Raising the Orthodox Family: Loving instruction is on her tongue

“She opens her mouth with wisdom,
 and loving instruction is on her tongue.” -Proverbs 31:26.

Moms are instructed in the bible to guide their children with wisdom and love. Therefore, discipline should always have the child’s best interest in mind and should serve to teach, not punish.

Putting this into play, when your child rolls her eyes because she isn’t getting her way, this is a TEACHING moment. Give her the words for her emotional experience; help her realize that her disrespectful behavior means she feels something. She needs to explore what is really wrong. Give her the words, “You are feeling disappointed because you can’t sleep over at Sally’s.” EMPATHIZE with and VALIDATE her feelings by saying, “It’s tough when things don’t work out the way you planned.”

Then BRAINSTORM. “Let’s talk about some other options.” Let her know its okay to feel bad, but it’s not okay to be disrespectful. God wants us to be respectful. For younger children, help them understand what their behavior communicates. “If your eye rolling could speak, it would tell mommy that you don’t really care about her or anything she has to say…Is that what you really want to say to mommy?”

May you as parents, be empowered to rise above the “anger” of the moment and instead be equipped with the words to teach what you want them to ultimately come to know. It was Francis of Assisi who said it best when he said, “Preach the gospel and if necessary, use words.”

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