Using Nails to Drive Home the Message of Controlling Your Temper
Here is a great message about the cause and effect of losing your temper and the lasting impact it may have on others.
There once was a little boy who had a bad temper, his mother and father tried everything they could think to help him. One day his father was given a plan from a friend that taught martial arts.
The father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.
Finally, the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.
The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, “You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like those in the fence. If you hit a friend it leaves a bruise and even after the bruise fades it won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there.”
Now as a parent you can use video game pause button to teach your child about how important it is to pause when they feel anger and are about to lose their temper. Tell you child, “Let’s pretend you are playing your favorite video game and your character is being beaten badly and the bad guy is about to deal the final blow, what happens when you push pause? Right everything freezes, so why don’t we all install our own pause button in ourselves right now.”
And moms, dads, and guardians, here is a way to upgrade your child’s operating system. Teach them these 3 steps:
Step 1: Pause just like you would a video game.
Step 2: Slowly count to ten or even do it backwards
Step 3: Think of and seek out alternative solutions
It takes time to upgrade your child’s operating system. Here are a few tricks you may use at home:
Pause buttons do not work when your child is in a full-blown meltdown. Learn to recognize the symptoms of a meltdown ahead of time and remind the kids about the power of the pause button before it is full blown.
Patience is important for this upgrade to function properly, children only do 50% of what we tell them however they do 100% of what we show them, if you meltdown you are giving them permission to meltdown.
When you see your child trying to engage the new operating system praise them for effort, because a little encouragement goes a long way.