If you have yet to read parts 1 through 3, start at the beginning because otherwise this won’t make a lot of sense.
With small children in the house, and Kyle continuing to be unsafe and defiant, something needed to change. Since Kyle wasn’t changing his behavior, regardless of what we did, we had to remove him from the situation. It was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to face. He was spiraling out of control and was ruining his life. While it hadn’t gotten to a point where the police were being called in, it was very quickly getting there, and we wanted to prevent that from happening.
The decision was made to send Kyle to boarding school, but with his history of violence, it became an issue not of where we wanted to send him, but where would he be accepted. We finally found one – in Missouri.
This isn’t a boarding school in the sense that they house your kids while they attend classes, instead it is more like they are allowed the opportunity to conduct independent study while they are housed there year round. It isn’t the ideal education for anybody, let alone Kyle who is rather smart, but his safety and long-term success took precedence.
When placing him in boarding school, we had to consider the safety of the small children in our home, as well as the fact that his behavior wasn’t changing. He needed to learn how to follow the rules, whatever roles they might be, which was something he wasn’t doing at home, in school, or in society in general. It took quite a while, he’s been there 3 years now, but he’s finally beginning to follow the rules at the boarding school. He’s on track to finish school at the end of the school year, which is approximately when he would have graduated had he been able to stay in high school here.
We don’t get to see him as much as we would like, only a few times a year for a very short visit. This time it is the longest that we will have with him since being admitted to the boarding school – 10 days. No, he doesn’t get vacations. Then again, neither does the school. It’s hard, because he has to actually earn the privilege of a visit home every few months, including Christmas.
Kyle is finally beginning to accept responsibility for his actions as well as understand the consequences of them. He doesn’t necessarily agree, but he is beginning to make that connection between what he does and what happens next. This was all missing previously, and his defiant behavior only made things worse. The last few days with him home have been pleasant enough, especially because he has reached a maturity level that seems to correspond to his age (if only relatively).
These last 4 blog entries were only a very brief overview in some of the broadest strokes possible of what has been going on with Kyle. There is, of course, a lot more to the story, enough to fill a book. Seriously. I’m just happy that there is now light at the end of the tunnel as far as my oldest child is concerned.