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“Be” Attitudes

Posted by on March 18, 2014

I’ve been telling myself ever since I finished my PhD that I’d get back into blogging. It’s pretty obvious that I’ve been about as successful at that as most new year resolutions or Lenten disciplines. Let’s hope that this is only the first of many new posts. 🙂

Starting even before Lent, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about setting a better example and making behavioral expectations clearer for my children in terms of treating people well. This is important to me not only in terms of needing less corrective discipline, but also setting good examples as Christians in the world. Furthermore, I’ve been concerned about being inconsistent an/s or hypocritical, demanding behavior from my children that I do not consistently model. In that light, I set out to construct a concise list of “commandments” for our household. I ended up basing them on a combination of the beatitudes (from Christ’s sermon on the mount, Matthew 5:3–12 and Luke 6:20–22) and 1 Corinthians 13 (“Love is patient. Love is kind…”). The Golden Rule is also represented implicitly.

I’ve read that rules for young children need to be short, simple, and worded positively. That is, children respond better to “Always walk in the halls” than “Never run in the halls”. The beatitudes gave me the idea to word my rules beginnning with “Be”.

The three big, overall rules are borrowed from Alex’s school.

  • Be safe.
  • Be responsible.
  • Be respectful and loving.

I’ve further broken down the last rule into our ten commandments. When one of our kids does something hurtful, we can tell them that what they did was disrespectful or unloving, and point out the rule(s) broken (and how).

  1. Be patient
  2. Be kind
  3. Be generous
  4. Be forgiving
  5. Be fair
  6. Be honest
  7. Be humble
  8. Be gentle
  9. Be grateful
  10. Be joyful

So, what do you think? What would you change? Would you make the list longer? shorter? Would you use different source material? How do you raise your children to treat others respectfully and lovingly?