Saturday, July 20, 2013

Use Your Words



Use Your Words ~ A phrase that I don't remember using when teaching my children back in the Dark Ages. Nor do I recall it being used when I was a child. Nor do I remember its being used in the classroom until 2001 when I began working as an assistant in a preschool. The teacher there used it continually.

Some years ago now, I was entering a store when a little boy of about three was being carried out football style. I can only presume that the woman carrying him was his mother. All the while, he was saying things like: I am very angry. I do not want to go home. You are not nice. Please put me down. His mother was repeating over and over "Good job using your words."

While shopping in Joann's a few weeks ago, John and I observed a young mother with six or more children (I just remembered the baby strapped to mama's chest). They were better behaved than any two children I've ever seen in a store. The oldest daughter was given the task of matching embroidery threads to the fabrics being purchased and the remaining five kids were circled around the shopping cart holding on with the exception of, again a three-year old, perched in the shopping cart's seat. 

There were many smiles as customers were truly amazed and pleased to see such delightful children. Just when I began to think that theirs must be a highly regimented, perhaps even harsh home, the little boy began to get riled at the registers. His mother calmly asked him if he could be cooperative for just a few more minutes. He said, "No!" She laughed and replied, "Well there's an honest answer." 

Despite that minor outburst, they made it out of the store and to their van without further difficulties. Indeed, John and I were wide-eyed impressed.

And then I had to run back into my grands' home after I had already bid my adieus. They were not expecting me so soon. Ha! I heard this: You are rude. You are the most obnoxious person in the entire world. 

It was a little startling so I said to my daughter-in-law, "Well that is very articulate." She replied, "He's using his words." 

What's my point? I wish that someone had taught me how to use my words. Whenever I get riled up, I become an incoherent mess. And I am realizing that to live in the country I now live in, I am going to need to maintain some sense of sanity. There are going to be times when I will not be able to sit down and shut up. I plan to use my words.

Burying this on a Saturday... 

Have a good one!


Love Vee

44 comments:

  1. What a lovely story. I must try to remember to USE my words.
    Have a nice weekend

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  2. I've heard my sister say this to her young children - and they do! I really like to hear parents do this rather than say 'children should be seen and not heard', which is the way I was raised. Like you, I choke up when I have something I want to say and there are strangers around.

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  3. Can I think about this and get back to you? heeheehee! I still think silence might be golden in some of these cases. I taught my 4 sons to have respect and I got a lot of compliments when I went places with all four of them in tow. There is simply no excuse for rude behavior. Although now that I am 'older', I sure would like to speak my mind sometimes! lol I guess I 'used my words' and won't need to get back with you later after all! Sweet hugs!

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  4. Hmmm...I thought that this was going a different way. I thought that you were going to say that the mother of six was very strict and did something horrible when the child said no!

    I do agree that talking about how they are feeling instead of crying and whining is a good thing, however I'm not too sold on the idea of children having a "say" in everything or sassing!

    Can't wait till those thunderstorms pass through!

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  5. PS I hear parents say, 'Good job' instead of good girl or good boy all the time. I still think that's a funny way of putting it! Any opinions on that?

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  6. Ah. Good point Vee. We all will need to stand up and be counted and use our words I think. But, I'm so shy and introverted (yes I am!!) that I clam up when anything controversial is being discussed. Something I need to work on. Enjoy the weekend. Sun/cloud/80+/humid/thundershowers coming later on.

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  7. Finding the balance between 'using my words' and 'overusing' them... sometimes it's hard. I find I have very strong words about certain things, and I surprise myself when I don't spout them out like I feel. It's always a balancing act though, to speak the truth, and voice those words in love. I often don't speak, rather than spouting off. I used to never say anything, not anymore, but I do think the years teach us to speak more carefully and wisely. I think you've 'used your words' well in this post. :)

