He said it and I froze
One of my kids said something today. My heart was broken. It shook me to my core. In fact, I think my body literally shuddered. It wasn’t what he said, instead it was how he said it.
See we have been having some issues lately. New school year means new class. New kids. New friends. New exposure. Why can’t the exposure always be the good things like manners, silly jokes and learning techniques? A few months into the year (he only goes 2x a week) and we have seen a drastic change. My sweet little soul of a child has been exposed to another child or children lashing out, saying hateful things and using harsh tones. I mean, they are emotional 4 year olds after all! More so than that, they are human. I’m not making excuses but they have feelings too and to top it off they are not emotionally capable of always properly handling those feelings. I get it. (Side note- I must say, we are incredibly grateful for a wonderful preschool and top notch teachers. They have been supportive and understanding of my worries in regards to what is going on at school.)
But that’s not the jist of the story. Matter of fact, I think I have been fooling myself into thinking this is the main source of our problem. Flash back to the words my child spoke tonight. He said them and man did they come out strongly. I stopped. I recognized something and once I pinpointed what it was I was crushed. Want to know what it was?
That was MY tone he took. Know what that means? That means I have spoken to him or someone in our home that way. He must have listened, took note, and saved it for later. For example, after repeated telling the boys to stop playing because it’s bedtime (they share a room.) I finally said it louder and stern to absolutely stop. They stopped. My goal was accomplished but only my resorting to unkind speech.
Now here’s the REAL kicker. Just typing this makes my stomach turn. I am actually sitting here fighting back tears as I look over at the boys while they sleep. (They totally crashed our room tonight ☺️) We try really, really hard to have a home of peace. We are happy go lucky people with thankfully pretty easy going kids. Our house is full of laughter, jokes, and happy memories more than anything else. Speaking kindly and lovingly to each other is a nonnegotiable. And honestly isn’t ever an issue. So the FEW and I mean few times I’ve raised my voice and had a harsh tone with my kids it has stuck with them. They have picked up on it so quick. What a reminder to me to be on my A game as much as possible. Yes, I’m human too and will fail more times than not….
I’m really working through this as I write. So forgive me if it isn’t easy to follow. Even my sweet husband pointed out that I am rambling but here is my heart on paper. It won’t always be this sloppy. It has been an evening of reflection. Wondering if my harshness is the core of the behavior he seems to be mimicking from school. What if it isn’t just the kids at school that he saw say something in a mean way? What if he has seen it expressed at home, even accidently?
I realize I am being incredibly hard on myself but isn’t that what us moms do at times? The other day someone told me, “if we don’t fail our children at some point, they will never have a need for a Savior.” This has been on repeat in my mind lately. We will fail our children. We aren’t perfect. And by golly, I hope my children see that not only them, but their mom too needs to be completely dependent on Christ.
Not sure if you struggle with tone, sarcasm, harshness, or anything at all. Maybe, if you are like me, you had no idea you struggled with it until you heard it from the mouth of your child. So join me if you will. This week and the weeks to come, I plan to be prayed up so I can be intentional about the words that come out and how they come out. Matthew 15:18 reminds us, “The things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart.” Wow. I will be working on my heart in order to ensure what I say is a reflection of that! Who will join me?
Mamas, any tips for how you handle your tone when you have hit your limit?
Thanks for taking a ‘snippet’ from our world!