October 25, 2011

::thoughts on bullying::

More and more I am findng that my little one, four years old now, responds best to gentleness and rationale. If I get down on her level and speak gently to her and explain why she should or should not do something, I often get a much more submissive response than if I am harsh and demanding.

I don't want to bully my children into obedience.

I realized this several years ago and it is a work in progress. I am bigger than my children. I am smarter and stronger. I have the most power. I can force them into obedience through negative consequences. Or I can encourage them to be motivated by their heart and the desire to be loving and kind and all the good things that come from this behavior.

I find on the day to day that if I am kind and go out of my way for them to make their days special, that they do the same for me.

Love and kindness are our motivation.

I'm hoping for the ripple effect in this mindset.
If I teach my children through love and kindness then they will in turn show love and kindness to those around them. If they want a toy someone else is playing with, they will ask nicely and wait their turn instead of just taking what they want.

If I teach my children God is loving and kind, they will be drawn to Him by His love, not for fear of what might happen if they don't follow him.

If I teach my children to work hard and they will be rewarded for their hard work. Then maybe one day if they are decision makers in a company they will do the same for their employees. They will use positive reinforcement instead of negative.

This is my hope and my prayer.

"love is patient, love is kind...."
1 corinthians 13:4

*linking up with heather for just write


  1. My heart is so in agreement with this! Somedays I am successful and a lot of other days I'm not. Usually it's a combination day of sorts. I've also realized that key to my reaction is taking care of myself, believe it or not. If I've got enough sleep and have made an effort to have a clear and undistracted mind then I also have a much better attitude which leads to a better response to my kiddos. They are learning, they are not born knowing how to act in life, yet too often I feel I act this way. My poor kids. I think it's good for them to see Mommy growing and changing too, admitting she is wrong and acting in new ways. Still...Oh Lord, we need your grace!

  2. Yes!!! I whole heatedly agree!!! This has been on my heart so much recently!! ( I swear I'm not trying to get hits on my blog, but just last week I wrote something similar here http://journey2guat.blogspot.com/2011/10/what-i-would-say.html

    Never thought of it as bullying, but I get what you're saying!!

  3. this is REALLY good melissa. so good i think i'm going to go back and read it again. ; )

  4. "Teaching through love and kindness" does have a wonderful ripple effect that makes shepherding easier in the teen years. It is also good training to better resist the urge to "bully to obedience" as teens - when wise shepherding isn't always effective. I love how you phrase this "Bully to obedience" - as my sons turn about 11 - when they start challenging, I am so tempted to bully to obedience to get the desired results (homework, tasks, etc.) - and they totally balk at that type of mentality - even though they ignore the "love and kindness approach." I am going to be turning this over in my mind the next time my boys don't do what I ask. Thanks for presentation!


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