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  8. Oh My Goodness...I really needed to read this today and I can't believe your timing. I am not one who usually gets so riled up that I loose my cool. It takes a lot before something really gets me so incensed that I have to explode. That happened yesterday...I went ballistic while my husband was on the phone trying to straighten out a situation that we have been battling and following up on for weeks but still the company we were dealing with did not pay attention and put the wrong information on our account and were making all kinds of excuses why it wasn't their fault. Well....I truly lost it and couldn't believe the stupidity of how they mess everything up. My husband and I are two people who always, always, always, dot the i's and cross the t's and try to make sure they understand "our mailing address" is a P.O. Box not our street address....doesn't matter...they just ignore what you are saying and because these were important papers that we needed to get we made doubly sure and repeated over and over again "DO NOT SEND TO OUR STREET ADDRESS". Well they did send it to our street address, we never received the paper work and as a result and 6 or 7 phone calls later and them blaming someone else and me yelling at the top of my lungs how stupid they were....I really, really lost it. Still not sure whether or not they got it right yet. Grrrrrrrrrrrr....and yet here I am today still not able to calm down about this...and still feel bad because I said some pretty ugly things...this is one of those times I just couldn't "sit down and shut-up". So .... like you....I'm burying this on Saturday...I hope. : )

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  9. You can see a pattern here in the replies. Us older gals wish we had been told it was OK to use our words instead of the polite "better to be seen and not heard" way we were brought up. I've become more verbal with age and I think it's making me a better person.
    Diane mentioned about "good job" which is OK for little ones but when my daughter has said it to me, hopefully by mistake, I don't like it at all.
    That's my 2 cents worth.
    Judith

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  10. P.S. Sorry for the rant...I apologize.

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    1. No need to apologize! I hope that you will call again on Monday and ask what address is being used. If the wrong address is somehow still on your records, ask to speak to someone "who has the power to change it." Such things really fry my franny, too. All the best!

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  11. I think that was a great use of your words! :)

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  12. I have to laugh because this phrase brought back such vivid memories to me of the first time I ever heard it. I was with a group of other young moms who were gathered together to have Bible study in this woman's home, and we had all brought along our little ones. I had only my youngest son with me at the time (his older bros must have been at school) who was around 3. I heard him crying in the backyard where they were playing and several of us looked through the window to see my son laying on the ground being kicked by an older boy (around 4 or 5)over and over. The boys mothered suggested sweetly from the window, "honey, use your words instead." Really? I flew to my sons rescue yelling as I went, "I will use mine...get your son off of mine NOW or I will!" Now as it turned out we became great friends with this family and the boys eventually played together well despite the difference in age, and this incident. I guess because of this I somewhat cringe every time I hear this phrase. And I hear it more than you might think. I think it is great for kids to express how they feel in words. I really do. But some of the things I have heard some little ones say would be better off NOT said (in my humble opinion)..."I hate you...your mean....your ugly....NO,you can't make me". What a job there is to teach our little ones to express how they feel, speak up when they must or really need to with courage and boldness, and yet showing respect, kindness and love at the same time. Maybe I just had REALLY verbal kids because I never had to teach them to speak up or tell me how they felt using their words. They said it loud and clear, and to all who would listen, haha. But I did have to try to REALLY teach them to keep quiet at times, speak kindly, watch what they say, and TRY OH TRY to control their tongues. How did I get on this rant? I might have even missed your point, lol, like I said, I hear that phrase and all my words come out. Have a wonderful week-end Vee!

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  13. I liked this. I try to keep from "using words". Somethings drop out that I do not intend to use. :)

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  14. Oh wow - I'm like you Vee and try to keep quiet. When I do "explode" all the wrong words come out. I think that's why I love blogging because I can check and recheck my words and the tone of my words before hitting the publish button? If I wait till the next day and calm down, my words are much better. Your header is brilliant!

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  15. Hi Vee!

    What an interesting post! When I was a child, children were suppose to be looked at, not heard. I really didn't like that idea....even as a child, I felt like I had a lot to say! Now, as an adult, I sometimes feel like I should just keep quiet, that maybe my opinion isn't as important as others. My parents were just doing what their parents had taught them, they were wonderful and kind to me, just doing what was expected of them as new parents.

