Lessons In Behaviour

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As parents, our number one teaching tool is ourselves. Want to teach your children not to gossip? Don’t gossip. Want to teach your children to pray? Pray! Want to teach your children to be kind to others? Be kind to them and the people you meet. Want to teach your children to keep their temper? Keep yours. Sadly, no matter how hard you try, sometimes you fail to teach in this way. Sometimes everything is going wrong and everything is getting on your nerves until…SNAP… Mommy is yelling and flailing and giving an impromptu graduate level course in How To Throw A Temper Tantrum.

As the dust settles a deep sense of failure settles on the motherly heart. THIS, this will be the moment your child remembers, not the hundreds of times you showed grace and patience under pressure. This will be the lasting image of you as a Mom. Who are you to say behave when you can’t behave yourself? You can’t take these moments back, which of course is why you need to avoid them as much as possible. We want to teach by our good examples. But in that quiet moment of shame and defeat remember, this isn’t a failure yet. This is still a moment to teach.

There is one good example we can only teach our children when we’ve made a mistake and it’s one of the most important of all. How To Say I’m Sorry. How To Admit You Are Wrong. So don’t be defeated now! Here’s your big moment to shine. Take that sense of shame and disappointment and make it into a victory. “I’m sorry. Mummy should not have done that.” No excuses. Maybe explain what was going on that led to your mistake to show what you could have done differently, but make sure you own it. Talk about how everyone spends their whole lives working to be better and how there is always more work to be done. Show your children humility.

Then commence with the hug giving. And you’ll find that children can also teach beautiful lessons in How To Forgive.

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Fire Ants, A Poem

Inspired by that familiar sound of the south, my children’s yells after a careless foot step.

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How doth the little fire ant
Improve his rust red mound
And always build it near the trail
Instead of neutral ground.

How gleefully he seems to swarm
On tender feet and paws
And curl around the fearsome bite
Of tiny, vicious, jaws.

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