As I heard Kate coughing yesterday morning, I asked her, “Are you okay?”
She snapped back at me (with a tone I really didn’t care for), “Mom, I’m fine!”
While her reply was true, it came with an irritated tone that I didn’t appreciate. Since Kate has been on anti-seizure drugs (at the young age of 1), she has always been a little emotional. The doctors all tell me it isn’t the drugs, but when Kate weaned off the medication a few years ago, she changed into this easy-going, peaceful child. Unfortunately, she had another seizure, so we added the meds back on to her schedule. The drugs just seem to make her a little edgy, anxious and overly paranoid, but the outcome is her seizures cease to happen.
So my normal response with my other two kids would have been to snap back, “Don’t speak to your mother that way! I am just trying to help.” With Kate, I have found a new way of responding, “Kate, I was concerned about your cough and before we head out to Sunday school, I want to ensure you are feeling okay, when you reply back to me with that angry tone, it hurts me.” This is when that little light bulb goes off in my head. Maybe when I am replying to ALL my kids, I should be more descriptive and not assume they know what I am talking about.
Ephesians 5:15-17 Watch carefully then how you live, not as foolish persons but as wise, making the most of the opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not continue in ignorance, but try to understand what is the will of the Lord.
Kate showed me an opportunity to be wise. To choose God. To use wisdom. To find a peaceful, loving solution that teaches respect. None of my kids should talk to me disrespectfully, but I also should model how to be polite when replying. My smart retort back to Megan and TJ was okay, but there was a better way. I found that better way with Kate. Because Kate should not get an automatic free pass due to her seizure disorder, it forced me to think out-of-the-box for discipline. She opened my eyes to a more considerate reply which still achieved the outcome I wanted. Kate learned that speaking in certain tones can hurt others. It wasn’t right. I learned that I need to think through my words before replying back to my kids (not just Kate, but all my kids). My instinct in this case was not the best choice. So just like the Ephesians verse explains “don’t continue in ignorance, but try to understand what is the will of the Lord.“
Don’t get stuck doing the same thing today – think out-of-the-box. Is there a better way to handle a struggle that you are having today? Could you choose your words with Wisdom instead of the usual instinctual way? How does this change your day at work or at home?