    Since then, I have learned that I have a voice, and that my words are important, at least to me. I love that children these days can express themselves, by, "using their words", but they need to remember their manners at the same time. It's hurtful to tell someone that they are ugly, or stinky, or that they hate them. When parents or teachers are teaching kids to use their words, they need to make sure that those words don't hurt. Children can be so brutally honest at times when they use their words, and it can have such a detrimental affect on other children. Kudos to the mom with well behaved children, she deserves a lot of credit!! Oh dear, I just read Debbie's comment, and it looks like we feel the same way... :0)

    Your lilies are just beautiful! And I love the web cam of the bears - so fun to watch them!

    Have a wonderful Saturday!

    Hugs,
    Barb

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  16. Good advice for ALL of us! Use your words! I've heard this expression but never gave much thought to it. Words are ever so POWERFUL!! I am often reminded of how important it is to use them wisely. Words cannot be unsaid.

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  17. Parenting is very different today from what we grew up with but the world is a very different place. Even though we were encouraged, and I use that word lightly, to be quiet we had a lot more freedom than children today.

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  18. I have used that phrase with my granddaughter, who is 3 years old, to get her to not whine for/about things but to use words to tell me what the issue is. This doesn't mean she can have a fit - that's unacceptable too.

    We all must learn to be okay with speaking truth. It can be done in a kind and respectful way. It is hard sometimes because people don't always want to hear what your saying. But that's okay.

    Very good post Vee!

    Deanna

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  19. I just have to practice using better words than the ones I sometimes want to use...

    :)

    xo Terri

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  20. I'm still working on this one.


    Wishing you both a blessed Sunday.

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  21. I can get tripped up on my words when someone has really ticked me off. But I have a much easier time of speaking up now than I used to. There are still times that it is best to zip it with an argumentative soul. "Never teach a pig to sing. It will only frustrate yourself and annoy the pig."

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  22. Hrm.

    I don't know. I think if my child said "NO!" and then called me mean I wouldn't have chuckled as such.

    And who was the grand saying was obnoxious? I still hear my mother's voice:
    "Say nothing if it is unkindness you wish to express."

    Now I must say I am no door-mat. I am a not-headed full Irish tempered hormone-filled lass who DOES use words.......but my husband who is the most amazing communicator of all time has really taught me even temperament and using words - respectful and no name calling though - helps us so much. He always diffuses my anger and he always encourages me to express myself - a win-win that has kept me SO SO happy for years now.

    So, now sure where there is a happy medium to all this, but I still think Mommies need to be very careful not to let themselves be fooled, coerced and used with words. They still have to always be in total control, children need guidance, but in a controlled way - not harsh, but they need to live with boundaries, too. Hope I haven't upset or offended, just my view is all. Hugs.

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    1. Oh. Well I see I struck a nerve as all of these examples were meant to show that things remained in balance and mothers were not being coerced. You also combined the three-year olds, which makes a difference.=D There is nothing that I dislike seeing much more than an at her wit's end mother hissing between gritted teeth. Mothers who take things more calmly usually do best and her children respect her more. You are right...she should not be a pushover. The grand was calling his brother "obnoxious" which at the time was the truth. See Deanna's comment second paragraph.

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  23. Enjoyed your posting...and snooping through all the comments. Enjoyed reading what everyone had to say.

    I've not heard that phrase 'use your words'. I'm glad people -- and children -- are being given the opportunity to express themselves. If we can say what we need and and feel that we've been heard, regardless if anything can actually be done to change it, I find myself feeling a whole lot better, than if I'd stuff it down where it can stew and fume till it blows up. Sometimes those explosions create irreparable damage.

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  24. PS... is that your backyard? Lovely! Restful and so green.

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  25. I don't think I have ever heard that before. My mom use to say,"Bite your tongue!" ANYWAYS- I like your new picture/header. Very nice.

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  26. I used my words today and it took me to the edge of trouble. I like the graphic in this post. Thanks Vee for this insight into using our words. ~ Abby

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  27. I never heard this phrase until my daughter Emily began using it with her little daughters. It's making me happy to see that Sofia does use her words now rather than pushing her sister or grabbing things away from her. And Clara is doing this better too.....I doubt that people (children) should say everything that pops into their minds, but many times it's the best way to handle things and like you, I wish I had learned to do this more skillfully when I was younger....But it's never too late!

