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Provoke Not Your Children | Day 22

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Welcome to Day 22 of our series, From Chaos to Calm: 15 Weeks to a Happy Home. Today we’re talking about how important it is to speak kindly to our children.

From Chaos to Calm: Day Twenty-Two

Provoke Not Your Children

Scripture Memory: “Fathers [Mothers], provoke not your children [to anger], lest they be discouraged.” Colossians 3:21

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Being a mom is rarely easy. Children seem born to test us! Patience is definitely needed on the part of mom if the household is to remain peaceful and a haven of love.

I have witnessed parents who, without good reason, yell at their children, speak harshly to them, or pick at the slightest wrong. The Bible tells us that as parents we should not provoke our children to anger. What does this mean?

Let’s say your teenage son has come inside and thoughtlessly forgotten to take off his shoes before walking through the house. You have a choice. You can immediately call him down, yell at him, and question his mental capacity. Or you can gently remind him, “Please take off your shoes.”

Or let’s say that your six year old has a bad habit about still sucking on his thumb. You can call him a “baby” and make him feel bad about it. Or you could seek out a way to enable him to stop with love and concern.

Children should never be put down, belittled, or snapped at. As your child grows from a toddler to an adolescent and beyond, he will want to feel understood. So many times parents don’t give their child the benefit of being listened to.

A child that is frequently yelled at, may feel justified in being angry and disrespectful. However, a child that is treated with respect and dignity coupled with a firm, loving form of discipline will demonstrate the same love and respect toward his mom and dad.

It can be frustrating for parents when they feel that everything they have tried to teach their children is not getting through. If you have an angry child, it is likely that there is a reason. He may feel as though he can never live up to your expectations – so why try? Or, he may know that you do not stick to your resolve and if he acts badly enough you will give in to his desires.

Provoke Not Your Children @ AVirtuousWoman.org

Try approaching your child with tenderness, love, respect, and with a soft voice. Unjust harshness is not fair to either one of you. Rather than picking at every little thing you notice – try choosing your battles wisely so that only the most important issues are brought up.

If it is important to you that your child wears certain styles of clothing, allow him the freedom to choose colors he likes. If you do not want your child to eat unhealthy snacks, provide healthy choices rather than complaining about his poor eating habits.

Do not poke fun at your child or embarrass him in public on purpose. Sarcasm make be funny to a crowd, but it is rarely funny to the person being talked about. Uplift your child every chance you get. Really look and see the good in him instead of only the bad.

Remember that it is okay to admit to your child that you were wrong. They will learn a valuable lesson from you! If you realize later that something you said or did was unfair, as them to forgive you and make a promise to be better in the future.

In your prayer journal today, I want you to write about how you respond to your children. Be honest. If you feel you have been unfair to your child(ren) ask God to forgive you. Ask Him for wisdom when relating to your children in discipline and everyday activities.

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{Free Printable Art} Love is Patient, Love is Kind | A Virtuous Woman

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Extra Resources

What helps you to be a more patient, loving mom? Do you struggle to keep your cool?

