It’s All In The TONE

You know what’s wrong with kids these days?  I know what you’re thinking.  Here she goes again…  Well, it’s my blog, so I’m going to indulge in another soapbox moment.

I can’t get over the tone of voice I hear coming from the kids around me.  Usually the words themselves are not inappropriate.  But the TONE is often downright hateful when they are speaking to their friends and at the very least disrespectful when speaking to their parents and other adults.  I never know quite what to say when The Tone is directed at me or at my child.  And I stand around, my jaw slack with disbelief when I hear The Tone from children directed to their own parents. 

But I am quite sure that this is a hill worth dying on when I hear The Tone from my own kids.  I’ve allowed it to go on for far too long, but now I’m laying down the law.  Husband and I have started talking to our children about their tone of voice, calling their attention to it when it’s disrespectful, and commending them when it is appropriate. 

It’s a rather abstract concept, but when I imitate what I hear and then model a more appropriate tone using the same words, they see what I mean.  Or hear what I mean, rather.  Now all I have to say is, "Watch your tone," and they know what I want.

The other thing I’m learning is that I need to watch MY tone.  *Gasp!*  I know you can’t believe that I ever speak disrespectfully to anyone.  But not only do I find myself speaking rudely to my kids, I also catch myself speaking rudely to my husband.  And don’t think for a second that kids don’t pick up on how you speak to your spouse.  But I get lazy and irritable, and the next thing I know I’m snarking at my husband, and I’m beginning to realize that my kids hear The Tone from me as much as they hear it from their friends.

So let’s all make the world a more pleasant place and start addressing The Tone when we hear it from our children.  AND when we hear it from (gasp!) ourselves.  Who’s with me?