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Nails in the Fence – A Lesson About Anger

The Nails In The Fence Story Is A Powerful Way To Teach Students The Impact Uncontrolled Anger Can Have.

I’m not sure who the author is but the “Nails in the Fence” story packs quite a punch. It’s an impactful story that I recommend teachers share with their students. It will help kids of any age to see the damage they can cause if they lose control of their emotions.

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.

The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally, the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, “You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there.”

The little boy then understood how powerful his words were. He looked up at his father and said, “I hope you can forgive me father for the holes I put in you.”

“Of course, I can,” said the father. – Author Unknown

Nails in the Fence Video by Stay Motivated

A Range Of Lessons, Worksheets, Posters, And Coloring Pages To Teach Elementary Students How To Manage Emotions Such As Anger And Anxiety.

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  1. The author is Annette Holliday Cornish.

    1. RippleKindness says:

      Hi Sally,
      Thank you for sharing.
      Annette did write a book but she based it on a poem that she read by an unknown author, so as far as I’m aware, we still don’t know who the original author is.
      Have a fabulous day!
      Lis 🙂

  2. What a beautiful story that really speaks to reality.

    1. RippleKindness says:

      It’s a great lesson Mae. 🙂

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