Our in-class discussion topic for the month of January 2018 will be Self-Control. During our lessons this week, we will talk about impulse control, using the story of Dwight Eisenhower, Halloween, and the apple tree. Our in-class discussion lesson for this week follows below:
Halloween was a much more rambunctious, rough and tumble night back in 1900 — much more about tricks than it was about treats. Dwight Eisenhower — his family nickname was “Ike” — had just turned 10 years old, and wanted to go out with his older brothers, Arthur and Edgar. Ike’s parents told him he was too young to go. He argued and pleaded with them as his brothers left, but their answer was still “no”. Ike was so angry and frustrated that he completely lost his temper — he ran out into the back yard, and started punching an apple tree there. He pounded the trunk of the tree with his fists over and over again, as fast and as hard as he could. By the time his father pulled him away, his hands were badly scraped and bleeding. His parents still told Ike “no”. Later that evening, as she bandaged his hands, Ike’s mother talked to him about his hot temper, and how important it was for him to learn to control it. She was worried about more than his hands. She explained to him that he had only hurt himself with his uncontrolled temper — he had made things worse for himself.
1) Why was Ike so angry when his parents told him “no”?
2) When Ike was punching the apple tree, was he in control of what he was doing?
3) Ike’s mother reminded him of a passage in the book of Proverbs — “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city”. What do you think she meant?
Please share your answers to these questions, and your thoughts about Self-Control, with our school community by using the form below.