Sunday, September 30, 2012

I Heard it Through the Grapevine

I heard it through the grapevine...
I'm too nice. 

I'm never quite sure what to think when I hear that, but it's reasonable to interpret it as a micro-insult.

There are a lot of different camps of thinking in this field of group-home childcare. Although I'm not exactly the militant type, I know the world's problems cannot be hugged away.

Grape A told Grape B that a coworker and I are just too nice to the kids. And apparently that's a problem.

Grape B told me she explained to Grape A that we are good men and are Christian.

She then went on to say we all have strengths and weaknesses. She agreed we might need to grow in the area of firmness, but that our close rapport with the kids prove to be effective tools in behavior management.

Grape B basically said the same thing as Grape A, but with a couple major exceptions: 1) she actually said it to ME and 2) she didn't just tear me down. She was constructive, encouraging, and helpful.

My methods and motivation to work with the kids vary greatly. On one hand, I want to beat them into submission, quickly and sufficiently snuffing out all their nasty behaviors so I can look like a bad-ass life changer.

On the other hand, I know I need to just stand back and allow The Vine, the numero uno Bad-Ass Life Changer, to... well, change lives. And if I'm lucky, He'll do it through me.

Granted, that's not to say I couldn't toughen up a bit.
Although I already feel a little like rawhide sometimes...
Yep, that's a little self-defensiveness seeping through :-)

So now that we're all thinking about grapes (and you all know you got that awesome Marvin Gaye song stuck in you head), let's talk about fruit real quick.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." Galations 5:22

This is not me. But this is what I aspire to be. And with that in mind, I do actually need to toughen up. A lot. Toughen up enough to pay no mind to Grapes like A, thank God and surround myself with more Grapes like B, and always look to The Vine for guidance.


Mick Aslinger said...

People often think harshness is the answer when dealing with bad behavior. I can tell you from experience that sometimes a firm hand is needed but it only serves to stop the immediate issue. It does not address or correct in long term. I believe you can get a lot further with positive reinforcement.

Nate said...

"... a firm hand is needed but it only serves to stop the immediate issue."

Perfectly said!