Developing a Habit of Speaking Well of Others

habit-speaking-wellDeveloping the Habit of Speaking Well of Others

This month we will be focusing on the habit of speaking well of others. We will be focusing on speaking well of others to their face, when we speak of them without them present and when speaking about them in relation to something wrong or hurtful they did. We will also be emphasizing that while we should speak well of others we must also speak truthfully – empty flattery is not our goal.

As with the previous habits I have broken this down in to little daily tasks to help us think about and grow in our development of this habit.

1. Discuss the relationship between what we think of people coming out in how we speak to them/of them and how we treat them.

2. Describe an inappropriate way to speak of someone else (say, one brother describing how another brother irritated him) and ask the boys to reword it so that they are speaking truth, communicating the problem and yet also speaking in love.

3. Read the excerpt about Anne of Green Gables on pages 59-64.*

4. Role play people and situations that they might sometime have to deal and let them give their unguided responses and then use that as a basis for gentle instruction in the days to follow.

5. Notice a character trait in someone else and tell us (parents) about it.

6. Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, 1 John 4:7,10-12 and 19-20

7. Buy some sour food and some sweet ones and use as an illustration about how our words should be sweet, not sour. (Alternately, use salty food rather than sweet food to illustrate Colossians 4:6 – “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”

8. Discuss how it feels to be spoken well of.

9. Describe an inappropriate way to speak of someone else (say, one brother describing how another brother irritated him) and ask the boys to reword it so that they are speaking truth, communicating the problem and yet also speaking in love.

10. Read Joseph’s Coat on pages 71-74*

11. Role play people and situations that they might sometime have to deal and let them give their unguided responses and then use that as a basis for gentle instruction in the days to follow.

12. Notice a character trait in someone else and tell us (parents) about it.

13. Read Esther chapter 7 – the irony of Mordecia being honored when Haman hated him so.

14. Baking Soda Fizz object lesson (last one on the page) to illustrate speaking in love to others.

15. Make a list of people we know that always seem to speak well of others.

16. Describe an inappropriate way to speak of someone else (say, one brother describing how another brother irritated him) and ask the boys to reword it so that they are speaking truth, communicating the problem and yet also speaking in love.

17. Read The Fairy on pages 54-56*

18. Role play people and situations that they might sometime have to deal and let them give their unguided responses and then use that as a basis for gentle instruction in the days to follow.

19. Notice a character trait in someone else and tell us (parents) about it.

20. Read James 3:1-12

21. Moldy bread object lesson (first one on page) to illustrate how things can grow if we are speaking poorly about others.

22. Brainstorms ways that we can speak well of others even when it might be hard to do.

23. Describe an inappropriate way to speak of someone else (say, one brother describing how another brother irritated him) and ask the boys to reword it so that they are speaking truth, communicating the problem and yet also speaking in love.

24. Read an excerpt from Pollyanna on pages 222-227*

25. Role play people and situations that they might sometime have to deal and let them give their unguided responses and then use that as a basis for gentle instruction in the days to follow.

26. Notice a character trait in someone else and tell us (parents) about it.

27. Read Daniel chapter 2, specifically verse 14; “Daniel spoke to him with wisdom and tact.”

28. Pudding Fun (half way down page) to illustrate that we can’t take back what we say.

29. Discuss whether this has been an easy or a hard habit, and if it’s a mix, which parts are easy and which parts are more challenging.

30. Describe an inappropriate way to speak of someone else (say, one brother describing how another brother irritated him) and ask the boys to reword it so that they are speaking truth, communicating the problem and yet also speaking in love.

31. Read an excerpt from The Little Princess on pages 230-235*

*This month all our stories are from Everyday Graces: Child’s Book Of Good Manners  – an excellent resource for teaching your children through stories and poems about character traits and manners.

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