My six year old grandson said when I get angry I want to cuss. Trying not to show shock or disapproval, I thought this is a great opportunity to talk through some things. He has started first grade, riding the bus and being exposed to much in this world. We raised him for five years, he went to a Christian school and was in a nurturing and protective environment. The fact is, your young ones won’t always be under your protective wings. The first five years are crucial in their emotional development. The things you plant in their young lives will impact them the rest of their lives. No pressure!
“Do not touch that electric outlet! You might get shocked!” How many times did we all say that when our kids were babies? (Who knew I was the one to get shocked.) Start instilling in the young ones the ability to make wise choices even when they’re crawling. Maybe especially when they’re crawling. As they grow they must learn to face the consequences of poor choices. Hoping for solid growth you start planting early so the roots of wise behavior will grow deep and strong. This starts a course for their life that will carry them to college and beyond. You shouldn’t have to tell them they can’t drink and drive. They will develop reasoning that knows right from wrong. We all pray for this anyway.
Sounds good, but how do I handle this current crisis? We were driving, a good time to have a captive audience. I asked him why he felt this and where he heard it? More shocking words! “This person I know smokes and says the f word when he gets angry and it helps his anger,” he said. He added, “ I can’t say the f word until I get out of high school.” Such a worthy goal?
I wondered what I could say to this? I said everybody gets angry sometimes but there are things you can do to make it go away without cussing. Here’s a list of things we discussed that day, on the way home from church I might add.
1) Count to 5. This makes your brain switch channels so you are not thinking of anger, but rather counting to 5. He said yeah, and started counting, 1, in a deep gruff voice…2, in a deep voice, not gruff…3, in kind of a deep voice…4, no deep or gruff tone…5, in a normal tone, like that. I said “you are so smart! You got it right away.”
2) Run around the house. Exercise helps release emotions if you’re feeling mad or sad. I know of a woman who would send the kids out to run laps around the house when they got restless or bored. This calmed them and helped their focus.
3) Pray, for God is able to help you when you want to do something you shouldn’t. I asked, “What if Jesus came in the room when you said something bad? You want to always say kind, respectful words since you don’t know who is listening.”
4) Talk; he said “I would talk to my teacher because she’s the best teacher in the whole school and if I’m mad or sad she gives me a hug.” God Bless her! I said “it’s good to talk to someone and listen to what they have to say. And hugs are always good.”
He seemed satisfied after this talk. I know I was. We must lead our young ones by example, for they are great imitators. We planted seeds when he was young and I believe they will give him deep roots so he’ll have stability and the strength to succeed when the winds and storms of life come. Whether he is in first grade or the first year of college he will be a kind, caring, productive person who speaks words of life and love, not cussing!
Sam is a businessman, writer, entertainer, speaker, husband, father to six children, grandfather and great grandfather. Sam graduated from Huntington University with a B.A. in phychology and drama and pursued a degree in Broadcasting from Illinois Central College with graduate level studies at Christian Leadership University. Sam is the creator of Granpa Cratchet, one of the most successful touring shows in the history of the live events industry. Millions of people see Granpa every year all across the United States at fairs and festivals. His characters have appeared on every major network: Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight, The Today Show (4 times). Sam and his characters have made over 500 local appearances and on all the major networks; NBC, CBS, ABC, ESPN, PBN, The LeSea Network, The PTL Network and Praise the Lord. They currently appear all around the world every week on YouTube and Facebook, and on several satellite networks via the Kidz Television Network and The Captain Hook (children's) Show.