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Archive for October 15th, 2013

Aim to Teach

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I remember a number of years ago, a mom explained to me that she never forced her children to say things like :

please
thank-you
sorry

because she felt that if it did not come from the heart, it was simply words in the air. She believed that they would see and hear those words of respect and know when and how to use them sincerely.

(Funny, she did think that it was important to force her children to eat vegetables, even though they did not sincerely believe that those veggies were good for them … but, I digress).

Being respectful of others (and therefore, of ourselves) is not something that comes naturally, and so we need to practice. Although a forced, “I’m sorry” from one sibling to another (complete with eye rolling, and fingers crossed behind the backs) seems, on the outside, to be pointless … it is not. Expecting certain respectful phrases from children communicates that there is a standard to meet (a goal), and it introduces the concept of conflict resolution.

Teaching a child to say thank-you, even when Aunt Ruth has given the child clothes, rather than toys, as a gift, teaches the beauty of being thankful in all circumstances … a good tool for surviving and even thriving in life.

Teaching a child to say I’m sorry, even though they are not, holds them accountable for their actions and words … heck, this could hold a future marriage together!

Teaching a child to say please, will be the life lesson that the world does not revolve around us, and that we are reliant on the grace and generosity of others in this life we live.

I know that, as a mom, having said all this, my kids will be models of what not to do over the next few days, but that is okay, because my main diet, as a mom, is humble pie. I’m not saying I’ve got it all together, but I do have an ideal that I am aiming for, and that ideal is the target to aim towards.

“The odds of hitting your target go up
dramatically when you aim at it.”
Mal Pancoast

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