Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thoughtfulness

I still remember when Scooter was a brand new baby, I was so infatuated with him (of course). I was out somewhere when a white-haired gentleman stopped to peek at Scoot. He marveled at him a minute, then said "Seems like he's the first child that was ever born, doesn't it?" I knew just what he meant. This little child, my brand new first baby was the most precious thing in the entire world, and I couldn't imagine how anything or anyone so important could ever have existed.

I felt the same way with my next two babes. Just like it was the first time anyone so wonderful could have happened.

That was a wonderful feeling. In the years following, however, I have come to be incredibly grateful for those women who have gone before me & the fact that I am not doing this for the first time, alone. I am especially grateful for those women who are in my life in one way or another, teaching me how to love & teach my children, how to be the mom I want to be.

"Older women likewise are to be.... teaching what is good so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children..." Titus 2:3-4

Some fabulous blogs that I've discovered, as well as some great conversation I've had with my older (and very experienced) sister lately have culminated into me thinking of helping my boys to be mindful, thoughtful of others in life.

Oftentimes I ask one of my boys to do this or that, not taking time to mention the why...and usually it has to do with consideration of others and thoughtfullness. I subscribe to a wonderful blog, and Barb has been doing a little series about instilling good habits, a CM teaching. Here are some of Barb's own ideas of implementing thoughtfulness in her children;
  • All four children share a bathroom and I know they could each show more thoughtfulness in how they leave the bathroom when they are finished in the morning and also in the amount of time they each spend in the bathroom getting their day going
  • Encouraging the children to spend one on one time with each other, especially the older ones with a younger one
  • Thoughtful words are always nice to hear between the children, tone of voice is everything
This leads me to think about how I can help my boys think about being thoughtful toward others, and the consequences of not doing so. I want the boys to see the reason's behind being mindful of others, not just see a rule to be kept or broken.

Adversely, the child who is unaware of the consequences for other of his own actions is driven only by fear or reward of "What will happen to me?" This child is not mindful of others around, and leads to a heart that sees only rules and consequences.

Just food for thought...

"Thoughtfulness's job is simply to make everyday life more pleasant and comfortable for others, even when those others are only the pets that we feed and care for, or our dog who likes to be played with and taken for walks, or our horse that needs not only food and care but encouragement from a friendly touch and word. Our family and friends, both rich and poor, provide lots of opportunities to be thoughtful. A thoughtful person might be described as courteous, kind, accommodating or considerate. His thoughtfulness is shown in a kind word, or by knowing when not to speak, or by his manner, his attention, what he says, or what he does."
Charlotte Mason in Modern English, volume one, page 99-100

2 comments:

Amy said...

What a wonderful nudge, Amanda...seriously.. I was just having a talk with my oldest about her words this morning.. she can tend to always have to point out what is not correct and be critical of her brother and sister. And I was trying to explain all about words and how to choose kindness... but I love that there is more we can do.
I love Charlotte Mason and want to explore more on her... I love this exercise and the blog that you shared! I am going to be watching for more!

Hugs.. Amy

Jenny said...

What a perfect line the elderly gent used! I am going to borrow that phrase. It's so fitting!