One of the best ways to teach gentleness is to be gentle. Resolve conflicts with words, not physical contact or force. If you catch your children physically fighting, talk with them about how else they could have taken care of their differences without hitting each other.
Refrain from spanking children. Spanking only teaches children that when adults get angered or feel pressured, it’s okay to resort to physical force. Instead, take disciplinary tactics that do not involve spanking such as restricting privileges, a “time out,” or making the “wrong” right, for example, having the child pay for a broken window.
Another way to model gentleness is to speak softly and use gentle words such as “use soft hands” instead of “don’t touch” when talking to a young child. Encourage older children to listen to others, respect their differences, and not judge or criticize their words or actions. Involve them in doing little acts of kindness, perhaps by sharing a snack with a sibling or bringing a get-well gift to a sick friend.
Children also will learn gentleness through storybooks with kind, caring characters, especially ones who solve their problems without violence or aggressive actions. Or teach them to nurture and to care by providing them with a pet or plant. Encourage them to treat their siblings as well as adults with love.
A pet can help children learn to be gentle and patient, and how to care for a animal.
In this aggressive world, you may think you won’t make a difference. However, your actions are like a pebble thrown in a pond. The circle will keep getting bigger and bigger, reaching more and more people as it grows.
Aloha, Aunty Gel www.KaHanaPonoDaycare.com