Gentleness: Actions and Words

For a couple weeks, I had some friends talking about a Gentleness Challenge that had started.When I first heard about it I thought, "whatever", and pushed it aside. I mean, I'm a gentle person, I consider the feelings of others, I try to be sweet and kind.  Last week, after reading several blog posts, I decided to check it out. 

What I read, showed me some things in my life where I'm not so gentle.  There have been times, where I have found myself yelling at my son when it comes to school work, keeping his room clean, and obeying. When I think back on those times, it makes me shudder. I want my son to fear me as a form of respect, but I do not want him to be scared of me. I want him to know, he can come to me and we can talk about anything, without me flying off the handle at him, or stopping him before he can say what he wants or needs to. This kind of action quickly closes the door to open communication and I want that door to stay open for us.

When I read the following paragraphs, it dawned on me, that it is not only children that do this, but adults also. Really, who likes to be yelled at?!

Are you baffled at the fact that your children are not listening to you? Research has shown that when a parent raises their voice at a child – a defense mechanism kicks in that helps the child emotionally protect themselves by tuning out what you are actually saying. When we as moms go on a long rant about something the child has done wrong – we may feel better because we got our feelings out – but our child has not been brought any closer to wisdom and understanding.
Surprisingly, when we harshly tell our children we do not like something they are doing – all they hear is – “you don’t like me“- period. It’s the harshness that accompanies the correction that causes the child to take personal offense and not listen.
For the past week, I have worked on slowing down and breathing. I've worked on my body language and lowering my voice.  You may not be screaming at the top of your lungs, but your body language will show the real reaction you are having.  I've done a lot of praying this past week. I've made sure that I have my morning devotions and prayed before my son begins moving around. My days are much smoother when I complete those two things before hand. Since I've started working on being more gentle, I've noticed a difference in my home.

This week, I'm going to be working on :

Expectations ~ making sure I'm not expecting too much from my son.
Exhaustion ~ making sure I am getting enough rest.
Disorganization ~ making sure I'm prepared.
Bitterness in your marriage ~ making sure that I'm not allowing something between my husband me to filter into my relationship with my son.
Proverbs ~I'm going to work on marking all the verses in Proverbs that deals with communication and speech and memorizing some.

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