They also have a secret handshake they do every time they see each other and quickly bonded over a shared love of Pokemon, with Kyle bringing in some of his old Pokemon’s for his Little, much to Dereon’s delight. This pair is so happily matched that Dereon is often seen racing down the hall in excitement when it’s his Lunch Buddies day with Kyle. This joyful connectivity they share is why they are this month’s Match of the Month!
One of the ways in which Kyle ignites Dereon’s potential is by giving him space to let his creativity flourish. One of the match’s favorite activities is to make up their own games and challenges. Every week at Lunch Buddies, Kyle is either making up new games or obstacle courses with Dereon or making sure they do something different each time like trying out a new board game, and he explained “I like to encourage Dereon by applauding him through the creative games I create for us to do together.” Helping Dereon explore and expand his creativity in this way will also go a long way in igniting his potential throughout the length of their match and beyond!
During one particular Lunch Buddies icebreaker activity, the match had an open discussion about their fears. During this talk, Kyle shared with Dereon that his daughter had recently been diagnosed with a lifelong illness and Dereon responded by asking thoughtful questions and sharing some of his own fears and concerns about school and life. This type of open, honest communication is an important part of any good match, as it empowers the Little to speak their truths and learn to trust themselves and the world around them. The consistent encouragement Kyle shows his Little is also so empowering and the effort is definitely paying off, with Dereon stating “Kyle encourages me by trying new things with me and telling me that I can do whatever I put my mind to.”
One of the things Dereon has been working on over the past year is conflict resolution and Kyle has been right there by his side, encouraging and guiding him. When Dereon recently got upset with a classmate at recess, Kyle quickly took him to a calm space where he could openly discuss his feelings and come up with some ideas on what he could do next that would be productive and helpful in the situation. Kyle shared that he tries to be a safe adult for Dereon by providing him with a positive role model and exposing him to experiences he might not otherwise have. This consistency and commitment has made a real difference in Dereon’s life today and will positively impact in the future as well. Congratulations again to this spectacular pair!