When it comes to how we speak to our children I believe that includes texting and social media. Can I offer you some advice from the trenches?
Delete it. Rethink the long-term effects. Digital life and social media make temporary thoughts and emotions eternal and a lot of our responses to our teenagers are fleeting and not well thought out. Remember how mama always said “If ya ain’t got nothing nice to say…don’t say anything at all?” Mama was right! And how much more important is that age old wisdom when it comes to something that will linger in the world because it was written down? Texted? Screenshot? Shared? And even angry faced (gasp!) on social media???
Believe me, I know that kind of self-control with your teenagers isn’t easy!!! Especially when;
- the car breaks down *like you told them it was about to*
- the email from the teacher comes in and you don’t even want to believe that behavior or these grades came from your once-sweet “baby”
- they aren’t responding to your calls or texts
- they are responding but with “k” or thumb up
- they’re too tired to help but not to stay up all night long binging TV shows
- more money requests? Didn’t they just get paid?
- the thing you saw coming? it came.
- you’re underappreciated, exhausted, or worn out
I’d like to offer you something to assuage those aching thumbs. Send a heart emoji.
Every time its about to go sideways.
Every time you’re three or four lines into a text responding.
Before you hit send- hit delete. And just send a ❤ You’ll never have to regret the words you don’t send. And if they screenshot a million hearts over their lifetime, and send that off to their friends, so be it.
There will be time to talk in person, to hash out the big issues, to help them navigate through these years. I’m urging you to do it face to face and not on social media or through texting. It only takes the edge off the situation momentarily and sending those words right now wont truly help.
And the real fun? Wait ‘til their a little older and have them recall how many times you sent a random heart emoji- then tell them why. Laugh about all the things you wanted to say back in those moments and then give them a hug and both of you can be so glad you didn’t say them.
Mama’s advise was correct- but mama didn’t live in today’s world. If she had, I think she’d have agreed with me- “If ya ain’t got nothing nice to say- then don’t- and send a heart emoji instead.”
Take care friends!
2 thoughts on “Ugh. From Mom, with “love””
That’s what my mom always said, too! And I am so thankful for the times I’ve listened to that voice in my head. You have such wisdom.