Tuesday, November 4, 2014
THINK before you speak
My 8 year old over heard his father and I arguing, we were not having a fight but we were arguing with an escalating scale of sound, and he shook his head. Now as a rule you try and not fight in front of your kids but in reality sometimes the moment does get more heated than you can control. That is not a bad thing for them to see either - we all have tempers, we all make mistakes and we all lose our shit once in a while. You can show them how to rebound and possibly if you are super evolved even how to argue really productively.
This particular incident had moved past productive and into the not so productive. I know my boys do not like it especially when said discussion (I am so editing here people) is about something that happened by one of them. We have different styles - I am of the let's discuss, try and get them to come to the conclusion of why something was a bad choice, let's make sure they understand why it was wrong. I am no angel and there are times when I do yell but it tends to be over the really ridiculous things - like say the 30, 000 time I have to ask one of them to do something. It is swift and it is effective since used with stealth. Their father is of the much louder, deeper yeller variety. It is hard to control yourself when they do something that is obviously wrong but they are kids, and young ones at that so lessons are still useful and yelling .. not so much.
I believe my lengthy quiet discussion with the older son helped resolve in a more meaningful "oh I get it way" - he knew I was angry and he understood why he had made an error - but that is all that it was - an error in judgement. He is 10 - there will be more - my goal is that he comes to me as often with those that may be more than he can handle so they do not become that much more than we can collectively correct. My younger son told me that going forward we should all do what his teacher taught them THINK - before you speak or take an action. THINK - true, helpful, inspiring, necessary and kind. I love this - I have started to use it and so have the boys.
So out of the mouths of babes via those wonderful people who we entrust to teach our children came something that actually could be quite extraordinary. Today on the day that in the US is a election day imagine the impact this would have if we all took this approach, including our elected officials. Imagine bills being written with this in mind, would they marginalize others, would they be more fair, would they acknowledge that we all deserve to have choices about our bodies and our opportunities?!!! Imagine if this started in every family with they way we treated one another, then treated our immediate circle, then our outer circle and all those connected to us in turn did this too. Nations would not start wars because there is no part of THINK that actually applies to decisions to be a terrorist, initiate military action.
It is a small thing that could have huge implications - kind of like paying it forward. If we all just did our part maybe it would not lead to elimination of world hunger, world wars or all those things that worry every parent for our children and their future children. It would though possibly be a small step toward less of those things and we as learn from children to learn to run they must all first take that wobbly first step. If politicians had to have commercials and debates with this motto maybe it would get more people to vote because they would actually have to be about progress not punches. Go vote even if you are cynical, on a local level your vote counts and THINK before you say your next thought and take your next action.