figured out that one song we were watching was some kind of Indonesian break up song. She was doing exactly what I’ve been getting the kids at school to do- pick out the words they know and then guess the rest. I helped her with the words that I knew, so we had love and cry and try and then Emma was like, “It’s a break up song!” It was like she was on Family Feud and had just guessed the top answer.
I talked to Jericho’s teacher today. There’s always a lot to say, but unfortunately not any simple solutions. In the end she and I both agree that the things about him that worry us are just facets of his personality – his anxiety and low self-esteem are innate, rather than being a response to a particular stressor. While I’m glad that there’s nothing particularly negative going on in his life to make him feel so stressed, it does leave us at the uncomfortable point of having to change Jericho himself, rather than change the situation he’s in.
Well, change is probably the wrong word. I just mean that we have to accept the fact that it’s not his environment that is the issue, but the fact that he always reacts in a certain way. While he does fixate on anything negative that happens, if we could change that particular thing he would just find something else to worry about, and he’d be no better off. What we need to do instead is teach him to concentrate on himself, and on finding ways to help him relax and ways to manage his general feelings of anxiety. Of course this isn’t exactly an easy thing to do – Hayley’s suggestion was that we get outside psychological help for him. It can be organised through the school, but that can be irregular and limited, so if we can organise it ourselves that would probably be better in terms of continuity and whatever.
I don’t know what the best thing for us to do will be. I just feel as though we have to do something before he gets much older, because I am so afraid of what his teenage years will bring. Adolescence is hard enough anyway, but it can also create havoc with mental health issues and for Jericho, the odds are overwhelmingly stacked against him. I feel like we’ve got this time now to help him, to give him some kind of foundation and tools against the future so that he might be okay.