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Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace: ...kindness is on her tongue

Friday, April 4, 2008

...kindness is on her tongue

Over the years, I've made Proverbs 31 a goal for how I live my life. I would love to be just like that P31 woman! I would love for my children and husband to rise up and call me blessed. In the years since I've been married, verse 27 ("She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.") has been a major focus in running my household. Please notice I said focus... I said nothing about progress being seen! I need to refocus on this verse and it's teachings constantly!

This week, I am finding my focus on another verse from that chapter, one I've never spent much time on. Verse 26, just one before 27 for those of you who missed that, says this:

"She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue."

I'm sure this verse can apply to many different areas of life. It applies to all women, married or not, mothers or not. Maybe I've needed to really meditate on this verse in the past. We all need to seek wisdom, and we need to be kind. This week I'm seeing this verse as it applies to mothering (and thus disciplining) my children... specifically my son!

This week, with it's overabundance of disobedience, I've noticed a lot of yelling... from me! I was never going to be a mom who yelled. I've heard other mothers yell at their children and I don't like it! Is there love in yelling??? Is there patience and longsuffering-ness in yelling? It seems to me yelling is full only of frustration!

It always starts the same way... a calm no. Then a louder no... then a "DS, NO", sternly and a bit louder in the hopes of getting his attention (as he obviously didn't hear me or know I was talking to him). The next 2-3 times it really becomes a yell... followed by the spanking that should have been done after the first no was ignored.

I really don't want to open this up to a debate on "to spank or not to spank", what I will say is that if you are going to spank, it should happen after the first offense. No counting to 3, no 8000 warnings! Disobedience = Discipline!... the first time! I know that... I agree with it... I am determined to do it... unless of course I'm nursing, or finally got comfortable on the couch. Because of my laziness, I am depriving my son of the discipline he needs! Because of my laziness, I'm allowing myself to get to the point of frustration with my precious little boy.

Yesterday I determined not to raise my voice with my son. Did I manage to make it through the whole day? I'm not even sure. I may have failed in there once or twice, but I noticed such a difference! It took more time, effort and attention, but I didn't get frustrated and I never felt like I was yelling at my baby!

Now, I don't know if any of you have ever felt like this, but I feel like all I did all day was spank my little guy. There were several spankings he should have gotten in the evening, but I just didn't have it in me to do it again! (Am I alone in this?) The difference is that I wasn't mad at him, I wasn't yelling at him, and I wasn't anywhere near out of control with frustration. When DS disobeyed (mostly by not stopping what he was doing when I said no the first time), I said no again and he got a spanking. Then I sit with him while he cries and hold him. When he calms down I get a hug and we go back to playing.

Some of you are thinking (I can practically hear it) that at 16 months (yep... 16 months today), he can't possibly understand. I beg to differ with you. Moments later, when that same 16 month old reaches for that thing he got spanked for a moment ago, and I say no again... he is much faster to obey! Oh, he understands! He understands way more than I give him credit for! We make allowances for his young mind forgetting. We make more allowances than he probably needs. We remind tons of times!

Anyway... the point? What a difference it makes when I am disciplining with kindness on my tongue! I pray my babies never have a memory of my disciplining from frustration or anger... I hope they never have a memory of being yelled at! Lord, help me in this!

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At April 4, 2008 at 9:23 PM , Blogger Marva said...

Oh girl! I am with you allllllllll the way on this! We spank! Probably not enough, but I have become the yelling, frustrated momma lately too. You ARE NOT alone! I wrote the same in a post on my blog. The post was Flying By the Seat of My Pants. Hang in there. Go with your heart and pray. That's what gets me through. Somedays I feel like all I do is say no and spank. Many blessings on our journey with our miracles!

At April 4, 2008 at 10:12 PM , Blogger jessica @pianomomsicle said...

They definitely DO understand.
There are lots of no-spanking moms out there, but i definitely believe that it can be a positive and valuable (not to mention effective) tool in discipline.

At April 5, 2008 at 1:48 PM , Blogger Nikki said...

With Sarah Beth, I spent weeks getting her not to touch my books. I would pop her hand again and again and again. Finally, she got it, and she stopped touching my books. Now when I tell her not to touch something, she doesn't. She learned that lesson a long time ago!

Keep it up. It will carry over to other things.

At April 5, 2008 at 1:54 PM , Blogger Nikki said...

I got the book in the mail today. I was thumbing through it earlier, and there are a bunch of recipes in it that I can't wait to try! Thank you!! And it will be perfect for Sarah Beth when she is older.


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