Written by Steady Mom contributor Eren of Vintage Chica
“Put the swing where the children want it, the grass will grow back.”
– Amish Proverb
A few weeks ago, the boys and I stopped by our local bookstore in search of some new reading material. As a true bargain hunter, we always visit the sale tables first.
As I looked down, halfway peeking out from a cookbook was a little book entitled, Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World.
On the cover, were four little boys in straw hats walking through a field of yellow wildflowers with a big blue sky above.
I immediately contrasted that image with our household. We do not watch regular TV, but my three boys can still recite entire Geiko commercials they’ve seen online. Not quite the wisdom I would like them to be committing to memory.
So, when I saw this little book, begging me to take it home, I thought, sign me up! I’ll take some peace and truth in the middle of a complicated world.
“A friend is like a rainbow, always there for you after a storm.”
– Amish Proverb
One of the chapters is entitled, Words to the Wise and says that the Amish weave little sayings into everyday talk to teach children moral lessons. Short and to the point, full of truth, Amish proverbs are a powerful teaching tool.
These little words of wisdom are used to teach the values and morals that the family wants to instill. Whether it is the value of hard work, or how to hold your tongue, proverbs are recited over and over, year after year and eventually are committed to memory.
This idea of teaching through proverbs, has me thinking about what my children would say if asked, “What are your family’s proverbs?”
- The early bird gets the worm.
- Better late than never.
- The truth shall set you free.
- Treat others as you would like to be treated.
- It’s nice to be important, but it is more important to be nice.
- Friends are fine, but family is forever.
In our house, we use stories, mostly nursery rhymes, and fairy tales to teach morals as well. The three little pigs teach about being prepared. Aesop’s fables are great for this as well. My boys also love quotes from famous men like Abraham Lincoln and Albert Einstein.
Now that my oldest boys are 8, it is amazing to see evidence of these little ideas being sown into their life. I hear them repeating these short thoughts to each other and to their friends.
“Medicine and advice are two things more pleasant to give than to receive.”
– Amish Proverb
And it has amazed me to see how reminding myself of these truths has lifted my own spirits and focused my thoughts on what is really important in the world.
Today I really needed to hear this: “It is the set of the sails and not the gales that determines the path you go.” Love that!
Does your family have “proverbs” you live by? Do you teach moral lessons to your children by speaking little truths into their everyday life?
If so, please share in the comments. I would love to hear some of your family’s sayings. And may we all find some encouragement in them today.
When Eren is not at the local thrift store, she can be found barefoot in her backyard garden or at the sewing machine. Eren shows how she puts a little vintage into modern day living at her blog, Vintage Chica.