Since the day my son came out of the womb – he was a rough and tumble little guy. It’s the way God wired him! As a toddler, he rarely cried when he fell or bumped his head and as a school boy he is very high energy. It’s hard to keep him from running, jumping, climbing and diving in the house! lol! He loves contact sports and has played flag football with the public school kids for the last 4 years. This year flag football was a lot like (full contact -minus- the pads) +plus+ some flags! I did a lot of wincing and turning my head – it was hard to watch! He also takes Karate and gets to do a little sparring while learning discipline, respect and tenacity. And then there’s basketball. He is currently playing in the public school league and this is his sport. He loves the non-stop running and to be honest – it seems to be quite a full contact sport at his age also! The kids are still learning the fundamentals of a foul! lol!
I love that my son can use his energy appropriately through sports, but at home this has posed a bit of a challenge. Sometimes he gets his coat out of the closet like he’s going after a football – he throws an elbow at his sister, whips his coat out and dashes out the door leaving her knocked on the floor wondering what just hit her.
This is where manners come into play. Clearly, there’s a long list of manners that are missed in this very simple – and sadly common – coat scenario. First, ladies before gentlemen would solve the entire problem – right? Secondly, words like – “excuse me”, “I am sorry”, “are you okay” “let me help you up” or “you can go first” would also help.
I have taught my children manners many times. Some weeks I’ve been a heavy enforcer and then with the hustle and bustle of life, the manners slide without me noticing. So I ordered this hand book titled: Proper Manners and Health Habits, to begin in the new year and I was so surprised when I opened the book and saw the title to Chapter 1!
Chapter 1 is titled “Gentle Words” and oh boy was I excited to tell the kids that they would be joining me for the January WLW “Gentleness Challenge” – this is a family venture!!! Like us – children need to learn to use “Gentle Words”. So what words are considered “gentle words?”
And there you have it. Lesson 1 for teaching our children to be gentle! These are the words of the month in our house and I’ve been clapping each time they use them…so yesterday Alexis said “thank you” and I kept on doing what I was doing. She called me out on it – “mooooooooooom, I just said thank you.” I said, “your welcome.” Then she repeated – “no mom, I just said thank you.” I repeated, “your welcome Alexis” a bit confused…she said – “aren’t you going to clap mom?” lol! Children love praise which goes with yesterdays post (and by the way – clapping is SO much easier than a sticker/rewards chart and extremely effective – try it – clap and hoot and holler for your kids when they do good – they will light up – they will stand taller!). Let’s teach our children to be gentle through using good manners and remember to praise them 10 times more than we correct them!