Chapter 1 of 4 – Brian, Melanie, Mark, and Austin are really angry. They visit with the school guidance counselor to get help in using the SPAM method so they can get control of their temper. (S.P.A.M. = Stop-Ponder-Appreciate-Moment)
Chapter 1: Brian uses the S.P.A.M. method of anger control
The anecdotes you are going to read about are true stories that happened to multiple seventh graders.
This one boy was really furious! We’ll call him Brian.
One day, one of Brian’s friends kept hitting him with his pencil. Brian felt mad; even so, he attempted to ignore him.
After his friend kept doing this, Brian got madder still. Finally, Brian got so mad that he picked up his own pencil and hit his friend.
Unfortunately for Brian, since the teacher only saw Brian, he was the only one who got in trouble.
Brian is really angry. He had already learned about the SPAM method of controlling your anger in class, but he needed some extra help to make it work.
So he goes to see one of the two school guidance counselors, Mr. Finegood.
Mr. Finegood said, “Hello, Brian. How may I help you?”
Brian said, “I’m so angry I can hardly stand it.”
Mr. Finegood said, “Tell me about it, Brian.”
Brian said, “Well, a friend of mine kept hitting me with his pencil. I ignored him for as long as I could. Then, I got so mad I popped him one with my pencil. Of course, the teacher only caught me. Now I’m in trouble all because of him!”
The guidance counselor, of course, realized that Brian was not in trouble because of that other guy. He was in trouble because he lost control of his temper.
Mr. Finegood said, “Do you remember when we talked about the SPAM method of controlling your anger?”
Brian said, “Yeah, I remember. That’s kind of why I came to you. I need help using that process.”
Mr. Finegood said, “Do you remember what the ‘S’ stands for?”
Brian said, “STOP?”
Mr. Finegood said, “Yes! That’s right! STOP! When you get angry, immediately STOP! Don’t react, simply STOP!”
Brian said, “Then what?”
Mr. Finegood said, “The ‘P’ stands for PONDER. What can you ponder on in my office?”
Brian said, “I like that picture of the deer pretty good.”
Mr. Finegood said, “Okay! PONDER on the picture of that deer until you feel yourself growing lighter. Concentrate on every aspect of that deer that brings you pleasure. Then do the ‘A’ of SPAM called APPRECIATION. PONDER on that deer until you feel a sense of APPRECIATION for it and you feel yourself grow less tense, perhaps even relaxed. Do that now. Let me know when you’re ready.”
Brian concentrated for a little while. After awhile, he said, “Okay. I’m ready.”
Mr. Finegood said, “Now let yourself think about that kid who kept hitting you with his pencil. Try to find something you can appreciate about him.”
Brian said, “I’m trying. But I keep remembering how he wouldn’t stop poking me with his pencil. I’m getting mad all over again.”
Mr. Finegood said, “Then start over! STOP! PONDER on that deer until you feel a true sense of APPRECIATION about that deer. When you feel yourself grow lighter and less tense, then try to find at least one little thing you can APPRECIATE about that boy.”
Brian thought about it for awhile. This time, he said, “Well, I guess the good thing is that we are still friends.”
Mr. Finegood said, “That’s good. Now, you are ready for the ‘M’ of SPAM. APPRECIATE the MOMENT. APPRECIATE the MOMENT that you were able to APPRECIATE the deer. Also, you can APPRECIATE the MOMENT when you found one good thing about that other boy, that you are still friends.”
Brian said, “Okay!”
Mr. Finegood said, “How do you feel?”
Brian said, “Wow! I actually feel much better. Thanks a lot!”
The guidance counselor smiled and gave Brian a pass back to class.
- Click here to read Chapter 2 of 4 – A story that demonstrates the SPAM method
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