Soft words and firm actions
Prov. 10:19: Where words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise (NIV).
When our kids face challenges or make mistakes, we may respond with nagging, reminders, or lectures. But words often fail to produce the desired result and we end up having to repeat ourselves the very next day! As frustration increases, the volume of our voice often increases as well and we can find ourselves resorting to sarcastic and belittling remarks.
When we use our words to motivate, kids can become resentful and tune us out. To get their attention, we may end up saying things we later regret. Unintentionally, the implied message we might be sending is that they are incompetent and unable to handle their own responsibilities.
If you find yourself talking more and your kids listening less, consider letting the consequences teach the lessons. When your child forgets his lunch, let hunger motivate him to remember it next time. If your child is disrespectful, calmly and empathetically restrict her privileges. Believe it or not, it is a more effective and respectful way to train our kids.
Let your words be soft and your consequences firm and watch your children grow.