I can remember being in her office 5 years ago thinking about this exact thing. I may have even said it out loud. Her focus is family and child development, so it makes sense. It took a while, but we made it.

We (meaning the extended family unit) have been concerned with some new…and recurring old…behaviors from the kid. This year, things seem to be getting further beyond the boundary of what’s okay. We’ve all taken the time to share our hearts with the kid in regards to what we would hope for him and from him – and the behaviors continue.

It was time to get some help.

I have no problem admitting defeat. (It may take me a little longer to get there than others, but I will eventually get to the point where I realize that asking for help is the best next step.)

And maybe defeat isn’t the right word. It sounds so final. Rather, I should say: “I have no problem getting an outside opinion that will challenge me to think about new options and opportunities for continued growth.”

I scheduled an appointment with a counselor that I had worked with previously.

It was back in 2010, when I was so overwhelmed with emotions that I needed someone who wasn’t family or a close friend to help me think through reasonable next steps for my life. I could unpack my thoughts and she would challenge me with various logical next steps, and I could trust that her advice or recommendations weren’t tainted with the mud of my past or the torture of my present.

I told the kid that we had an appointment with a doctor who would help us be a stronger family.

He liked that idea. I do too.