Because The Walls Have Ears…

Most of the time, I have a basic idea of what I’m going to write a few posts ahead of time.  But today, I want to put my schedule aside to address something interesting that happened this morning with my son.

Couch, Pillows, Sofa, Furniture, Interior, Living RoomHe and I were in the car on our way to his preschool.  He randomly asked me if we were going to get a sofa today.  I wondered what spurred this question.  I looked around and saw lots of delivery trucks on the highway, so I figured there must have been a picture of a furniture company’s showroom on the side of one of them.  But why would my son think that we might buy a sofa?  Then it hit me: my husband and I were talking about it yesterday when our son was supposedly taking a nap.

It was not the most riveting conversation we’ve had- a liquidation warehouse was having their year-end sale and we were debating whether or not to purchase a sectional.  You could say we were arguing in the truest sense of the word… merely presenting varied points of view.  We were not angry, but we may have raised our voices as opinions and teasing mounted.  We were hardly angry and the whole exchange might have taken ten minutes.  But apparently, those ten minutes were significant enough in a 3.5 year old’s mind to pop into his head the next day.

All over a sofa. 

Can you imagine the impact if it were a more serious topic?

Indeed, the walls have ears.  You may think they are asleep, but voices carry.  You may be in the finished basement with several floors between you, but not if they are secretly standing at the top of the stairs.  Air vents carry more than the hot air from the heat pump.

So make it your 153Promise today to accept that any conversation you may be having with your partner, your children may very well hear it.

Would you want them to be burdened with the knowledge that you are struggling to make ends meet?  That your marriage is rocky?  That you’re running out of ideas of what to do regarding their behavior?  That their shortcomings drive you crazy?

I was that kid at the top of the stairs 30-some years ago.  It was the creepiest feeling to know that conversations about me were going on without me.  It was like sneaking into a movie theater to the sequel of a really bad horror flick.  And I was the supporting role without any lines.

Stair, Steps, Stairway, Interior

Please make the153Promise to choose your words wisely.  Because you never know how the words you utter will ultimately land.  Earshot is a lot farther reaching than you realize.




“Take It Back!”

I had an mini epiphany when I was at my friend’s family watching them opening up Christmas presents.  One of the gifts was a pair of boots that appeared to be a little too small.

“I can always take them back to the store to see if they come in the larger size,” she said.

Gift, Packaging, Loop, Christmas

That’s when it hit me- I wish it were that easy with our words.  Or can it be?

How many times do you hear one kid yell to another, “You take that back,” as if someone’s insults were a pair of boots that didn’t fit.  But unlike ill-fitting footwear, our words’ impact cannot be undone by sending them back to the originator.  It’s not that simple… or can it be?  Maybe kids are more enlightened than they get credit for.

We can make the 153Promise by selecting our words carefully so only loving supportive phrases come from our mouths.  That alone is a great start.  But we are human, and there are times where we will fall short and we’ll say things that just don’t fit.Figure, Sad, Crying, Sadness, Upset

You can still keep true to your 153Promise when you slip and say something hurtful.  You can allow yourself to “Take Them Back” when you realize that you spoke out of anger or insensitivity.

If your kidding around went too far, you can say, “I take it back… I was only joking.  I was trying to be funny, but I can see that it wasn’t kind.  I’m sorry.”

Or if you had a bad day and your nerves are fried and you lash out at your son or daughter, you can say, “I take it back… I didn’t really mean to hurt your feelings with what I said.  It’s just that I am really in a bad mood from something else.  You don’t deserve that treatment from me.  I’m sorry.”

Crying, Children, Cry, Autumn

As long as most of your behavior is certain way, I’d say the 10% rule works.  If 9/10 comments you make are positive, then the 10% you make that are falling short, a heartfelt “I take it back” can work.  But if you have to take back half of what you say, then the apology loses their effectiveness… as do the positive comments you actually mean.

So make your 153Promise by making sure your words fit for the occasion.  And on the rare occasion they don’t, make the 153Promise to Take It Back.

Kisses.  XxXx