Our youngsters need us to help them become caring, respectful children of God.  Lent is an appropriate time to refresh our family commitment to kindness.

Emphasize Manners: Common courtesy is a sign of kindness both at home and out in public.  During Lent, look for opportunities to model and encourage the liberal use of “please”, “thank you”, “you’re welcome” and “excuse me”.  Open doors, pull out chairs, say “have a nice day” and be patient, even under the most trying circumstance.

Stay Calm: The stress of daily life can try anyone’s temper but experts agree that yelling can create a harmful environment at home.  Instead, speak calmly and lovingly and ask others to do the same.

Model Greatness: Next time your child does something wrong – breaks a rule, gets a bad grade, fights with a sibling, don’t respond with anger and sarcasm. React gently.  Turn it into a teaching moment, but do it with gentleness.  Treat yourself gently too.