"Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters! Let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger." - James 1:19
Because Bob was getting an award, we attended the private school's Wednesday morning chapel. The subject was James 1:19. I think the speaker must have been sitting in my office yesterday afternoon. She might as well have stared at Kitty the whole time - even the exaggerated examples she gave were not exaggerated enough to not be accurate.
She told the children they needed to listen to spirit of the words being spoken. She pointed out that the teachers loved the children and wanted the best for them. The children seemed to get the concept that usually corrections (criticisms, complaints, directions we don't want to hear) being given were not to be hurtful or mean, but to help the child. She also talked about how we had to listen to God's directives and do them even if we don't want to.
The speaker pointed out that our first instinct is to lash out and to say something hateful. Waiting to speak until we have time to process the information means we have time to first decide if the person talking to us really has our best interest at heart. Even if they are really just being mean and hurtful, then this still keeps us from saying something that will just get us in trouble - and you can't take it back.
She talked awhile about the fact that once you say something you can't take it back. You can try to mend the relationship, and hope they forgive you, but you can't erase it as if it never happened. I loved that they applied this to our technical society! Sometimes we hit send on an e-mail or text message and immediately regret it.
The last point was to be slow to anger. This is soooo hard for most of my children. Ponito has the least issues with it. Ironically Bear is now the next one. I guess all those years of uncontrollable anger (and lots of anger management therapy), combined with his medications helps him with this a lot.
Hubby and I are lucky in that both of us have very high boiling points. I think in over 15 years I count on one hand the times I have seen Hubby truely angry - and I've never seen him lose control. One time we were having a lot of difficulty with the car dealership over a problem that they kept denying was their fault (2 years later we received a check!). Hubby hit a steel support brace in the middle of the service bay so hard that the entire building could hear it - I can't believe he didn't break his hand! But he's NEVER hit a person and that's huge considering how much provocation Bear gave him when Bear was physically attacking Hubby.
After the "sermon" Bob received her award (for Service). Hubby and I had the hardest time not laughing! They started with the senior high students, a boy about 5'9" and a girl about 5'3", then out came our Bob - standing proud at 5'8" and wearing her high heeled boots making her at least 5'10" or 5'11"!!!! Add the tiny Asian 2nd grader and a Pre-K and they made an unusual looking bunch!! I'll post pictures as soon as I get a chance.
One thing I noticed was how hard it was to get a picture of Bob smiling. I've decided I really need to think harder about getting her into counseling. She is just not happy and yes, I realize this is normal for tweens, but she's been through a lot and has a lot of family history of mental illness to worry about.