Friday, February 11, 2011

3 Filters for Helping Kids Say Kind Words

How many times as a parent have you wanted to crawl in a hole because of something your child said to someone else?  I know that feeling pretty well.   Although, I try to extend grace to my kids, realizing they are what they are--kids!  Not too long ago my 5 year old son, Ethan, was talking to my mom on the phone about her mom, Ethan's great-grandmother.  Ethan thought she was about 40 and was pretty old:)  (With every birthday like the one I celebrated yesterday, I am amazed at how close to "old" I am getting:)  When my mom corrected him and said that Great-grandma was actually 93, Ethan couldn't believe it, adding, "Wow--she's really old. She'll probably die really soon."  Oh, the candidness of kids...

This month we are focusing on Kindness at our church with our elementary age students.  A mom sent me a great little article that a woman wrote about teaching her kids how to use our mouths properly.  I thought it was incredible and will definitely re-use some of her thoughts with my own kids as well as the students in our church.

Whenever her kids would say something that offended someone else, she would have them use these 3 filters to see if what they said was appropriate:

Was it true?
Was it kind?
Was it necessary?

If it met all three criteria, there was no harm.  Often, her kids would see where their words fell short of one of the marks.  Sometimes we blatantly lie.  Other times, we say something that might be true, but we don't say it kindly, or we might say it at a time where it wasn't necessary.

What great questions for kids (and adults) to run through our minds before we open our mouths!  BTW--my grandmother is still very involved in life at 93 and is one of my greatest prayer warriors!

1 comment:

  1. so what do you do when the words are not kind, true, or in our case, not necessary?