Button Pushers

Have you ever got on an elevator only to find that some prankster has pushed all the buttons, and you have to go to the top floor? It is pretty irritating, isn’t it? It seems the world is filled with button pushers and some of the best button pushers are the ones we know well.

Why do people like pushing other people’s buttons? It is often done in jest, and yet many times it is not received well. Sadly, button pushing has become an art for some people.

I was watching three boys in one of my 3rd grade classes yesterday. They were sitting on opposite sides of the class from one another and yet they still managed to taunt one another with looks, snide comments, and outright disrespect for one another.

I talk daily with kids about just being kind to one another and avoiding those people who push their buttons, but you know what they inevitably tell me? “It was them….not me!” They don’t take responsibility for their own part in it.

One of the boys who is constantly getting in trouble was complaining to me about what another boy said to him. When I confronted the other boy about his behavior, you know what the first boy did? He pointed at the other boy and shouted, “Ha!” There were probably daggers coming out of my eyes at that point. LOL. I had been used to push buttons for him!

Later that morning I was making my rounds and one of the boys was in the hallway standing in a corner…sulking. I asked him what happened and he began the blame game. The other boys got him in trouble. I asked him, “Who got in trouble? YOU! What lesson did you learn?” He said, “To keep my mouth shut!” If ONLY they would learn THAT lesson.

I try to get kids to understand that when they let other people push their buttons, they are letting them control them. Why would anyone want someone to control them? The truth is, they don’t want it but they just don’t know how to respond. They don’t understand the power of self-control.

It is sad to see kids with no self-control, but when I meet some of the parents I see why they do what they do. I am surprised that they are doing as well as they are considering the environment they are living in at home. When dysfunction is their model, what can you really expect?  And then they drop off their kids at school and basically tell us to “Deal with it.”

Earlier this week we had a lock-down because of a threat by one of the students that they were bringing a gun to school. It never happened, but the threat was not to be taken lightly…and we didn’t.

I pray for our schools daily. There is a lot of evil in this world and it seems that our kids are the ones paying the biggest price. Pray for the teachers, the administrators, the parents…and most of all…the kids. We need it more than you know.

Shalom!

Dan Skognes

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