Lap Talk

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My youngest was feeling a little low last week. The teacher sent home a long list of things that had been forgotten, ignored and left incomplete. I lectured him about the importance of schoolwork and how critical 5th grade was in the proper development of a normal human being. The look on his face when he left the kitchen told me he wasn't convinced.

A little later I went upstairs to see him for a "lap talk." The lecture method had failed so I tried taking him into my arms and sitting him on my lap for further conversation. While I held him, he told me about the offending lapses in his performance, the teacher's demands, and then he revealed the real problem behind all of the fuss -- he had made no "buddies" yet at his new school.

I had forgotten that two weeks is a long time to go without friends and the loneliness was showing itself in his work. After some reassuring words, a little help in finishing assignments and a visit from one of his friends from the old neighborhood, he was OK. Will's experience reminded me of the importance of friendship and how the lack of meaningful relationships can make us depressed and even ineffective in our work.

Sunday is Friend Day. This is a great opportunity for us to be with our friends, make new friends, extend friendships to those who are lonely and introduce your friends to each other. Let's take advantage of the day to do any or all of these things with our friends -- I'm sure Will would have benefited from such a day if they'd had it at his school.