Monday, June 25, 2007

Tip of the Day -- Speak Softly

Today's tip is a reminder that I need often:  speak softly.  I'm still developing the "gentle and quiet spirit" (1 Peter 3:3-4) that God desires for my life.  Too often, I find myself speaking too forcefully, and losing patience with my children.  Not only is this not keeping a gentle and quiet spirit, it's also not showing God's love to my children.  And it's ineffective.

I have one daughter who is an auditory learner, and very social.  She is the one who is always quoting things she's heard in songs or movies.  Not only quoting words, but with the same accents and tone of voice.  She's a ham.  And although she tries to hide it, she's also sensitive.  She seems more affected by Mom's harsh voice than the others.  It hurts her.  And unfortunately, it brings an equal and opposite reaction from her.

It's not just the physics of motion, but also emotion:  For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.  Mom pushes daughter, daughter pushes back.   Mom speaks loudly and harshly, daughter returns the favor.  Perhaps your home has a "responder" like mine does.

I'm not excusing my daughter's character fault.  We're working on it.  But I also have a character fault to work on.  And I need to remember that when I choose to speak softly, I get better results.  When I stop her, look her in the eye, and make my request or direction softly, I get a better response than when I speak louder to get her attention and bark out my order.

Drill Sergeant Mom is a necessity sometimes.  But, it should not be the normal mode of operation for me.  I know I get in a rut, though, and allow it to become a habit.  Then I get frustrated that it doesn't bring the results I desire.  It increases the strife and arguing in our home.  Not only the children with me, but also the children with each other.  I begin to see mini-drill sergeants bossing siblings around, and siblings reacting to that.

And it all stops when Mom stops, looks each child in the eye, and speaks softly.

"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."  Proverbs 15:1

“Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”  Proverbs 16:24

“A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” Proverbs 25:11

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
  Ephesians 4:29

April E.  (ElCloud Homeschool) is a Homeschool Mom of 6.  She has homeschooled for over 7 years, and enjoys sharing the things she's learned in her homeschool journey with others. 


  1. I just figured out your a MOMYS. How Fun!


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