Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Lessons learned

Lately, Stephen and I have had several talks about what it means to be in control of our words and "taming our tongues". He has a habit of just talk-talk-talking all.day.long, especially when he's mad or upset. He talks so much that he frequently says things he shouldn't. When he gets to that point, he "loses the privilege to talk" for a while and must keep all thoughts and comments to himself. It's been fairly effective in making him think about what he wants to say instead of just saying anything that comes to mind. But it's definitely a work in progress and I realize that it's a lesson learned over time and with a dash of maturity.

So. Last week, I had a huge blister on the inside of my lip. It hurt to talk. And now that it's all healed up, I have some kind of sore on my tongue on the opposite side of where the blister was. Now it really hurts to talk. So much so, that I try my hardest not to. And when I do, I talk funny and everyone's been asking me to repeat myself. They don't get a second chance, because I'm not opening my mouth again. I only say things that are truly important and need to be heard. It's been a nice little lesson, because I think I might be figuring out where Stephen gets his diarrhea of the mouth verbosity.

A few days ago, Sweet Hubby and I saw a friend from church in the grocery store. We stopped and chatted for a while. As we were walking away, I slapped my forehead and asked Hubby if I talk too much. He said no, but I'm thinking he was probably wisely avoiding the landmine I had just laid out for him. The thing is, I often walk away from conversations slapping my forehead and wanting to kick my own behind because I felt like I talked too much. There have more times than I can count that I have yelled at my self internally, "Just SHUT UP already!!"

So, because of this monster on my tongue, I've lost the privilege to talk. Interesting, huh? I talk to the kids all day long, and most of it is important. We talk about all sorts of things and Stephen has been asking lots of questions lately, especially questions about God. So we have to talk. But outside of those conversations, I'm seeing how much I say that is unimportant. I'm filling their ears with nothing but words, and they are reflecting that. I had no idea that I had a need to tame my own tongue. I get it now. It's definitely something that I need to work on.

Let's just hope that the kids don't catch on too quickly and start to take advantage of this.


Jana said...

Talking is an issue in our house, too (for me and my daughter). But, NOT talking puts me in a bad position because all the research says to talk, talk, talk to encourage the speaking skills of infants and toddlers (and I have one of each).

So where the line is between too much and not enough?

Alli said...

Yeah, Jana, I was going to touch on that about the need to talk to babies and toddlers all the time. My train of thought got interrupted and I pushed 'publish'. It's true that we need to talk to kids all the time, and I think that's where I've gotten into that habit (besides the fact that I've always been a talker). I especially talk to Marc-Adam like crazy. But like you said, where do we draw the line? I had a teacher that said that you can't receive if you're always broadcasting. I guess that's my point. Am I talking so much that I'm not really hearing my kids? Am I talking so much that my kids don't really even listen anymore? Are there so many words flying around our home (from everyone) that our words don't carry as much meaning?

Just things that I have to really think on while I can't talk much.

K in the Mirror said...

I know I talk too much also. Especially now that she's getting older, I think she needs more time to process and think about stuff without me leaping in. It's a hard line to find though, and since we're also their teachers, I do feel more of a need to talk all the time since they won't be getting information in school.

Hope your mouth is better soon!

beth - total mom haircut said...

Heh - I have no idea what would happen to me if I were in a similar predicament. I imagine it would not be pretty, that's for sure.