Most of us are not intentionally mean spirited or hateful. We don’t look for opportunities to hurt others nor do we teach our children to do so. But I would have to argue that merely teaching them to NOT be hurtful IS NOT enough! We must show them what it looks like to BE loving, grace-filled and kind.
My youngest revealed this truth to me when she decided not to share her toys with her cousin. When I spoke with her she said “it’s okay, I didn’t hurt her feelings. “I told her nicely she could not play with my toys and closed the door.” (Please insert shaking my head emoji).
What I failed to do was teach her how to be grace-filled and kind. I failed to teach her to T.H.I.N.K. before she speaks. The acronym below is a great tool to teach your children (and yourself) to pause before you say something, because it really isn’t enough to just not be hurtful.
Is what you’re going to say TRUTH? Do you know for certain this is true?
is the information HELPFUL considering the circumstances? Beyond being truthful, is it helpful information to share?
is what you have to say INSPIRING? Will my sharing this information encourage or inspire the person to be or do better?
is it NECESSARY for you to say anything at all? Just because it is true does not mean it is necessary for you to say something.
are the words you have chosen KIND? Lastly, be sure your words are spoken with a kind spirit and are spoken with the right motive.
The concept of thinking before we speak is simple, yet it is OFTEN a difficult thing to practice. And it is just that- practice. Every day we should practice asking ourselves (before we speak) is what I’m about to say grace-filled?
Keep Living Out Loud