Thursday, December 02, 2010

My Tongue Hurts

...because I keep biting it.

Sometimes, it is because of my tendency to act like a child. Because I am quickly drawn to the desire to start responding with my words the same way my almost-teenager talks to me.
Other times, it's because I really am trying to choose my words wisely, and I am finding that it may be better to simply say nothing.
Either way, I often bite my tongue to keep myself from speaking to a certain person in my home and - while my tongue hurts - I am hoping this will ultimately be a good thing.

OK, I just re-read that statement and realize it may sound really wrong. I am not NOT talking to Joshua. Just trying to avoid talking which will not be helpful.
For example, yesterday I had left a note for Joshua to finish unloading the dishwasher when he got home from school, before he did anything else. (i.e. getting on the computer, or other electronic device) When I walked in the door after work Joshua was, indeed, putting the dishes away. However, I was quite certain the thing which motivated him to get to work was the sound of the garage door going up, and the knowledge that I would soon be walking through the door. I knew what time he would have gotten home from school, and a quick estimation of how much time it would have taken him to do the job told me he had not gotten to it right away as I'd asked.
My first inclination was to call him on it, and ask why he hadn't done his chores first. (Wouldn't you hate to be my kid???) But I realized that approach would only lead to a fight. And that's the kind of thing I'm trying to avoid. Needless arguments. Besides, the job was getting done.
So I promptly bit my tongue. And do you know what happened?
The dishes got put away, and Joshua and I didn't argue with each other.
Yes. I'd say this is a better way to go.

I recently read somewhere (Wish I could remember where - but I can't...) that we teach our children our expectations when they are young by talking to them. This person said by the time our children are teens, they pretty much know what they're supposed to do and we would be wise to be quiet more often.
This view point resonated with me as I considered how frequently I hear, "Mom. I KNOW!" Which is usually followed by something like, "Then why don't you do it..." and things just don't go well from there.
So, while I am not taking a vow of silence, I am committing to bite my tongue when necessary - for the purpose of pursuing a peaceful relationship with my almost teen(s).

If anyone knows of a less painful way to go about this mission, I'd love to hear about it! *wink*



Leah @ Point Ministries said...

I'm learning to bite my tongue in so many areas of my life. Really, what I am learning is grace.


TheUnSoccerMom said...

Oh how many times I wish I would have bit my tongue!! Or at least waited until I had calmed down.

Time is a great thing though. Christen is taking this "responsibility" thing pretty seriously now that she has her license. I think all that praying is paying off. I'll keep up the praying just in case, and perhaps, next time she and I don't see eye to eye... I'll bite my tongue! :o)

Irritable Mother said...

Leah - Yes. Grace. I need it desperately. And I know I need to extend it to others, as well.

Jodi - Ah, yes. I pray so much for my children, begging God to give me wisdom and grace as I seek to raise them well.
I think it's awesome that you're seeing Christen embrace responsibility. Thank You, Jesus!

Jerralea said...

It's so hard not to say anything! But I always try and think, "Will this matter five years from now?" Sometimes the answer is yes, but most often the answer is no ...

Angie Muresan said...

I need to learn to bite my tongue. Really, really need to.

Irritable Mother said...

Jerri - That is a great question to ask!

Angie - I'm finding this to be a good - albeit difficult - thing!