I had a session with one of my favorite little 8 y.o. munchkins this week. He continues to struggle with controlling his temper in the classroom so we were reviewing some of the techniques I had taught him on how to manage his anger. After some brainstorming, his very animated little face only winced and glanced up to the ceiling as he claimed that he could only remember “deep breathing.”
I was starting to breath deeply myself as I became more and more frustrated thinking about his continued crying spells and temper tantrums despite our weekly sessions. I decided to change the topic of discussion completely and asked him to share about his cub scouts pack as this is something he really seems to enjoy (I was digging for clues on things I could use to incentivize him.)
Well, this little munchkin had PLENTY to share about cub scouts. Namely that his pack leader had taught him a lot of really cool words in sign language and he preceded to show me: This is “more”, “water”, “thirsty”, “mom”, “sweet”, and “I love you.” As I praised him for how amazing he was for having learned so many words, he interrupted me…. “Ms. Cristina, (I love you in sign language).”
Well, at this I was completely floored and reciprocated the sign and told him I loved him too (with a huge cheesy grin on my face, I might add)…. Then he interrupted me again… “No but, Ms. Cristina (I love you more in sign language)”
Well, a little piece of me just about died. I completely forgot about his coughing and runny nose (he was just getting over a cold as children so frequently are) and I extended my arms for a hug only to have him give me the most heart-felt squeeze ever. How can you beat that?! (sigh) Made my school-year.