I have wrote before about how words are very powerful and we should strive to use words that affirm and encourage, instead of tear down and discourage. But how we say those words is important too.
I don't know if its just a learned trait or if its part of my OCD, but when my children disobey or make big messes I have a tendency to react in a harsh way. My voice level is elevated and my whole demeanor changes. OCD coupled with a strong Type A personality makes me have great anxiety when things are out of order or chaotic or when the result I was expecting does not happen.
When I react to my children in a harsh way they in turn react very negatively. They scream and get upset themselves. It's a natural response really. I completely understand why they are reacting this way. I would too if someone was speaking to me that way.
Immediately after the episode I feel guilty and upset with myself for being that way. I have a tendency to be emotional too, so the episode usually ends with me and my children in tears. I feel terrible for my actions and I always apologize to my children. I get down on their level and I am gentle to take them in my lap and wrap them in my arms. I tell them how sorry mommy is for how I acted. Often times I will tell God out loud how sorry I am for my actions and to ask forgiveness. I then will ask may children for forgiveness.
One thing is for sure, my children will be very good at knowing how to apologize.
I am not proud of my harsh reaction by any means, but I want to share because God is helping me change. I do not want to be this way. I know it's poor behavior and it's modeling life in a very poor way for my children.
I want to change. I want to be gentle with my words and how I say them. If I am trying to instill a truth or obedience in my children, but I am doing it with a harsh tone of voice...all is lost. Who wants to listen a meany?? Not me. And my children don't either.
Several months ago I came across the verse in Proverbs 15:1 "A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." NKJV. This verse obviously spoke volumes to me. I highlighted it in my Bible and wrote it down on one of my index cards. This verse is one that comes to me now when I begin the unpleasant episode.
In the picture above I used the Amplified Bible version of Proverbs 15:1 to give more emphasis to the verse.
I wish I could say that I have completely stopped the outbursts, but I can't. However, I can say that I am seeing fruit from my intent to change. Episodes occur less often and the episodes are getting shorter and shorter in length.
I am so thankful for God's word and his amazing power to change our sinful ways. I pray to God often to change my heart and my actions. And He is faithful to give us such requests.
In our home, sin is not tolerated or excused. But discipline and correction need not be delivered harshly. Children, and anyone for that matter, are much more receptive to correction and discipline when it is given in a respectful and gentle manner.
Sally Clarkson and Kristen Kill have a great podcast on Expressing love to our children. Sally gives great wisdom on how she gently instructed her children when they were in need of correction. Click here to check that out.
I hope you have a wonderful day and hope that my words and insight might have encouraged you today.
Hi! My name is Mandy Jo.
Thanks for visiting my blog! Being a mom in this modern age is a blessing, but no cake walk. So many expectations are imposed on us and it can be overwhelming and often discouraging.