Thursday, July 14, 2011

Purposeful, Determined... Gentleness

Someone shared this quote someplace recently, and it really struck me. I tend to take the "Well, you'll learn from hard experience, and don't blame me" approach a lot of times when the kids don't want to take my advice. But maybe I ought to tactfully and gently insist the kids follow it. (That's the problem. I have no tact, and my gentleness goes out the window when addressing foolishness.)

But there are times when the "relations are strained"; and of these, the moment when the child feels himself consciously a member of the school republic is one of the most trying. Now, all the tact of the parents is called into play. Now, more than ever, is it necessary that the child should be aware of the home authority, just that he may know how he stands, and how much he is free to give to the school. "Oh, mither, mither why gar ye no' mak' me do it?" was the cry of a poor ne'er-do-weel Scotch laddie who had fallen into disgrace through neglect of his work; and that is just what every schoolboy or schoolgirl has a right to say who does not feel the pressure of a firm hand at home during the period of school life. They have a right to turn round and reproach their parents for almost any failure in probity or power in after-life. But no mere assertion of authority will do: it is the old story of the sun and the wind and the traveller's cloak. It is in the force of all-mighty gentleness that parents are supreme; not feebleness, not inertness––there is no strength in these; but purposeful, determined gentleness, which carries its point, only "for it is right." "The servant of God must not strive," was not written for bishops and pastors alone, but is the secret of strength for every "bishop," or overlooker, of a household. --Vol. 5 p. 200-201, "The Relations Between School and Home Life"



Javamom said...

My husband is so good at that "purposeful, determined gentleness." I am so blessed.

Katie said...

My mother has always been good at this, too. I have contemplated her ways for decades, wondering how far she is right and how far she is a pushover. ;o) More and more, I think she is right.