I was surprised when Simon invited me to his house for dinner.
Simon is shy; for the most part, he keeps to himself. The day I arrived at his house, his mom greeted me warmly and shook my paw. She suggested we go outside and play until dinner was ready. At first, Simon and I talked, then we played cowboy and Indians and began shooting and hooting at one another.
Suddenly, Simon’s mom came out of the house and screamed, “Simon, how many times do I have to tell you to keep your big mouth shut? Who wants to listen to that annoying bark of yours?”
Simon just dropped his head and whispered, “Maybe we should go inside and watch TV.”
At dinner, Simon’s mom told his dad she yelled at Simon earlier because, like always, he was being loud, unruly, and annoying.
Simon’s dad didn’t respond and just went on eating.
I feel terrible that Simon has such lousy parents.
What can I do to help him?
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand why Simon doesn’t say much and is shy. Life with one parent who is verbally abusive and another who ignores you must be painful for him and a downer for his self-esteem. Barking, for crying out loud, is expected for dogs when they play.
What did Simon’s mom expect when she sent you outside that you would play cards or tiddlywinks?
She should have adopted a baby if she wanted a family member who doesn’t bark.
The best thing you can do for Simon is to tell him he doesn’t deserve to be treated so poorly by his parents.
Also, tell him he can talk to you anytime about his home life and feelings and count on you as his friend.
© 2023 Geneva Woodruff
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