Davey is 13, not too far off 14, and by instinct avoids the spotlight.
In many ways he's a dream kid. Just today we arrived home from school in the pouring rain, Davey grabbed his bag and raced inside as fast as he could while I filled the entry in the learner driver log book for Em's drive home, then organised all the stuff I had to carry inside. As I reached to open my door it opened for me and there was Davey with a cheeky grin holding a large sports umbrella for me as he held my door open. My heart melted with pride and joy.
He does well at school, sport, music and is well liked. And yet? And yet he can't ask the bus driver to let him get off at his stop. His bus driver is an approachable man and would willingly let him off at his stop, if only he knew it was Davey's stop! No-one else gets off at Davey's stop, so the bus driver won't stop there unless Davey tells the driver it's his stop. Will Davey do this? Uh, no. He'll walk an extra 2 kilometres in sweltering heat rather than walk to the front of the bus and tell the driver he needs to get off in ____ Avenue.
I've gently coached Davey in how to talk to the bus driver. I've told him at what point in the trip he needs to go up to the front of the bus, and that the driver will ask him if he needs to get off at the next stop, so that Davey won't even have to speak first. To no avail. Sigh.
I could probably ring the bus company and sort this out for Davey, but you know what? He's pretty close to 14 and I think this is a life skill he needs to get a handle on. If I do all these little tasks for him, he'll never do them himself and the world will appear more scarey to him than it really is. I want him to feel confident in his ability to negotiate life, and confidence grows from successful negotiations.
For the last 13 and 3/4 years I've worked hard at helping Davey chill, and in many ways he has learned to chill (nothing up tight about the way he keeps his room or leaves his stuff lying around!), speaking to bus drivers however, well, that's an Everest that's yet to be conquered.