My family rules are meant to create wise adults who are able to control themselves. This rule is about saying things we mean and meaning things we say. Think before you speak, the other person can wait. Have you ever noticed in the movies the character who is wise and thoughtful takes in the whole situation, pauses for a moment or two, then speaks slowly?
The bible says that even a fool can be thought wise if he holds his tounge. When you have enough control over your tounge you dont have to be the smartest, wisest, whittiest person in the room. You could be viewed as such when others around you start talking. Spouting incorrect facts, or just plain arguing amoungst each other. Consider what you say first.
Have you ever been in a room full of people that are supposed to be there for support? Lets say a mom’s group. One woman usually does all the talking about her problems and her child. How tired she is, how hard she has it, and you are thinking I could help her (we all could) if she would just accept the help instead of talking so much?
You try and solve a problem this other mom has, but she has another excuse and another 5 minute story to shut you down. It doesn’t make you want to help. Her constant talking makes you feel bad, even pity her because she will not find help until she decides to shut up and change. No one should be pittied. It is the worst position to put someone in (in my opinion).
A ‘fool’ might not be the word we would use now-a-days, however it is a very good definition of a situation like this.
This goes back to my first rule “Be Aware of your Surroundings” when you are not the first to speak, you can see how others react. You see things that they do not see. You are able to take both the verbal, and the non-verbal communication and figure out what you are going to say and do.
When you allow yourself to consider what you will say, you usually say something worth saying. Rarely you say things that you regret, or that hurt someone else.
I teach my children to stand up for themselves and others by practing different scenarios. I know there are some real bullies out there, but I really feel like if a child is nurtured to be a victim, they will feel like they are bullied when in fact it’s just kids being kids.
Things that we grew up with were not considered bullying like it is today. I teach my children when someone treats them badly, it is not about my child, it is about the other person. Maybe they do not have a mom and dad who love them. Maybe they just lost their grandparent or their dog and they are hurting. Maybe it’s something more serious. It is not my child’s job to find out these things, but it is my child’s job to make sure that hurt doesn’t penetrate their skin and be kind to this person anyway.
I teach my children to be kind. Sometimes being kind means shutting the person down who is doing the hurting. Have empathy. This may seem counter-intuative and opposite of what might work but when someone is mean, it is for a reason. If you can help this person, help them, but do not put your health on the line. I tell them the story of my high school reunion.
I went to my high school reunion and I didn’t know most of the people there. I wouldn’t be able to pick them out of a lineup if I had to! Several times I was approached and was told, “I remember you, you were so nice to me all the time.” or “Do you remember when you did this for me?” The truth was that because I was just nice, I made an impact in these people’s lives. I have never been one to speak fast because that bible verse has always stuck with me. It shows in my life and I want this for my children.
This word “understanding” means so much more than just getting what you mean. Taking in the whole situation like the wise and thoughtful character in the movie is one way to really gain life experience. Then how do you gain wisdom? Through experience.
Understanding is deep inside you. Paying attention to someones words, body, heart, and spirit is the way you can help them. It’s the way you can really understand them. You will not do that if you are running your mouth. Let your mind take it all in. Speak how they will hear you, not talking at them, but talking into their lives.
I went deep for a minute there. We can come back up now.
Let Them Wait
Your mind works fast. The more you teach your children to use it, the faster it will work. If think you have to blurt something out, think again. The other person can wait for you, because what you will say after a second or two of careful thought will be much more insightful…and probably worth hearing.
What You Say Is Worth The Wait
Understand What They Are Telling You
Be Kind, Whatever That Looks Like
Peace and Balance,