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  28. (I removed the first comment because of misspellings, but here it is.)


    The other thing Emily used to say to them, and they sometimes say to one another is, "No thank you" when someone is showing bad behavior. It sounded quite strange to me for a long time, but I get it now....

    I think I blogged about this the March before last when we were in Florida and visited Jungle Gardens and a flamingo nipped at Clara's leg which scared her quite a bit. She and her sister played out this scene with their souvenir stuffed animal flamingos, pretending that it was biting them and saying very sternly, "No thank you, Mingo."

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  29. I have not heard this expression, but it makes sense. I use all my words at times, some nice, some not so nice, I have to be careful using "which" words! ;-) xo

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  30. My parenting skills became greatly enhanced when I learned to use the word "nevertheless" with my two highly verbal kids. They could argue their point of view like attorneys. Sometimes they "used their words" and I still could not/would not concede to their wishes...I would parrot back what they said then add "nevertheless...(go to bed, stop fighting with your brother, change your clothes, etc.)

    There is no rebuttals to nevertheless. Even rude statements like "I hate you, you are mean!" got them "nevertheless..."

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  31. I never heard this phrase until now. I asked my daughter, who has worked around children for a long time, about it and she said they had been using it for years. Hmmpf! I had to read a blog post to learn this!

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  32. So much for "burying" this, huh? ;)

    Our home fellowship has discussed "words" and our speech a couple of times in the last week or so. Two verses that have come up in our discussion came to my mind as I read this discussion.

    1) Do not be rash with your mouth, and let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in Heaven, and you on earth; therefore let your words be few. Ecclesiastes 5:2

    2) Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord my strength and my Redeemer.

    Oh...and one more...

    3)Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

    Lots to think about there. I would much rather hear reasonable speech than whining and crying (from the parent as well as the child!), but not all speech is "edifying," "graceful," and "acceptable."

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  33. I hope you continue to use your words - I hope people never get to the stage when they are frightened to speak up (or write) what they truly feel.

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  34. Our daughter-in-law always knows just what to do with her two children and she uses that phrase often. I've never given it a lot of thought until reading this. Mandy was raised in a family of six children and her mother home schooled all. Four of them, including Mandy, went on to college. I'm thinking some of us just know how to be the perfect mothers. Don't you wonder if those perfect mothers ever have the experience of their 3 year old throwing a temper tantrum in the middle of a store? I did and that was when I was priding myself on just how perfect my child was. (Love Cheryl's comments and scripture references, too.)

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  35. Ha! My niece and nephew in law use this same phrase with their children. I wonder what book they all read? I have to work on using words, too, when I get all riled up...

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  36. LOVE THIS. And you are so right. We do need to know how to use our words. As adults, we often think that the opposite of being obnoxious and outspoken is to be silent. However, there is a time and a place, and with the Lord's help, a way -- always A WAY to express ourselves appropriately. We just need to learn HOW to use our words. ;D

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  37. Good thoughts, good word use. And I love your closing sentence (well second to last line! Perfect!

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  38. I've never heard that expression but it is a good one and I will remember to use my words well.

    When I see well behaved children out I usually will say something to the parents. You don't see it that often any more.

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  39. Since my daughter-in-law was a kindergarten teacher I heard her use the expression "Use your words," often. Another phrase she used often was "watch your tone of voice" --- she would say that when a child would get very loud or sound cranky or whine. There was also an {inside voice" and an "outside voice." I think Kindergarten teachers are very wise ;)

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  40. So right, we are going to have to speak up for the truth. You do make the stories humorous and readable.

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  41. I never used or heard that phrase, but I hear it often now; funny how words/phrases change.

    I guess it is unfortunate, but when my children misbehaved or said ugly words, they got a whack on the rear. However, they've turned out to be good people..... just saying.

    Have a good weekend!

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  42. i think you use your words beautifully!
    believe it or not, with one less child,
    that lady with all the children was me
    15 years ago. it took a lot of work at
    home to train my rugrats to behave
    outside the home, but we had so many
    fun times that way . . . and LOTS of
    words. :)

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