My son adores Tim Tebow right now and I’m glad he has him to look up to. For us in this gentleness challenge, Michelle Duggar is a role model in the area of gentleness. When I look at the picture of Michelle next to me… I see two similiar women – we love God, our husbands, children and our homes. We both homeschool and I’d say we are a smiley pair! I also see two very different women. We have different philosophies on a few things in life including the fact that she has a few more children then me (17 more to be exact!) . But one of our biggest notable differences would be that her tone of voice is SO much sweeter than mine. If you want to see an example of a Gentle Mom – just tune into TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting – because Michelle is the ultimate “real life” Gentle Mother.
On the Duggars old website they had posted their top 5 parenting tips – and I wrote them down. # 5 read like this:
Ask God to help you conquer anger because it can destroy your relationship with your children. Praise them ten times more than you correct them.
I have latched onto tip number 5. In their book Michelle says – anger shows your worst side and often times when we have angry outbursts, our anger is worse than what the child has actually done!
Michelle follows Proverbs 15:1 “A gentle answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger.” She says when she feels angry, she lowers her voice rather than raising it and will sometimes take it to almost a whisper! Now that’s self-control at it’s best!
So you are thinking – “my kids will walk all over me”. Nope – I’ve been working on gentleness for a while now and I must say I feel much better about myself as a mother – and the children are responding. Michelle is right – anger will destroy your relationship with your children. On days when I find myself yelling – I feel guilty and like a failure as a mom. But when I apply Proverbs 15:1 – I find this principle bringing peace into our home.
Tip number 5 also says “praise them 10 times more than you correct them.” Ten times more? That’s a lot! I feel like I am always saying “keep your hands to yourself, that’s not nice, watch your words, don’t take that from her, don’t give me attitude, walk slowly, be gentle, look at me when I am talking, that’s not kind, take care of your toys, don’t make a mess” and on and on the correction list goes. 🙁
The Duggars try their best to not say “don’t don’t don’t”. Instead they work hard focusing on the behavior they expect. They compliment every little positive thing they see. They praise their children when they demonstrate diligence, thoroughness, punctuality, patience, compassion, orderliness, generosity, and other Christlike qualities.
My daughter is a very cheerful helper in the kitchen – I usually say “thank you” but I neglect to go on and say “thank you for your cheerful attitude!” She loves to clean out showers and tubs (thank goodness because I do not lol!). When I first discovered this I praised her. But now, I’m so used to it, I forget to give her the same recognition for her diligence. Usually the children are thorough with their school work and I just say “great job” rather than “great job being so thorough“. When they put their shoes in the wrong place, I correct them, but when they are in the right place I say nothing – when I could say “thanks for putting your shoes in the correct place and being so orderly.”
This weeks challenge: In week 2
we focused on bringing our voices down low close to a whisper when we feel like yelling. In week 3
– we focused on anger management. This week add in words of praise for Christlike qualities. Be specific and really pay attention to the godly things your children are doing.
Try to do what the Duggars do – and praise your children 10 times more than you correct them.
Walk with the King!