We have two kids who still live at home. Our daughter is 13–yes, thank you for your sympathy–and a son, who is 8. They are best friends and they are worst enemies. Have you ever seen Tom & Jerry? Generally, they heckle one another when it’s time for dinner–just like the do immediately before and after. Last night, our daughter was setting the table and told her brother that she was getting two cups of water for herself and none for him. He whined and cried. I finally convinced him that she was teasing. Now usually, he will tease her until she ‘freaks out,’ but apparently it was her turn.
A few moments later, our son tried to serve rice and spilled it all over himself and the floor. I may or may not have said something sarcastic. He may or may not have cried again. When he recovered his composure, it was time for Tom to start harassing Jerry again. Our picky son will eat chicken, but not pork. He will eat turkey, but not ham…..unless he doesn’t know what he is eating. After he was done eating his pork–oops, I mean chicken–his sister asked how he liked his “chicken.” He said it was great. She then made fun of him and explained that he was so dumb and that he had just eaten pork. He said that it was chicken. You probably know the rest of the story. He cried. She laughed.
I then decided it was my parental duty to use this as a teaching opportunity. I explained to my daughter that before we speak, we should ask ourselves three questions: is it truthful, is it kind, and is it necessary. If you answer ‘no’ to any of these, I explained, then you should not say what you were about to. She rolled her eyes. I then looked at my son and told him to quit being such a sissy.
It was explained to me that my comment was neither kind, truthful, or necessary!