True confessional: I have been the tiger mother. I have no time for unkindness from one child to the next.
So you’d think I was an excellent example of gentleness.
This is the hardest thing I am learning in my first four years of this homeschool lifestyle…
A Charlotte Mason advocate, Catherine Levinson, pushed home this very point at the most recent homeschool conference I attended. My ears perked; in fact, I was all ears. My heart wanted to take a brisk walk out the back door, cause I knew the next ten minutes were going to propel me into the shame and guilt stratosphere.
Catherine Levinson also added: “They’ll remember the emotion, but they won’t remember why“. Aiy. Great…guilt-producing, shame-encouraging fodder for thought. They won’t remember why I was mad, ie: cause they were hitting someone, or you fill in the blank. They’ll simply remember my overreaction.
I really didn’t need her to guilt me. I feel guilty every time I know I am being too harsh, forcing home my point, ever-so-ungraciously.
Levinson concluded by admonishing, “discipline without anger. Create an ‘if, then’ chart that encourages non-emotional parenting“. If my child steps over the line when she does…, then I, as a parent, will do this…
Indeed. If I am honest and expect that that moment of frustration in me, when my child is rude to me, or hitting her brother, or you-fill-in-the-blank, occurs…and it always does…then I’ll be quick to default to creative correction rather than undue force.
Just as I strive to teach my children to be gentle and kind-hearted with one another, I, too, will strive to learn my most important lesson in this lifestyle, to be known for gentleness.