Be gentle. That does not mean to spiritless. It means to be the opposite of violent, irritable, ill-tempered, and moody. Study to be so, for your own soul's sake, and as if you lived in God's presence, always keeping down every movement of anger, irritability, ill-temper, or moodiness. And be gentle,--precisely because you have much to do, much to bear, many cares to burden you, many things which continually try your temper.
Be low voiced. It is wonderful what effect a mother's gentle manner and low voice---when she teaches, or corrects, or praises--will have on a band of children. Take a school-room filled with very young boys or girls. Let their teacher be nervous, fidgety, and irritable; you will see all theses little ones thrown into a ferment and fever and agitation, which is nothing more than a kind of disorder which they catch from the teacher's manner.
Let her be loud-voiced, teaching or speaking in loud, quick, nervous tones, and it is ten to one but you will see within a few minutes all these children will become restless, talkative, inattentive, and ungovernable. Now, let some quiet, gentle, calm-mannered and low-voiced person come in, and all the children will become quieted, will listen, and be ready to give their whole attention to what is said. And they will work steadily as long as the calm eye is on them and the gentle, low voice is directing them.
You will spare yourselves and your dear ones much trouble and much unhappiness by laying this lesson to heart. You can do what you like with them---if you are perfectly self-controlled. Besides, what a service you do them; and how they will bless their mother in afterlife for having taught them this gentleness!
Be patient--not only when you are suffering from aching limbs and head and heart, but when you do not succeed in making your dear ones all that you would wish. They will learn more than you think. They profit much more than you can see by your lessons, and especially by your example.
Even should son or daughter of yours turn out to be every thing but what you trained them to be, the memory of their gentle, patient, loving mother will remain in their souls to their dying day, like a silent voice from the past bidding them return to God and to the the paths of their childhood.
Some say that steel beaten into its proper form and given a keen edge while cold, is more apt to preserve both form and edge forever. So is it with the temper your patient gentleness will impart to your children's souls. And this firmness, which is only one of the most precious dispositions of true manhood and womanhood, will be both of infinite value to them and of indispensable necessity.
-An excerpt from Daughters of Destiny by Noelle Wheeler