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My ears need a rest!

It is fascinating to watch the progression of  speech in a home with children. My grandparents thought is was funny to see my parents go through this, and my parents think its funny to see Tim and I go through it. The journey from “Say ‘dog’, Johnny, say ‘dog’. You can do it honey!” to “My child will not stop talking!” is relatively short in parenting years. I have learned a lot over the years about the importance of words, the value of silence, and selfishness in conversation. I could have used this information as a child – it might have saved me some relationships or at least some nasty comments on my report card. Here are some phrases we use to train our children on how to value how and why we use words wisely:

  • “Please respond to your brother” – shows speaker as valued
  • “Mommy’s ears a a little tired right now” – takes ownership for choosing to stop conversation and shows that stopping conversation can be healthy and helpful
  • “I am choosing not to or am not able to connect with you right now” – takes ownership and shows value in conversation as a connection between people not just words
  • “You are interrupting. Please wait until it is your turn to speak” – shows value of the words of others
  • “There is nothing good or helpful coming out of your mouth right now” – show values in building up and encouraging others
  • “You may sing that song or tell that story to me at another time” – shows value for time and place of words
  • “Please sing or say those words to yourself” – show value of silence

It may seem rather odd to talk about being self-controlled in our speech on a blog site; the blog world could use some self-control. Training our children to value the words they speak and the words spoken by others appears culturally unimportant in the age of twitter, texting and blogging. This is, then, all the more reason to be diligent in following what God says about our mouths, our words and our purpose of speaking.

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you oh Lord my rock and my Redeemer –  Psalm 19:14

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry – James 1:19

Don’t let any foolish talk come out of your mouth, only what is helpful for building other up according to their needs so that it may benefit those who listen – Ephesian 4:29

The last one is the verse we taught our children when they were old enough to form sentences. It has helped us all –  reminded us that ears deserve a rest. Hopefully it will save us from nasty comments on report cards also.

Parenting Tip: When Tim or I are speaking with someone, instead of interrupting with words, our children will place their hand on our leg to get our attention when they need to speak to us; it shows them their comments  are valued while teaching them how to wait their turn.

Resource: Books we like that help train ourselves and our families with truths from scripture: Wise Words for Moms and Don’t Make Me Count to Three by Ginger Plowman

Comments

  1. I love Ephesian 4:29. How do we use our words to benefit the listener? Depending on the situation, that can require some thought. And some prayer. Sometimes a lot of prayer.
    Thanks for this necessary reminder.

  2. Great stuff Cymba! Good reminders for me…I hope many choose to read and monitor your blog. It will make a huge difference in our generation!

  3. This are all great tips and pointers that God has given us over the years through books, people, experiences….etc. As parents we all go through similar issues and there really is no reason that we can’t learn from each other. I remember listening to Amanda Pride in the Parent Equipping class telling her children they need to respond quickly, quietly, and completely, which was awesome!! Not easy being a parent…thankfully we can help each other.

  4. These verses are ones that the we use on a regular basis. Always great reminders to show respect as we speak and listen. I have found that letting my children know their words are important to me helps them listen to my words.

    Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

  5. A very good point that we must be diligent to train our kids about the value of words proceeding out of their mouth in an age of too many words with (mostly) little meaning via blogs, texting, twitter, etc. One of our boys was exceptionally verbal at a young age (which we enjoyed), but there were times when we would simply say, “It is time to rest your voice.” There are many creative and kind ways to tell children, “Be quiet!”, or “Think before you speak!” Thank you for encouraging us to communicate with dignity to our children; this is not often the case when it comes to adults telling children what they can and cannot do.