A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Proverbs 15:1 KJV
The morning routine has changed for my students this year. Many of them arrive in my classroom about 30 minutes earlier than they did last year. I didn’t think the added thirty minutes would make that big of a difference, but it does for one kid.
There is one young man who walks into my classroom every morning in a rage! He barrels through the crowd of kids, pushes desks, knocks over water bottles, and yells at people to move out of his way, grunting and kicking the whole time. Now, he isn’t a mean kid. He can actually be very sweet. This behavior surprised me, so I began to investigate his bus situation. I wanted to know who he sat with, was someone picking on him, what was the bus driver doing, and was something happening during the walk from the bus into my room. I got nothing! In fact, his ride on the bus is very short.
After a bit more investigation, I realized that this kid’s mornings are crazy at home. I imagine his mom yells at him to hurry up. His step dad is the disciplinarian, and probably rubs the kid the wrong way. This child starts his day in chaos, and then he can’t calm down.
We all know that it doesn’t take much to put us in a bad mood. One person can speak a negative thought to us and set us up for a bad day. We also know that it can be hard to turn around a bad mood.
I began playing soft music in my classroom. I started requiring my kids to work quietly. I now watch my words very carefully. I know that I need to ignore his bad mood and say several calming, kind statements to him before he can calm down. I have noticed that other kids are beginning to react to him in the same manner. They are using calming statements with each other and seem to enjoy our quiet moments before the instructional day begins.
Those of us with kids know how important this is. We all have had those mornings where our bad mood rubbed off onto our kids. God doesn’t want us to walk through this life in misery. He gave us an amazing world full of blessings to enjoy! Whose morning can you influence tomorrow? Can your positive language change the day for someone?