Posted by on Feb 16, 2012 in Advice, Parenting, Simple Mom, Teens & Tweens | 2 comments

rolling coins with paper wrappers
I'm embarrassed to admit it, and its truth pains me, but I'm almost certain the people to whom I've spoken most hatefully are my own children and husband. I've wondered if I'm the only one who does this.

Why do the people I love most receive the worst treatment I have to offer? Thankfully, mean or impatient words are the exception, but with my upcoming extended separation from my children, I'm acutely aware of my propensity to speak in a less than loving manner; ironic, because I have such thin skin myself.

Two recent occurrences with my teen boys drove this point home–

• After my oldest son cleaned his room, I opened his closet door; it was no surprise his version of clean didn't match mine. Irritated, I began organizing and cleaning out the war zone, only to be discovered by him mid-way through. He braced for mama wrath, instead caught off guard by my calm (not typical) response. Before all was said and done, we were finishing the work together–happily. I hadn't even asked him to join me.

• My husband gave our youngest a jar of pennies he's been saving for years, along with a stack of coin wrappers. Sitting at the kitchen table while I was making my way through a mile-long To-Do List, my son struggled to wrap the pennies without them collapsing; it was the first time he's rolled coins. My initial response was frustration–why was he having difficulty with such a simple task?! "I knew how to roll coins since I was in grade school!" I thought, but thankfully stopped before those words made their way across my lips. Instead, I stopped what I was doing, sat beside him and showed him the best way to roll coins. I watched his frustration melt into understanding.

When children reach their teens, it's easy to think they're unaffected by harsh words. Don't be deceived—your words and tone can wound them deeply.  Consider the following:

 

Thump on the head to ME!  I forgot to link to my most recent Simple Mom post, most likely because I was airborne when it went live.  I hope you'll click through to continue reading; it's relevant to parenting teens/tweens whenever you have time to finish.