Jordan's initial response to just about anything is "No I didn't!" I think that's because typically kind behaviors don't come naturally to Jordan the way they do for most of us. Though he doesn't want to be mean or unkind, he can come across that way with his lack of natural kindness. This results in lots and lots and lots of discussions about what is kind behavior and what is not. Today, explaining to Jordan that what he had done WAS kind took just as much effort as explaining why some things he does aren't kind...
Having been sick in bed most of the day, Kacey didn't get to eat dinner with the family. When Kacey emerged from her room awhile later, Jordan asked if she would like him to make her a plate of food because the rest of the family had already eaten. This seemed quite out of character for Jordan, so Kacey brought it to my attention.
Being impressed with Jordan's thoughtfulness, I wanted to praise him, so I asked, "Jordan, did you offer to make Kacey a plate of food for dinner?"
"NO!" was the response--as if he had stopped listening after "Jordan, did you..." and he was being blamed for something he didn't do.
Knowing Jordan hadn't grasped that I was in the process of praising, I got a little more specific and asked if, when Kacey got out of bed, he had offered to get her some food since she had missed dinner.
The clarification did nothing other than make Jordan more specific with his response which was, "NO! I did NOT offer to make her a plate of food. I told her that her plate was at the table and she could go make herself some food."
This was one of those times where the connections just weren't coming together. Because Jordan had assumed whatever I was asking was a result of some misdeed on his part, it didn't matter what I said. He was bound and determined to deny.
Why would someone deny a good deed? Doesn't make a lot of sense unless you live with Jordan. It all goes in the same bucket as not making the connection that someone crying might be sad or someone making a stern face is upset. The version in Jordan's brain didn't match the story we were telling.
But I know.
And Kacey knows.
By the end of the whole "incident," Jordan was genuinely confused that a kind gesture had come naturally to him, but he managed a smile that seemed to say, "I guess I did good."
Next time I'll just say, "Hey, Jordan, good job!"