By: Lawrence Kim - Outreach Worker in Kingston-Galloway
October was a crazy month! There were definitely some challenges, like our first rainy day. We have to bring the kids in earlier and they can't expend their energy outside, so they're more prone to go wild; managing energetic and wild kids was an interesting time. I've been here two months now, and I know most of our kids quite well by now. I know some kids have figured out and understand what the whole point of our programs are and they're such a joy to see develop; other kids are taking a bit longer; some kids are really bogged down by attitudes that have developed as a result of their family or school circumstances.
In particular are two kids, let's call them Luke and Jimmy. Luke and Jimmy are two adorable little kids that are absolute bundles of joy. But sometimes their frustration gets the better of them and they act out, doing something they know they shouldn't have. And they absoluuuuuuutely cannot own up to whatever it is they did. I noticed this behaviour was prevalent amongst most of the kids, and it's so difficult to address this kind of attitude. Where can I start? How can I help these kids learn to accept that their misbehaviour has consequences?
I felt helpless at this conundrum. So I go back to the Gospel. The Gospel tells us even though we are so flawed and so hopelessly evil in the sight of the Lord, we're redeemed by Jesus' death on the cross which gave us grace overcoming all sin. Just as these kids must have consequences for their misbehaviour, so too we were charged with death for our sins. Knowing how much it cost Jesus to cleanse us of our sins, we flee from sinning again. How can I translate this to practical behaviour management? On my part, it helps me be more patient with the kids when they're acting up, but how can I translate the Gospel message into why they ought to behave? In truth, I don't have an answer that really works for these kids.
I can't hope to understand the depth of these kids' psyches, what makes them act the way they do; what they have experienced that has brought such brokenness into their lives. I'm not so experienced that I know how to practically answer all of their struggles. But I know God can do more. He is the Healer and Comforter. So I'll keep praying and showing patience and love and I'll let God do the rest!