Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Reacting versus Responding

Yesterday we talked about keeping our cool when our kids are acting out.  Today I want to talk a bit more about patience and how we react to our child's behavior.

Dictionary.com defines patience as:

an ability or willingness to suppress annoyance....even-tempered care. 
Suppressing annoyance does not come natural to me! Does it you?  Many times I tend to react rather than respond to my circumstances.

To react: to respond to a stimulus in a particular manner

To respond: to react favorably

See the difference? To react means that you are letting the stimulus {in this case your child's annoying behavior} dictate your response.  Responding indicates a positive reaction. A response requires an intention where a reaction is knee-jerk and impulsive.

Let's look at an example.  Your child spills their milk.

A reaction may sound like this:
"You spilled your milk again? How many times does Mommy have to tell you to drink your milk at the table?  Milk costs money and you just poured money on the floor.  Why can't you be more careful?"

A response would sound more like this:
"uh-oh, looks like the milk got spilled.  Let me get a towel and you can help Mommy clean up the mess"

Put yourself in your child's shoes.  Which would you rather hear when you make a mistake?  A reaction or a response?

People with understanding control their anger;
    a hot temper shows great foolishness.  Proverbs 14:29

Till tomorrow,

1 comment:

  1. I believe in think before talking and you shared a great example for the young teens here. I pray that our new year moms keep faith and learn as you teach them grow. Each day is a new step no one is perfect but our Lord but he placed wise people in the teens path for a reason. Keep up the good work Melissa.