Mom, the Patient Mediator

There has been much scuffling around these parts lately. Big sisters picking on little sisters and the poor boy gets hen-pecked quite a bit, as well. I have taken the stance that there should be civility between siblings and even though the love may not be flowing, I expect politeness. The hormones combined with the temperaments together with the mixture of girls and boy and personalities have left me in quite an amazing lurch. I am sick and tired of repeating myself, I think we could all do better, and it needs to start with me.
I feel very lazy, deep inside, when it comes to my own behavior modification. My habits have left me a bit bitter – unwilling to compromise, and tending toward the too kind but necessarily firm. I yell sometimes, I cuss sometimes, and I always regret it and apologize. I am often no better than the children when it comes to self-control and temper issues. Arrrrrg!


I try not to let them fight, but all to often I find them negotiating/arguing/fighting with me about silly tiny things like who can sit in the front seat today, and so I catch myself in that moment and say, “You crazy people, none of you can sit up here! None of you are old enough, and the air bags aren’t meant for a little person, you sit in your seat, put your seat belt on, and BE QUIET!” It is at times like these when I think: ” Man oh Man – I sure do like to lay it on thick- that was a smidge of an over reaction! I could have just said, ‘No, please sit in your seat.’ But NOOOOO I had to run my mouth for a half hour and give a dissertation on the reasons why not!”

I do to them what I WISH they wouldn’t do to each other.

I recently became inspired to strive for better in our inter-family relationships, and this is what I came up with. If you speak or respond disrespectfully I will say, “Pencil, Paper, Dining Room Table!” I had two squabblers make a huge poster titled: My Goal for Today – and when the person who isn’t acting right hears that, they know it means to copy the fourteen goals I found in the Duggar’s book, ’20 and Counting.’

Here they are, for your pleasure, and use:
1. Always use soft words, even when you do not feel good.
2. Always display kind actions, even if you have been mistreated.
3. Show joyful attitudes even when no one is looking.
4. Have sincere motives with no thought of self-gain.
5.Think pure thoughts.
6. Always give a good report of others. Never tattle-tale unless physical harm will come to someone. Use Matthew 18.
7. Never raise a hand to hit.
8. Never raise a foot to kick.
9. Never raise an object to throw.
10. Never raise a voice to yell.
11. Never raise an eye to scowl.
12 . Use one toy/activity at a time.
13. Never let the sun go down on your wrath ( don’t go to bed angry).
14. Practice JOY: put Jesus first, Others next, Yourself last. Serving your family is the priority!


There are some things that I have learned from this: if I yell and scream at them for even for a serious reason, it invalidates this whole project. I have to be willing to work on myself, to become a better person, a better example so they can model themselves after a kind, controlled lady instead of a harried screaming me-me.
It takes prayer and perseverance.
I am a long way off.
Pray for me that I can be more consistent in training up these children, making sacrifices to do the right thing!!
Do you ever have your kids write sentences or essays for punishment!?
What do you have them write?

2 Comments on “Mom, the Patient Mediator

  1. Love the list of family rules from the Duggars! Thanks for sharing this. Definitely hear you on the screaming being ineffective. My four year old just whines louder when I lose my cool!

    I don’t think wriitng is a punishment per say, I think it is an effective form of discipline to teach them proper behavior.

  2. I so appreciate your comment, Sara! The thing about writing as a form of punishment, is it truly depends on the individual, because some kids are totally into writing, and others abhor any sort of writing practice! So, I guess I think it really can be punishment, at times.

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