“Let your gentleness be known to all men.” Philippians 4:5
Some of the best lessons learned in life are the ones we glean from observation rather than lecture. Gentleness is a prime example. I have found that I can teach my kids to be kind, calm, and mild mannered…but if I don’t model gentleness…when the going gets tough….then they don’t learn it.
We live in such a harsh and bitter world. It’s so easy to become weighed down by the negativity.
And when I think about my children’s future…. I don’t want them to be swayed by every storm. I don’t want them to have heavy hardened hearts. I want them to choose the higher road when coping with the trials of life.
It starts with me.
I find that modeling gentleness is one of the hardest aspects of parenting or teaching. It is so easy to teach children my expectations for them, but it is entirely different thing to demonstrate those skills on a consistent basis.
While my heart knows that I should always correct my children in a kind, calm demeanor,… I’ll be honest, I put on my “Mommy voice” a lot more often than I would like.
The struggle is real though… How do we remain calm …as parents or educators….when chaos is surrounding us? Who doesn’t have days when they want to pull their hair out?
How do we say “Come here lets talk about it?” when we want to say, “COME HERE RIGHT NOW?
Sometimes we think that responding harshly or raising our voices gives us power or authority, when in reality it displays our weakness to others. (Its like we are revealing our kryptonite)
But have you ever stopped to think that the opposite is true? Remaining calm in chaos is strength? Saint Francis de Sales’ quote makes that apparent.
“Nothing is as strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength.”
So, I have decided that I am going to remind myself of the following things when faced with the task of correcting unruly behavior;
- I will regret being harsh later.
- Responding harshly almost always makes the situation worse not better.
- They are learning how to cope by my example.
- Maybe other stressors are making this situation seem more significant than it is.
And if you have any gems of wisdom to pass along that have worked for you, please share them.