Proverbs 16:24

24 Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

I realize this is not a shocker, but 3 year olds can be quite the contrarians.  And as we learn how to train the contrarian, something else is becoming evident in our household: do not underestimate the power of the crankiness hangover.  The crankiness hangover is the tired, frustrated, funk that hangs on when you should wake up refreshed.  The cranky hangover thinks more about what pre-school battles await for the day, as opposed to how to help a household shine victorious with love, respect, and consideration for one another.  My morning meditation focused on three items: 1) Lord, can I borrow the whale from the story of Jonah?  I mean, I don’t really want my precious offspring swallowed by a sea beast, however it is a powerful illustration for obedience, 2) do they make boot camp for 3 year olds? and 3)  maybe I should try calmly talking to this child utilizing wisdom from the scriptures.

(Not ashamed to admit that asking for a whale and boot camp came prior to the revelation that perhaps a spiritual approach would be better, case in point of the  cranky hangover. )

Gracious words are sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.  Note, not “pushover” words.  God intends for gracious words and discipline to work hand in hand.  I am constantly reminded that God doesn’t intend to populate his world with spoiled brats, both of the child and adult variety.    Gracious words allow peace to rule in our hearts.  Gracious words prevent a cranky hangover from overtaking the day, and reminds that nothing should lower the standard of respect for the household.

I was heartened, this morning, when I tried the gracious words approach.  The cranky hangover was indeed healed.  As a household, we are “sorry for our behavior, we love, and we are ready to play.”