There are certain things that I have championed as a mom in my family. They are just certain issues that I feel strongly about. One of those is sassy or harsh language. I don’t like it, I don’t believe it should have a place inside our home, and I won’t tolerate it very well.
I believe (and I’ve told my children) that we should treat one another better than those outside our home. We should speak kinder and treat one another better than our friends. With children, as they relate to one another as siblings, that can sometimes seem like a tough job for them to do. They irritate one another and get on each other’s nerves. I realize that will happen…but they still can talk nicely.
For example, one day one daughter spoke harshly with the other one about something she’d promised to do and hadn’t done. That resulted in the other sister stomping into her bedroom and retorting in an equally unkind way. Then I continued to hear harsh talk bantering back and forth between them. I’d had it and went in there and made them each rephrase what they’d said. Of course, they were angry at first, but we worked through it together. I told them that you can get the same point across in a kind, gentle manner than you can in an unkind, harsh manner.
You can say, “What did you promise me about doing this? You haven’t done it!” In an angry tone. Or you can say, “Would you please do this?” in a nice one. Big difference.
I’m equally vigilant about what my children watch on television. I don’t let them watch shows that have sassy kids. I don’t like brothers and sisters ragging on each other or kids acting like their parents are stupid. My kids get enough of that by being around other kids and going to school! Even as much as I try to set the tone in our home, the sassy nature of society trickles in.
I don’t want to raise “entitled” children. Whether they are right or not, I don’t want harsh or prideful attitudes coming from their heart or mouths. It can be tough at times, but we’re working on it. Sometimes I even have to tell them they get no more social functions with their friends until they start treating one another and our family better!
I want our home to be a safe haven from the rest of the world. Heaven knows, we’ll get enough sass, harshness, and coldness from the world outside our doors. I don’t want it to reside inside our home as well.
I believe I have good kids with sweet, kind hearts. They sometimes just let their feelings take them away a little bit. But our tongues can do more damage than we realize. Lasting damage. And if I can help it, I’m going to help them tame the beast of the mouth as much as they possibly can because I know they truly love one another.
They won’t like themselves any better if they unleash the darkness that sometimes enters the heart. But they WILL like themselves better, and grow stronger as sisters if they can learn that sweetness – not – bitterness – is always the true winner in life.