I find behaviors, much like dirt, build up over time. One reaction leads to another, and before long ingrained patterns of unfortunate behaviors become the norm. Put another way, many of our behaviors become habits which are hard to break.
Speaking of habits, I tried to break some ingrained eating patterns this week. For the most part I eat well, but a few times a year I re-evaluate my choices and start over with a clean slate. Have you ever tried a juice cleanse? For three days this week I only consumed liquids – veggies, fruits and nutrients all blended into healthy shakes. My wife believes it is a bit unnatural to drink all your meals. She, like many, opt to chew their food. However, for me, this ritual helps purge my system and press the reset button. Isn’t it a shame we don’t have a behavioral cleanse we could take to detox as easily?
Teachers, as we get closer to the holiday season, behaviors will probably escalate. For some students the novelty of changes in routine, coupled with some trauma-induced holiday memories, might trigger unfortunate behaviors. Assume positive intent, celebrate the successes, and work through the failures.
Also remember – with each interaction we have the opportunity to create new healthy and happy holiday memories. And just maybe – as we focus on helping others with their behavioral habits, ours too will be impacted in a positive way in the process.