My name is Autumn Buzzell and I live and work in Ghana, West Africa with City of Refuge Ministries. Here, I run our school, Faith Roots International Academy, and get to be a part in rescuing and the healing of children who have been trafficked into the fishing trade, orphaned, abandoned, and those who just need a little extra loving. What an amazing gift this life is!

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

To the Point of Breaking

It wasn't until I lived full time with children that I realized what my real breaking point was.

I mean, I was a teacher for years in the States.  Prior to teaching, I oversaw an after-school program, subbed, was a children's pastor.  I have held so many roles working with children.  I knew it wasn't always easy.  I knew they would push boundaries and push buttons, working to get me to lose my cool.  There were several times as a teacher in an inner-city school in California that I felt my temper rise and had to talk myself down before handling situations, just being pushed to that very limit, that place of such frustration.  And it seems like once kids find that place of frustration in you...wow...that's the button that they want to push every time.

When I moved here to City of Refuge, living full time with kids, I really found where that boundary line of frustration was located.  There were certain times when I was tired or already frustrated at a situation or had little alone time (oh the life of an introvert), that even one instance of disobedience or disrespectful behavior would push me right up to my breaking point.  I would cry.  I would shout.  I could feel my face flush and my anger rising within me.

And I know that I am not alone in my response, not alone in facing that boundary line and feeling like you have been drawn right up to the point of breaking.

Today was one of those days.  I told my friend Kathy that my response to one of our kid's disrespectful behavior towards me brought out a shout that even surprised me.  And I felt frustrated...not just at the little guy's behavior, but at MY OWN, knowing I was as much in the wrong as he was.

So, after cooling down, we sat down and had a long conversation.  There were tears and apologies from both parties.  It required me to humble myself in front of a little 7 year old boy, but it was necessary and needed and hopefully will also teach him was is required for reconciliation and respect in relationship.

How have you been drawn to the point of breaking with a child?  What did you do to reconcile that relationship and also bring correction?  Any advice in handling those little button-pushers who know just where to push to bring you to the point of breaking?

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