Tuesday, August 14, 2012

That Bites!

I have to admit I do not understand the fascination with vampires in Twilight or similar stories. I suppose when I was younger it was Dracula and bats, but still.....the whole romance thing with a vampire and living forever? I hate needles, I don't think pointy teeth would be any better. Living in the world we're in now? No thanks.

If you hang around little children for any length of time more than likely you will experience their frustration when they bite another child, him/herself or you! Take a toy they want? Chomp. Not paying attention to them? Chomp. These are not usually little love bites either. They leave marks!

I started to wonder though. How do kids learn to bite when they are frustrated? It's not like it is a modeled behavior. I highly doubt (in most households!) that the child has seen mom and dad biting each other when they get frustrated. They might have seen another child bite someone and saw the reaction it received. Behaviors that receive attention get repeated....often!

As loving parents and kid caregivers, we start teaching children that it is inappropriate to bite when frustrated. We help them learn to recognize that feeling and handle it in a better way that does not hurt them or anyone else. As adults, we don't walk around biting each other so we obviously learned somewhere along the way other ways to handle frustrations.

One way adults usually handle frustration is to use words. Sometimes this is probably not much better than biting. Words can hurt without leaving marks. Unfortunately? Once it is out of your mouth? You can't take it back. You can't make the other person forget what was said, how it was said OR keep them from replaying that over and over in their head. Even as adults, we need a reminder that we need to handle our frustrations appropriately.

Galatians 5:14-15 (NIV) For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

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