Practice Peace and Quiet
I chose to give up wheat for Lent, but it seems God may have wanted me to give up yelling. A couple days ago I lost my voice. I had no idea how much I yelled orders and disciplined by the sheer threatening sound of my voice until I'd open my mouth as usual and nothing would come out but a tiny squeak. I would actually have to walk over to the problem child and tell her in a hushed voice what I demanded. It made me laugh when the girls would answer me in whispers even though there was no need. It seems they naturally mimic me.
I thought about this a few years ago when Grasshopper had a wonderful pre-school teacher who talked in a sweet, sing-song, soft spoken way. Interestingly, Linda's students also were sweet, happy and amazingly quiet. In her classroom I consistently observed three and four year olds who were quietly and happily working away on whatever project or task Linda had organized. There was not the typical crazy, free-for-all one would expect from this age group.
It was also obvious that Linda's students were not quiet out of fear or because they were being punished. They kept their voices and bodies hushed and still because they took their cue from Linda. Not only that, they loved and respected her because she made it very clear, through her sweet and sincere way, that she cared for them.
I love my children, but often lack kindness and tenderness toward them. I am so busy with whatever I am doing that, rather than walk across the room to lovingly break up a fight, or gently remind the kids to put their toys away, I raise my voice and expect an immediate response. The worst part of all is that my children reflect my behavior and so sometimes it can get pretty loud and mean in our little house.
Although it would really be nice to be able to talk again, I have learned a lesson these last couple days. God is right. I need to stop yelling.