Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Top Ten List, Part 2
Yesterday, I began the Top Ten Things I Have Learned to Say as a Momma, which I delivered at a MomHeart conference in Dallas. The first five items are things I say to my children. We covered #10, "Actually, he is the boss of you," and #9, "I'll give you two guesses," yesterday.
8. "Kind words or no words."
"When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise." Proverbs 10:19
My children love to talk. Sometimes, though, they speak without thinking and say hurtful things to one another. This is never acceptable. I want them to learn to choose the right word at the right time, and speak the truth in love. When they speak unkindly to one another, I remind them that, in our home, speaking is a privilege, not a right. That privilege may be suspended if it is abused. Forced silence is a fate worse than death to my verbose children, so this is a very effective tool! This helps them learn the self-control they need throughout their lives.
7. "What am I going to say?"
Another fantastic discipline tool. Let them lecture themselves! Most of the time, the child already knows he has made a poor choice, and he regrets it. By the time he older, he knows all of your speeches by heart, anyway. So, it goes something like this:
Child hits sister.
Mom: "____(insert name of Precious Child)____, what am I going to say?"
Child: "We don't hit."
Mom: "Why not?"
Child: "Because it's not kind."
Mom: "So, how are you going to fix the situation?"
Mom: "And, next time?"
Child: "Don't hit."
Done! And Mom didn't have to scream, or yell or anything!
6. "Do over." aka "Try again."
I love do overs. If we say or do something hurtful or wrong, we can call a do over and try again. This gives the child a chance to practice correct behavior. Moms get do overs, too!
I also use this when I receive an unacceptable response from a child. When they are very small, I feed them the correct words to repeat back to me. When they are older, though, I just tell them, "Try again," until I get the required response.
Now, we talk about the fact that, once they are out there, our words can't really be taken back , but a do over goes a long way towards healing relationships. It helps people to see each others' hearts, even when their initial words or actions are wrong.
Tomorrow we will discuss the second half of the list, Top Ten Things I Say to Myself about raising children. Have a blessed day with your precious children!