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  1. I have been reading your website for some time. Very much appreciate your wisdom ,your advice. I was not raised in a very religous family and ran into some health problems and difficult family issues as a young adlut. Im now much older and very much enjoy reading your site.
  2. Thank you so much. I appreciate the advice, this is what I have been looking for. I greatly appreciate it. My mom passed before I had any children. I am grateful for the guidance, advice and extra resources.
  3. Thank you so much for the reminder!!! I tend to get nit picky and I have one daughter in particular that i know getting angry and yelling will get me nowhere, but coming along side and lovingly correcting her does wonders. If only my emotions would not get so involved when I find her stealing gum...again, or cleaning the bathroom with the toiletbrush, or eating out of the trash can. God gave her to me to teach me patience I am sure!! How do you control your emotions?
    1. Lindsay, many years ago I began praying for God to give me a a meek and quiet spirit. I even put up this verse around the house: 1 Peter 3:4 "...a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price." I also began to focus on the bigger picture. What do I want my kids to remember about me, about home? And I worked really hard to make sure that our days were filled with laughter and joy - even in the mundane. I take time every day to just sit and talk with my kids - all of them. I take time to sit and play games or watch funny youtube videos or take walks and just be together. Talking to your kids - even when they are young is so important. Young children may not understand everything, but I do believe you can reason with even a young child if you are patient and consistent. When my girls were little, if they picked up something that they didn't need, instead of fussing at them I would say, "Thank you for being such a good helper. Let's put that away." and then I would take the item and put it up. I also tried hard to make sure that things they didn't need to be into were put up - or that a gate was up to protect them from getting into things. My youngest child when she was old enough to toddle around would stick her hands in the toilet. SO GROSS! So for over a year we made sure the bathroom door was shut at all times. If your daughter steals gum on a regular basis, try to think of ways you can prevent that from happening. But then also think of a consistent punishment if she disobeys. Then explain to her the consequences. Always follow up your time outs or other discipline with lots of love, hugs, and joy. Be sure that you catch her doing good and praise her every chance you get. Sometimes kids repeatedly do things that they know will irritate because they are really seeking attention. So bad attention is better than no attention. My kids get hugs and me loving on them every day multiple times through out the day and I regularly tell each one of them how lucky I am to be their mom. I'll say, "I'm so glad your mine." or "How did I get so lucky to be your mom?" or "You are so precious to me." And I'm usually hugging them when I say it. Try to remember that you can never take back your words. You can and should apologize if you lose your cool and say something you regret. However, preventing the need to apologize is so much better! Words can hurt - deeply. And our words will shape our children's hearts in ways we will never imagine. Childhood is fleeting. Enjoying it right now is so important! These were things I learned along the way. My oldest kids probably got the brunt of my anger and frustration, but as the years passed and I learned better ways of dealing with stuff, I stopped yelling. My two youngest rarely ever need correcting. Usually all I need to do is say, "Please don't do that." And they stop. By the time my oldest were in their teens I learned to savor our time together and have patience. The real key to patience, I think, is valuing the other person so much that nothing is more important than your relationship. There are times when kids need solid advice, correction, and discipline, but when you've worked to develop a deep relationship that is built on love and trust, your kids will be more likely to listen to you because they know how much you value them as a person and they respect your advice. I hope this has helped you. God bless you in your journey of motherhood. If you have other questions, please let me know! P.S. I have an expanded version of this answer here: http://avirtuouswoman.org/how-to-become-a-patient-mom/
  4. I like this topic and enjoyed your article about it. I think your journal prompt for asking ourselves (honestly) if we've been unfair to our children is a really good one. Frankly, it's probably a good thing to think about before you pray every day/night. I don't always see my failures like that when I'm in the heat of the moment, but later I can see them with clearer eyes (and heart). Our children deserve for us to be the kind of parents God wants us to be. Not only will we teach them about God in this way, but we'll be setting them up to be better parents to their own children some day, since we often parent as we were parented. I enjoyed reading your take on this verse, and I linked to your post from my own page.
  5. my mom was not nice to me at all in my younger years. since my mother didn't have a good childhood or teenage/adult life as she says she went through a lot and especially with my dad she told me they were always arguing even from before they went into marriage so that wasn't good. when we moved to california when i was about two or three and she got into religion very much and my brother was two and half years older than me so it was the four of us only. and i even have memories from way back when i was four and i would hear her and my dad argue sometimes and i wouldn't pay too much attention but i still heard and i remember i did something bad in pre-k but not severe i just didn't know what i was doing, this much older girl saw what me and my friend were doing and she snitched and i knew i was going to get a beating so then my mom got furious and told me to demonstrate what i did at pre-k to her, i was so embarrassed and told her I'm sorry many times and to not hit me but she did with the belt twice and deep inside it hurt me and still a part of that stings me to this day im 17, i have forgave her for everything that's happened but since im typing this maybe i haven't got over it fully and i wanna know how to. my mother has been awful even though she was "super religious" me and my brother went through the worst if we did one thing slightly wrong she would yell to the top of her lungs and physically hurt us, she would make us pray so many times a day, took us to church forcibly, told us to be perfect children of God, to not make one mistake, didn't allow us to hang or sleepover with friends, taught us to be afraid of the world, compared us to other "holy kids" saying she wished we were like them, always put religious music on, wouldn't let us hear any music like pop, wouldn't let us watch EVEN disney movies at all or action movies or any movies really, JUST saint movies and holy music, she told us many times she didn't wanna deal with anything anymore she just wished she would die, called us names. we would always live in fear and afraid of her. she gave my brother severe anxiety at the age of 9 he had to go see therapists and part of it was all the yelling from our parents arguments with each other. me and him were homeschooled most of elementary which was a nightmare. she even got mad at me for the stupidest things im sorry but when i accidentally part my cake in half at the age of 7 ON MY BIRTHDAY she saw and i WAS AFRAID thats not normal at all because i knew she would yell at me and i told her that I DIDNT MIND THAT MY BIRTHDAY cake was "ruined" and still she yelled and got so so furious, told me i was super ungrateful and dumb and i CRIEDD ON MY BDAY it was hell and many manyyyyy more things, she ruined and tortured me and left a scar from my childhood it was awful. my dad told me she said she was going to be the best mother never yell at her kids like her mom did to her at all but turns out nothing changed. but I DO NOT want to repeat history by the grace of God I WILL NOT be so cruel to my kids as my mother and her mother did before me, I will end it and i know I WILL. because i have more control of my emotions than my mother i do not let anger take over me like she does, when i do get upset/angry i realize that i have to stay calm and breathe and yelling or arguing won't solve anything but patience and communication is and always will be key and to get over it soon, to not let it stay inside like my DAD has taught me and i am so thankful they divorced years ago because everything is much more peaceful. i do pray for her to change but unfortunately that has not happened and don't know if it ever will but she has gotten slightly SLIGHTLY better. but aside from all the pain she has caused, deep inside i store it away and say what can i do about it now? i do still unfortunately carry resentment even though im not supposed to but i store it away very far away and dont let it get to me now as much as it did before and im grateful for that. i love my mother so much for everything she has gone through she is very strong and i tell myself to wear her shoes sometimes and to not judge because every one carries their baggage of pain and shame because unlike how my mother sees things, sorry mom but im not this "perfect" child you need/want me to be, we live in an imperfect world and as much as you ask to be "perfect" on earth not to be negative but tell reality, you're not going to be, here as long as we live it won't be close to perfect but we can pray and ask God to be the very best versions of ourselves each and every day. I just wanted to write about part of my life and how my childhood wasn't the best but hey im grateful i even have parents :) and No i cannot live in the past anymore and I will always love nd forgive im aware, it did leave a scar that i cannot deny or try to hide because it will always be there but I will accept it and forget and not to live in the past or the future but in the moment which is a gift from God thats why its called the "present" :). Pray and forgive and love for each one of us sinners people not me or any one of you is perfect, but God loves us and we must love each other :). Amen.

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