Try a little sweet talk

She says:                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Lately, I’ve noticed a lot of people on TV snipping at each other.  I’ve taken it in stride, just absorbing it as part of the plot or character development. But then I started noticing “real” people around me getting snippy with each other.  It bothered me – a lot. Then I started kind of obsessing over it, noticing just how much it happens in real life and, in my own life. For a group of people who are supposed to love each other so much, my husband and my kids snip at each other and at me, a lot. Notice, I didn’t include myself in that. I think, in my efforts to always keep the peace, it hasn’t occurred to me to start responding to my loved ones in a rude way. That is, until lately and for a really bad reason – to keep up with the angry Jones’s.  I have actually started responding to my husband and kids in a rude way (no swearing or anything, just a nasty tone) because they do it to me and I don’t want to feel like a patsy! How sick and wrong is that?

I must rein it in because it is just so pointless. Then it’s a tit-for-tat thing that just builds on itself.  Talking to other people in a rude, disrespectful, angry way is just wrong – no matter who it is but especially when it’s your own family.  Whenever  Thomas or the kids talk to me that way, it wounds me a little more each time.  Frankly, it hurts my feelings. And it diminishes each of us as people and certainly as a family. I forgot something I used to say to my children when they were little – “there isn’t a single thing that can’t be handled by talking calmly, politely and reasonably.” Naïve as that may sound, I believe it’s true. I’ll work on this with myself and with my family. I encourage you, dear readers, to take a closer look at how you talk to each other and how others talk to you. It’s just as easy to be nice, and even more satisfying in the big scheme of things. Can’t we all just get along?

He says:

Of all the topics shared on Parent Tango, this one makes me the most uncomfortable to discuss. As much as I’d like to stop typing RIGHT NOW and not share my thoughts, open communication is so vital to a family that I am compelled to continue.

After 20+ years of marriage, parenting 4 kids, and tackling Life’s many challenges together, it would be tempting to think Courtney and I have some very basic relationship issues fully resolved. This is a goal we aspire to, but have not yet achieved. Our disconnects often bring out strong emotions in me, amplified by work stresses. Wrongly, I respond to Courtney in a curt and condescending way. Why? Maybe it is because I am a big jerk… or just a flawed man. Well- no excuses. Truthfully, what really matters is that I change. I fully agree with Courtney on this issue- talking respectfully and kindly to one another is vital for each relationship within a family. If the words used in a family are not kind, feelings and behavior quickly go downhill. As a parent, and loving spouse, I must choose my words carefully when expressing my emotions. By doing so, I’ll take a strong step toward creating a better family.

One thought on “Try a little sweet talk

  1. Boy, did this hit home with me! Snippy isn’t the problem here, but using a quiet and calm tone is. Our 8 year old (going on 16)granddaughter lives with us, and there are times when her behavior sends me into a tizzy. If I’d just stop and remind myself to calm down, things would be better. Whenever I do address her behavior with a calm voice, it immediately changes her. Why I can’t remember that every time, I don’t know. We are flawed, Thomas, but I’m so glad there are voices of reason in our lives, too, like Courtney. Thank God for unconditional love!

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