When you’re having a bad day and perhaps a bit grumpy, what’s the best way someone can help you feel better? Does it help you if others snap at you and demand that you fix your attitude? I don’t know about you, but if someone were to talk to me that way, it would probably make my attitude worse!
The things that help me feel better are if someone asks me if I’m okay, or brings me a glass of water, or when my husband or kids rub my back.
For example, one morning when I was feeling a little grumpy, Grace (4) came up behind me and rubbed my back. I felt my tension melt away as I thanked her and told her it felt really good. She quickly informed me that, “This isn’t a feeling-good back rub, it’s a calming-down back rub.”
Throughout the morning, anytime I started tensing up, she’d come over to give me another “calming-down” back rub. And you know what? It worked!
My kids are the same way. While I should never excuse their bad behavior, I’ve noticed that the days I take time to snuggle up and rub their backs while we talk through issues are the days that their attitudes improve quickly. When I get annoyed and snap at them or demand they “straighten up,” their attitudes usually become much worse.
It’s just like we’re told in Proverbs 16:24 “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.”
How are your words to your children? Are they pleasant, offering sweetness to those little souls? Or are your words more often like the harsh words mentioned in the previous chapter of Proverbs?
“A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1
If you’re guilty of stirring up their anger with harsh words, it’s not too late to change! Go to them now, cuddle them close if you can, and let them know that you’re sorry.
Though none of us will ever be perfect, let’s choose to try making our words and attitudes pleasant so we can add a sweetness to our children’s souls.