Well, this past week we started something new in our family. I got so tired of hearing the kids constantly calling each other names. Everything from poop to idiot to butt cheek to dummy has been flailing through the air in our house and it gets exhausting constantly telling the kids to stop it. Just stop it. So on a whim I told them we are starting something new. We are starting a "speak life" challenge and each kid will have a chart. And when they reach 35 days without calling a name, they will earn a toy or game of their choice. This includes calling themselves a name. They are to speak life over themselves too!
Sometimes I question whether I should reward them for something they should be doing anyways, but we do it for everything else. We have chore charts, potty charts, homework charts. Ok, who am I kidding? I don't, but I know people do it. And honestly, this is just as important (if not more) than any of those things and the reason we do the whole chart + reward thing is to train behaviors we want to instill in our kids, right? So that's what we are doing.
We will get these kids to speak life to each other no matter what the cost. The challenge has been going on for about a week and it's not been perfect, but it's been better. There are still tears when 'they forget' and blurt out an insulting name and I tell them they don't get a sticker on the chart for the day. But it's been better.
I even gave them an incentive to gain an extra sticker if they catch Jeff or I calling a name.
Granted we don't yell out "butt cheek" to our kids, but the word "brat" or "baby" has slipped from our mouths on occasion when the kids are really testing us. Sad and shameful, but we are still learning and letting God correct us. I guess that's the best way to put it.
But either way, I don't like it. Not from their mouths, and not from ours. The other day Jeff slipped and said something about one of the kids being a "baby" and Jada caught him and he said to me "How am I supposed to parent like this?"
The answer: Well, it's a challenge. It really is. For all of us. For me especially, when my kids are rolling their eyes and accusing me of never buying them anything. Oh man...(insert the "when I was a kid" speech). But we are to set an example. We can't expect them not to call names if we are still calling names. There is a better way to train them. Yes?
So, that is what we are doing. Being better parents, training up kids who know what to say and what not to say. I told them our words are powerful. God created the world with words. I gave them this verse to think about.
Proverbs 18:21-The tongue can bring death or life, those who love to talk will reap the consequences.
So I challenge all of you this week. Let your mouth speak life to those around you. Teach your kids to do the same. It's not cute or funny. Yes, I admit sometimes I do have to hold back a laugh or turn my head because I'm smiling (mainly due to their creativity), but I'm trying hard to instill positive words in these kids.