That's Enough!

Have you ever asked yourself when enough is really enough? 
And is there a point when enough is really too much?
Yep, that's what I woke up wondering this morning.
I think it's because of this book:

I've been on a cleaning spree and I couldn't decide about this book.
Do I keep it or donate it?
Obviously I purchased it for a reason;
I'm always very intentional when I buy a book.
So I decided to try it out on a first-grade boy who
periodically has invited himself to my office
just to check in with me and, if he gets I get lucky,
he stays long enough to read a story.

This Jules Feiffer thinker is an imaginative first-person narrative from the boy in the top left about the boy in the bottom right.
The boy across the street.
Someone he doesn't even know.
Someone he wishes he did.
Someone he envies a great deal.
And as we were reading, my friend (whom I'll call Collin 'cause that's his name) is saying things like, "Wow, that kid's greedy" and "Stuff isn't really that important, is it, Mrs. Gruener?" and "Who would really want a piranha for a pet anyway?"
In the end, however, we realize that the kid across the street
probably doesn't really have all of this stuff and that the lonely
boy probably wouldn't even want all of that stuff anyway ...
what he really wants ... in the end ... is a friend.

So Collin asks if he can take the book back to his first-grade class to see what they think. As he hands it to his teacher, I hear him tell her that "it's weird!" and ask politely if she could find some time for them to read it together because he wants to know what she and his classmates think. Of course, she does ...

Flash forward to recess. I see Collin and his classmates through the fence on the playground as I'm returning from lunch. As they invite me to jump the fence and come play, one sincere little girl asks me a question I won't quickly forget: 
What can I do about jealousy, Mrs. Gruener?  

Oh, no, have you been visited by the big green jealousy monster? I hear myself reply, to which Collin chimes in that he gets visits from that little green guy all the time when he's around his little brother. I just love that kid! Anyway, we have this brief counseling chat about being green with envy in a group of about six firsties who've gathered to watch and see if I actually will jump the fence or not (while they visit with me about jealousy) ... and I'm still thinking about it this morning.
Because of that book.
What can you do when the jealousy monster pays a visit?
When is enough ... enough?
I think that's a valid question ... 
and there's probably a really good answer
that varies person by person, day by day.
So I've created an I Quit card to try.

Download Frame/Border by Tracee Orman {here}

I'm going to complete these with students who want to
quit a behavior, thought or feeling that they've had enough of:
Feeling jealous
Boasting or bragging
Spreading rumors
Excluding others
Insert your poison {-----here-----}

It may sounds waaaaaaay too simple,
but the first step simply has to be saying,
"That's Enough!"
No more.
Cease and desist.

Make a plan together with students detailing how.
Then, encourage them do it.
With intention.
On purpose.
Every minute of every day.
Suggest posting it on the bathroom mirror
so it's a daily reminder of their goal. 
Or by their calendar so they can check off days.
Remember, only 21 days to break a bad habit
and replace it with a healthier, happier one! 
With a little help if they need it.
From a family member, a friend,
or an accountability group of critical friends.

They can do it.
And, when the behavior or feeling they've had enough of is gone,
they'll be glad they did ... 
and their stakeholders will celebrate with them.

What ideas have you used with success
to help students combat that big green jealousy monster?


  1. I like this idea Barbara. I think I would add to it a second card that says I will. Quitting a bad habit is most effective if we replace it with a positive one. For instance, I Quit gossiping and I Will encourage others. What do you think?

    1. Love it, Lynn. Focusing on replacement behaviors would totally help them quit! Thanks.

      And happy retirement.



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