Thursday, October 23, 2014

Is Your Tone Ruining Your Relationships-with your kids?

Its Wednesday afternoon, I am sitting in my car waiting on my kids to come out after school. As usual I am observing other parents, watching all the still tiny little people chase after their mom and dads, and of course trying to figure out my plan to get out of my parking spot, turned around, and headed home. A car pulls up on the other side of the neighborhood street, a man hops out of the drivers seat and slowly pulls open the van door behind him revealing two still so small toddlers maybe 3 and 4 years old; He kept rolling his eyes and hollering at them to hurry up while he starts shutting the door; rather than hold their little hands to cross the street he rudely tells them to go on while he walks towards the front of the car in front of me and they to the back of the same car. The two kids stop on the sidewalk trying to figure out where he went and as he sees them looking for him, he tells them to stop lagging and come on. 

I am sitting in a bit of shock at how he talked to his children; I am sitting in my car with my toddler and of course start analyzing myself and how I use my own words towards the people I love. Today I can thankfully say I am not a yeller or screamer but that is only by the grace of God.

It wasn't that long ago, maybe 18 months ago, that I could have been the one responding to my kids the way that dad was; I am positive I did at some point. I am even more positive that my kids remember some of those times, just like those poor kids on Wednesday will remember the way their dad spoke to them too.

You see its not just what you say but its also how you say it that counts. I know for myself there have been times when I will flashback to certain things from my childhood or even as little as a few weeks ago at how someone said something to me that in a way scarred my heart towards that person.

A man who is kind benefits himself; but a cruel man hurts himself...{Proverbs 11:17 ESV}

Kindness is something that we should share with everyone; and what better way than with our words? We can offer someone encouragement, a life lesson, or even the honest truth if they need it; but its all in how you say something as to how it will benefit or scar that person for the rest of their lives. 

Now I don't know how that dads was going, maybe he was running late for something, maybe something awful had happened to him that day, or maybe he doesn't know what kindness is; but what I do know is that how you say things reflect a lot about you and will either benefit or scar someone's life, no matter how big or small they are. 

Here is what works best for me in controlling my tone:
  • think about the situation, is what your about to say something that needs to be said in the first place?!
  • keep your mouth closed and think about how you want to address a situation, it may take a day or two to decide on how you really feel about something
  • check your own emotions, this one works for me when I deal with my kids, are your emotions going to reflect a lesson or tip for them or is it going to harm their emotions?!
  • don't come across as being judgmental to a person or situation; remember we walk similar paths not the same path
  • learn to bite your tongue and choose your battles; best tip I have gotten from my MIL 
If I could have said anything to that dad the other day it would be something like this:

I am sorry you are hurting; maybe from something long ago or maybe something today, but whatever it is, is no excuse to treat your children badly. Those little hands, ears, and hearts love you more than you will ever know, they have no idea of your past only your present so please take their ever so fragile emotions and hearts into consideration when you speak to them or how you treat them, who they become later in life reflects a lot on who their parents are; Now you may be rushed for time, but remember they are little they have no knowledge of a schedule or time frame, instead of being harsh with your words and having a bad tone, please take as little as 2 minutes to give them a plan of action before getting out of the car, kids do great when they have a goal to reach, its like a game to them. Lastly, cherish these little moments, time passes by so quickly.

I have many regrets from my past on what I chose to say and how I chose to say it to people, mainly the ones I love. So please, I encourage you take those extra minutes with your kids and say what you need to in a loving, controlled, and encouraging way; it will impact them later in life. 

Visit Another Blogger:

Just Stop Yelling via Dirt & Boogers  {if you visit her site and search yelling you will get all sorts of goodies to read}

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