This picture has been hanging by my front door for almost a year now, and I finally took it down today. I do daycare in my home,and this was the work of a then six year old. The task was to write about what we messed up on, and how we can do better next time. If you aren't a fluent reader of first grade works, it says; "When people don't want to play with me I feel mad and feel like I'm going to punch them.....If I'd like (to play with them) I'm going to ask." the artist is the tall one, punching the shorter one.
This gave me pause when he handed it to me, I remember reflecting on that it's a good reminder to the kids to slow down, stop and think, and adjust their behavior. It gave me pause again today as I took it down from the wall where it has been taped for many months. As I read it for the hundredth time I realized that it's a good reminder to me, too.
Even grown ups get heated and angry, and forget to pause and adjust our own behaviors. At least this grown up does. I am beyond punching people, and don't get overly offended when no one wants to play with me. But, I do tend to overreact. I forget to stop and think. Oh, the times I have completely lost my temper and had an adult sized melt down because so and so did or said such and such, and it turns out, it was just a big misunderstanding, and if I would have just chilled out for a second and asked the person what they meant, or addressed it in a calmer manner I could have saved us all the headache.
But, no, I fly off the handle, and start getting ten kinds of mad and don't stop and think, stop and adjust my way of dealing with the situation. What I failed to mention here is that this wasn't a simple case of "they don't want to play with me" these kids didn't tell him "you can't play with us" Nope. He never asked to play with them! He just assumed he couldn't play, got himself all worked up before even knowing whether or not they would say no, and so instead of asking if he could join the game, he walked over, punched another kid and then said; "That's for not letting me play with you!" the other kids were so confused and kept saying "we never said he couldn't play! He can play with us!"
Communication. Sometimes we could all work on that a little more. I know I could. I've found myself many a time getting all worked up over how someone would respond, and all angry about the conversation we were going to have, that by the time it actually came time to talk to them I ended up instigating an argument because I was so ticked about the stuff they said IN MY HEAD. That probably makes me crazy; "the voices in my head made me do it!" Ha!
If I would have just stopped and thought about it, if I would have just entered calmly, it wouldn't have been a big deal. Instead of asking, I just went in and started throwing punches! Let this serve as a reminder to us all to stop and think, stop and ask, stop and calmly deal with the issues before we let our tempers and selves get the best of us.