Thoughts on Primary Children . . . and Chocolate.

on June 5, 2012

For the last few months I’ve been teaching the 4 & 5 year olds in Primary.  I have loved it.  They have the best prayers and some of them are a little OCDish “and bless that we will be good, and bless that we will be good, and bless that we will be good.”  I totally get it!   And sometimes I know they try so hard to “be good” but when Sharing Time seems to be long it’s so hard to keep that butt on the chair.

A few weeks ago I got an addition to my class when a new family moved in.  A 4-year old girl and a 5-year old boy joined us.  They were equally as adorable as the rest of the class.  I did, however, learn quickly that the little boy, who I’ll call “M”, had some extra challenges.  Half way through class he told me I was fat.  I refuse to be offended by children who are only pointing out the obvious so I just matter of factly told him that I already knew.  In Sharing Time he starting pinching my butt and poking my belly.  Removing his hand and telling him that he needed to keep his hands to himself didn’t help.  I realized something wasn’t quite the same as the other kids.  A little talk with his parents confirmed that he did have some behavior challenges.

As “M” has become more comfortable his behavior has escalated.  He likes to poke my boobs – only because he knows it’s “not a good choice”.  He disobeys, runs around, pokes, says inappropriate things, and tries to get the other kids to laugh.  But the other kids don’t laugh.  And once after a particularly exhausting round — he came to me and sighed and said “was I good today?”  And I knew he meant it.  I knew it was extra hard for him to control that little body and mind of his.  I smiled and said “you made some really good choices today and I’m going to let your mom know that you did.”  I did recall a couple moments when he sat still and a moment when he shared.  I didn’t even add a “but” to the statement.  I’m sure he gets enough of “you did good, but . . . ”

Tonight I was thinking over my day.  I want and need to improve my health and today I had some struggles when it came to my food choices.  I did make some great choices today and I made some not so great choices.  As I knelt down to pray I was just so frustrated with myself.  Why is it so HARD to do what is good for me?  Immediately my little primary child, “M”, came to my mind.  I thought about how hard he tries to control that little body of his and how often those impulses are just too overwhelming for him and he has to poke something or say “booby booby booby” – when he knows darn well that they aren’t good choices.  When he knows he’ll have consequences.  Sometimes it’s just so hard.  And I thought about the adults in his life who love him — his parents, his grandparents, and even is primary teacher.  We want him to control himself because we know that life will be so much easier for him.  We know he’ll have better opportunities and less pain.  We want him to control his body and not just because he’s disruptive  – but because we know it will be better for him.

I realize how much I am like him.  Too often I WANT and I NEED that 3rd piece of chocolate RIGHT NOW.  But Heavenly Father knows that if I can learn to control my little body and impulses that things will be easier for me.  My body will be healthier and stronger.  I will be able to enjoy more things.  It will be better for me.

So my little primary child . . . tonight I pray for us both.

 

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4 responses to “Thoughts on Primary Children . . . and Chocolate.

  1. Erin says:

    Wow. What a great, true, and beautiful essay. Thank for that insight and also for making me think on my own destructive behaviors.

  2. tikenmoose says:

    I love this. How true it is for me, that even though I know what I’m doing isn’t good, I do it anyway. Maybe someday I can start getting it through my thick head too, that I have to learn to control my life.
    Thanks so much for this! Truly inspiring!

  3. laurel says:

    i love this so very very much. SO MUCH.

  4. Cassidi says:

    I’m sitting here crying thinking of my little “P” who tries so hard to make good choices. Sometimes it IS really hard – for both of us. Thanks DeAnn, you are the best!

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