Mr. & Mrs. Robertson – parents of a teenager
Mrs. Muldoon – counselor
Mrs. Muldoon: (Picks up phone) Sally, please send in Mr. & Mrs. Robertson.
Mr. & Mrs. Robertson enter
Mrs. Muldoon: Good afternoon, Mr. & Mrs. Robertson. I’m Mrs. Muldoon. It’s nice to meet you. (Holds out hand to Mr. Robertson)
Mr. Robertson: Good afternoon, Mrs. Muldoon, it’s nice to meet you, too.
Mrs. Robertson: Thank you for seeing us today.
Mrs. Muldoon: Please, sit down. My secretary told me you are having a serious problem, and she was able to reschedule some of my other clients.
Mrs. Robertson: We really appreciate it.
Mr. Robertson: Yes, we do.
Mrs. Muldoon: I see here from the form you filled out that you have 3 children, Jeremy, Laura, and Annie.
Mrs. Robertson: That’s right.
Mrs. Muldoon: Jeremy is the oldest at age 15.
Mrs. Robertson: Yes, then Laura who is 12 and Annie who is 4.
Mrs. Muldoon: And what seems to be the problem?
Mr. Robertson: You can probably guess just from that sheet you have in front of you. We’re having a problem with Jeremy.
Mrs. Muldoon: What kind of problem?
Mrs. Robertson: Well, it’s the way he’s acting. He doesn’t want to be seen with us as a family, his clothes are atrocious, and his hair is even worse. I’m never sure what color it’s going to be when he comes out of the bathroom.
Mr. Robertson: You mean if he comes out of the bathroom. We could just put a small refrigerator and a microwave in there and we’d be able to rent out his bedroom.
Mrs. Robertson: Some days he has his headset blaring so loud in his ears that he couldn’t hear you if you were standing right next to him yelling FIRE.
Mr. Robertson: But let the telephone ring three rooms away and he’s on it like flies on honey.
Mrs. Muldoon: Anything else?
Mrs. Robertson: Yesterday he got up at noon and complained to me about how tired he was. It seems his father and I woke him up. I was running the vacuum, and Frank was mowing the lawn.
Mr. Robertson: We’re just not sure of how or when or why to discipline him. He’s always been a kind, considerate kid, at least until the last 2 years or so. Now it seems like we’re living with an alien.
Mrs. Muldoon: Well, all of the behavior you have described to me is pretty normal for a teenager. Unfortunately, most teens seem to go through times like this. They are trying to be independent and achieve adult status. If you can think of it as a baby bird trying to learn to fly, it may help you to not be so anxious about Jeremy.
Mrs. Robertson: Yes, but baby birds don’t wear earrings all over their bodies.
Mrs. Muldoon: Does Jeremy have a favorite hobby?
Mr. Robertson: Yes, he does. He loves to draw. He thinks he’s not very good at it, but he really is.
Mrs. Muldoon: I do have a suggestion for you, then, which may help relieve some tension at home.
Mr. Robertson: Anything you think will help we’ll be willing to try.
Mrs. Muldoon: I’d like you to encourage Jeremy in his art. Think of creative ways you could use what he draws. Could you have it put on some copier paper for his computer? Maybe he could draw a picture for you to use on your correspondence. Or maybe you could take him to a local artists show.
Mrs. Robertson: They do have one coming up next week. Maybe we could take the whole family.
Mrs. Muldoon: It would be better if you could just take Jeremy, make him feel like the whole day is about him and his hobby. Anything you can do to improve your communication with Jeremy will help all of you.
Mr. Robertson: We’ll do that. Thank you Mrs. Muldoon, we appreciate your time. Now we only need one more thing from you today.
Mrs. Muldoon: What is that?
Mr. Robertson: A coat hanger for the car door.
Mrs. Muldoon: Uh, oh. Did you lock your keys inside?
Mr. Robertson: No. We left them in the car with Jeremy so he could listen to the radio.
Mrs. Muldoon: Can’t Jeremy let you in then?
Mr. Robertson: He CAN, but he WON’T. (Mrs. Robertson shakes head in
Copyright John & Joanne Miller, all rights reserved.
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