Magic Words

Sweet Emily

Sweet Emily

“I’m sorry”
“I did wrong”
“Can you forgive me?”

These words seem to be getting pretty scarce these days!

I think the most important words a mother can say to her children is, “Can you forgive me?” We all make mistakes—parents especially—as the job of raising children is challenging indeed! What a peaceful, loving feeling comes into a home when a parent will admit they’ve been insensitive, impatient, or unfair, and humbly ask their children for forgiveness. It always stuns me how quickly and freely a child will excuse them when parents are actually willing to admit they misjudged. It opens children’s eyes to see Mom as a real person struggling to improve, instead of the “always-right-authority”.

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Chivalry, It’s Up to Us!

emilymay2007My daughter Emily (17) came home from high school thoroughly disgusted. Emily is a very upbeat, happy spirit and she loves everybody and everything, so it shocked me to see her upset. She only attends 2 classes at our local charter school, and is very studious and diligent in her homeschool assignments. She tells me regularly that she loves homeschooling best, which brings me great delight!

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Company Manners

Emily turns 15 with her towering ice cream cake!

Emily turns 15 with her towering ice cream cake!

Company’s coming . . . and it can be a bit nerve-wracking wondering just what your kids are going to say or do! Get them ready to host guests—or to be good, mannerly guests themselves—wherever you go!

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Polite Answers


More and more we are seeing children who just don’t reply when they are spoken to. (In fact, I have a daughter who occasionally falls into this category!) Shyness may be an excuse, but really it is not okay to be still when you are spoken to! Even for the young. What’s a mother to do?

First course of action is to do some training. This can be plenty of fun. Bring a few hats for props and some name tags to dress up your kids. “Mrs. Jones” can wear the flowered hat and “Mr. Jones” can wear a baseball cap, for example. Now, take turns having “Mr. Jones” introduce his “wife” to one of your family. Role play it first, so they know just what is expected. Then switch around and let everyone have a turn.

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Sweet Civility

The world is getting rude.

Sometimes my ears yearn for those soft and fluid words that show our humanity: our belief in Christ and the worth of a soul. The virtues of unselfishness and patience. Ah, words of kindness . . .

Print them out and post them on your bathroom mirror. Practice saying them while you are in the shower, until they sound convincingly polite and loving. Use them all day long, as much as you can. Embrace them and make them part of your vocabulary. Expect your children to do the same. Teach your littlest toddler to say, “You go first” instead of “me first”.

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