Just got word from a co-worker that one of the parents of a client I work with considers me SNOOTY. I work with juveniles in crisis and this parent and I went to high school together 30 years ago. Not only was he a year older, but he was in none of the accelerated classes I was in nor was he one of the standout performers on the track team that I spent the other half of my waking hours on/around. If his definition of SNOOTY is 17-year-old me with my head burried in a book or training six days a week for hours at a time, then I guess I'm guilty as charged.
Here's the scenario: his kid is in a lot of trouble. Facing criminal charges for a pretty violent act he allegedly perpetrated, he also stands the risk of being removed from his home because the arrest for that crime violated his existing probation. Dad seems to think I'm not being supportive enough in court because I don't sit with the family while we're waiting to be called by the judge. I'm not an attorney, mind you, just a case planner trying to make sure he is doing all the stuff the court has asked him to do. But my day doesn't stop just because I'm in court waiting for the judge to finally make it to the bench for this one child. I've got other clients whose needs are just as important, which means I need to text and make calls to coordinate those schedules that I sometimes do in the down time we spend waiting around. It ain't all just about his kid, that's for certain.
Plus, his son has been extremely disrespectful to me in the past, even going so far as to curse me out in the family court waiting room in front of his mother and grandmother because I was telling him stuff about the consequences of non-compliance with the judge's orders that I guess he didn't want to hear. His mom didn't say one word about his behavior, either, other than a half-baked excuse tossed over her shoulder as she jumped up to chase after him.
As his son's Day of Reconning nears, I imagine my former school-mate's family is a little panicked over what might happen to their child. Perhaps I am the convenient scapegoat on whom to blame all that is wrong, who knows? I do hope the family gets what they need, which might involve he and mom stopping for two minutes and realizing that I'm not the one on trial, their child is. The professional that I am will always, always, always do whatever is necessary to assist the families I work with, but there comes a point that they must also be working with me. And their effort should at least match mine, as I don't think it is fair to ask me to go farther or work harder than you are willing to. Neither of us can do it alone. Man up and make your child do what he is supposed to: go to school, report to probation, drug treatment and work. Sitting back and letting him do what he wants will get you nowhere fast. Someone has to be the parent, here - and, as I don't live with him, it can't be me.
Rant over. Ms. SNOOTY signing out...