But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger,rage, malice, slander and filthy language from your lips. Colossians 3:8
Anyone who has dealt with disrespect in their home is familiar with the sound, volume and tone that finds its way into the words used by your child. Today we are talking about filthy language.
Yep, that's right.
Swear words have been said at my house.
Apparently, I wasn't muttering under my breath like I thought.
In my lifetime, I have sworn, cussed, said bad words.
Not my proudest moment as a parent.
My kids have heard these words and then uttered the same things when faced with frustration.
(For those of you who are astute, there is a hidden lesson in there.)
This is Sue.
Isn't she beautiful?
(She was really beautiful moments before this photo...before the oil spill by my four year old)
We made her out of construction paper.
Her mouth is glued on at the top of the lips. It allows her mouth to flip open. I can easily lift her mouth up.
And that is important for the next part.
But first, we have a mediated discussion about the words we've been using.
What is filthy language?
Why do you think it is called filthy language?
How does it make you feel to say it? to hear it?
How does it make someone else feel?
What would happen if all we did was use filthy words?
What if we talked to our friends this way? the community? the world?
Then came the moment of impact.
I asked the kids to shut their eyes.
As they did, I lifted up Sue's lip and dumped a pile of garbage where her mouth usually goes.
When my kids opened their eyes, they saw this:
Mom, that's disgusting!
We talked about how sometimes those negative words are inside us.
And when they come...it's gross.
But we have a secret plan to keep those words from coming out.
We can say the prayer that is on the inside of Sue's lip:
Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.
Another mediated discussion:
What is the job of a guard?
How does a guard keep things from coming in and going out?
Why would we need a guard?
How can we recognize when we are about to say something unkind?
What do you think would happen if we slammed the door on unkind words trying to get out?
How would that effect our family? friends? community? world?
Now, when situations are getting out of hand, I simply poke my head in the room and say, "Are you standing guard?"
It is a loaded statement that is helping my kids to stop, think and self regulate.
And when you do, be sure to use disgusting garbage. The smellier the impact, the better!