One of my kids today just didn't want to listen. I was sitting in my office and could hear the exchange back and forth with a counselor. The whining, the crying from the child. The raised voice and the frustration from the adult. Finally, knowing things were going from bad to worse, I stopped what I was doing and went out.
My office is on the second floor. There's a half wall that allows me to stand and peer down into the lower lobby where my kids go back and forth from activities, the restroom, the lunch room, etc. I hear a lot in that hallway (and they know it.) I went to the wall and looked down. He was standing there, mad and crying. I could see my employee frustrated and upset. It was a battle of wills. No one was going to win. I, in what is commonly referred to as my 'Miss April Voice' called down. 'What's the problem?' The staff member explained that the child wouldn't listen and go get changed in the bathroom after pool time. Now, I hate this part. Not that it isn't effective; is what should happen; and does what is right; but because I hate that usually above all when every one esle is ignored, they listen to me. 'Go, now!'
In that tone of voice, with those simple words, he goes. I head downstairs to have a 'chat' with him afterwards. This is a moment. An important moment. Knowing that I'm making a difference in his life. I'm the authority and you can't just do whatever you want. Someone is going to come along and you'll have to listen. A lot of times at my center, that's me. I forget how important that is. Not making him go change, not using that 'voice' but, helping him learn an order and structure for life, that is important. It may be the mores of a common society; laws of an organized community; or most importantly, God's 'rules.' But in the end its important.
I'm greatfull I have this opportunity. That I, even when its frustrating and tiring, get to have the chance to help them learn. I always try to keep this in mind, and I have to remember even in these frustrating moments, how important it is to help my children become a part of a community. That's what I want at the end of the day, to know that we are 'raising' a group of people who will make a healthy, meaningful, important mark on society. That's what matters. Not his happiness (we're not always gonna be happy in life), not my comfort or happiness; but what is best for everyone. Community. Thank you for this moment.