Self-control comes in handy this time of the year when 26 first graders are crammed into a tight space and expected to think about something other than those presents that are accumulating under their tree. Thankfully, several years ago I found a fantastic tool for showing what self-control looks like - bubbles. Just the other day, I brought out the bubbles and gave a little demo. Here's how it kind of went. I asked Hailey to stand up, look straight ahead, and keep her hands at her sides. Then I blew bubbles at her. As I was blowing, I talked about how bubbles are like the kid who might be pestering them in line. Bubbles are like the shoelaces that they'd like to play with instead of listening. Bubbles are like...fill in the blank with whatever seems to be driving you crazy. I told the kids that when it's so tempting to reach out and do or say something that they might regret, self-control comes to the rescue. I repeated the experiment with several other kids. I ended the lesson by blowing bubbles all over everyone and complimenting them on their great self-control. Since that day, I don't go very far without my self-control bubbles. In those moments when things aren't quite going as I would have hoped, I spot someone who's on task, blow some bubbles their way, and thank them for showing such great self-control. According to the bottle, they're Miracle Bubbles. That's a slight exaggeration, but they are handy nonetheless.