The Perfect Misfit


Perpetually Wound-Up

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Charlie-in-the-Box is the official sentry for the Island of Misfit
Toys. As he says, the “name is all wrong; no child wants to play
with a Charlie-in-the-box!” And although it’s his unusual moniker
that lands him on the island, Charlie also has quite an attitude
and his crank handle makes him perpetually wound up.

Misfit: We all know these kids stand out in your
class; they’ve had negative nicknames such as “hyper” for years.
Their constant activity can frustrate, but these kids have a lot of
positives to offer.

Perfect Fit: Kids who are wound up like Charlie
can bring great energy to your classroom. Let your “Charlies” set
the pace for games. They can infuse energy into any event or

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The Hard-to-Love Abominable

“He’s mean, he’s nasty, and he hates everything to do with
Christmas!” But the “Bumble” also has weaknesses. 

Misfit: Some kids are just
difficult to love, no matter how hard you try. You’re probably
already thinking of an “abominable” child of your own!

Perfect Fit: The hard-to-love kids give us a
chance to see God’s grace at work and to play a role in it
ourselves. These kids give our classrooms a breath of reality and
allow us to help guide children in the areas of empathy, grace, and
compassion. Pray that you or one of your children will discover
this child’s real needs. After all, the real Bumble became a
pleasant helper when his sore tooth was removed.

All the Other Reindeer, Smart Alecks With
Sharp Antlers

The low point of Rudolph’s young life was most likely when “all of
the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names.” It was hard
to tell which were sharper, the tongues or the antlers.

Misfit: Kids can be cruel, especially to one
another. But you may also find it difficult to put up with a child
who’s always smarting off to you or making fun of other

Perfect Fit: Okay, maybe there are some kids that
just don’t fit. Hurtful talk isn’t helpful, but we’re all guilty of
using our tongues inappropriately at times. Help children who are
quick with their tongues to learn the lessons you’re learning –
honoring others no matter what.

Rudolph, the Adorable but Socially

As Rudolph and his friends get rejected from the Island of Misfit
Toys, Yukon Cornelius points out that “even among misfits, you’re

Misfit: Most kids don’t have a blinking red nose,
but many do have traits, mannerisms, or personality quirks that
mean they don’t fit in socially in their peer group.

Perfect Fit: The “Rudolphs” in your classroom can
add unique perspective about God’s love for the one lost sheep. The
king of the Island of Misfit Toys put it well when he told the
misfits from Christmastown that “being misfits yourselves, you
might help the toys here.” The child who struggles can often relate
to others with similar struggles. cm

Gordon and Becki West are co-authors
The Discipline Guide for Children’s
(Group) and founders of KidZ
KaN Make a Difference and KidZ At Heart International (

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