One of our household mantras go like this:
How do we behave?
Polite and Gentle and show each other Love.
We first started this when my oldest was learning how to properly pronounce an “L.” It encouraged him to repeat words with the “L” at the beginning, middle, and end of the word. It was an added bonus that it also included a character lesson.
In spite of the fact that my boys are typically less rambunctious in their play than one would expect from boys their age, we do have a tendency toward more intensity when it comes to emotions. With the addition of another little boy to our family last week (more on that later), we are in the midst of the extra dose of fatigue and attempts at finding a new family rhythm. Gentleness is a habit that we need to get back into.
One of the things that has helped serve as a reminder for gentleness was to light a candle and say a prayer for my home. C and Biscuit help me light (or remind me to light) the candle and I explain why I’m lighting it and pray out loud for peace in our home and gentleness toward each other. I love having a visual (and scented!) reminder and we hold each other accountable treating each other with love. Yes, I allow my children to call me out when I treat them unacceptably.
I know that there are a lot more ways to increase the habit of gentleness but I’m starting with my candle and prayer. It’s simple. And, with a newborn in my arms, simple is about as good as I can do!
Do you have any other simple ways for increasing gentleness in yourself and your children?
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