"Teach the children so it won't be necessary to teach the adults." Abraham Lincoln
Curt, my 12-year-old student, was an exemplary example at a young age. He was a compulsive disruptive behavioral student and encopresis (wetting from fright). Curt alleviated a love-hate triangle between Olivia, Eric, and Melanie. He handled the situation with presidential aplomb.
Olivia and Eric had come to Mayo's child psyche unit frustrated, discouraged, skeptical, and fearful of help; simply fed-up with society. Olivia had become caught up in emotionally charged situations and appeared to perceive and think in a unique, though inconsistent, manner making her weak in judging situations causing numerous errors.
One morning, Eric, the object of Melanie and Olivia's desires, had accidentally pushed a note on the floor. Olivia picked up the note and screamed at Eric. He had not read the note as indicated by his look of disbelief. His curiosity overrode his response to Olivia's accusations. He grabbed it from her and read it aloud, "Do you love me, check yes or no." Peels of laughter. Oh, what had George Strait's country song caused? Melanie enter the fray, "Eric, I wrote it. Didn't you see me put it on your desk?"
The entire episode took only seconds. I hurried across the room and asked Eric to put the note away. Here I implemented with, "Rewind, back to good behavior, please." They all backed to their places. (Walking backward intervention helped anger dissipate the confrontation and gave me time to think.) But the solution came from having taught the child, Curt.
Warmhearted 12-year-old Curt parroted my schoolism comment, "School is for working on relationships. If you find friendship that's a bonus. Eric and Olivia, you should talk about it during break and next time find out facts before judging. " He looked up at me and explained that his father had said, "Remember when you point your finger there are three fingers pointing back at you. We have all done things we are not proud of." I responded, "Well said, young man."
I felt a twinge of separation anxiety for my OCD patient was ready to exit...President Lincoln would have been proud. A well learned student. His adult problems would be easier to handle.
Kaye is a teacher and author of multiple works including Valerie Valentine Visits Vincent Vampire