Substitute One Simple Word
What if I told you that simply substituting one word for a better, kinder word could change the atmosphere of your home? Would you be willing to try it? I hope so!
I noticed recently that when I call for my children they usually respond with the word, "What?"
That is a common response, a response I have probably used with them hundreds of times, but it doesn't sit well with me. I mean, is there a courteous way to say, "What?" We don't even say that word like it's a question...it's more of a barked response that conveys the fact that we are a bit annoyed (or really annoyed) to be interrupted. "What?" does not represent the respect and relational focus that we desire for our household so instead of that word we are trying to say, "Yes?"
When my child calls out for me I respond with, "Yes?"
And when I call for my children I am teaching them to respond in kind.
This simple substitution changes the trajectory of the conversation by communicating that the person who is being requested is in fact willing and happy to respond.
Next time a chorus of little voices are calling, "MOM!!!!!" set aside the urge to bark, "What?!?" and instead, spread a little kindness around your home. "Yes, Sweetie?"
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.