Monday, April 12, 2010

Sweet Words

Have you ever noticed...

If a routinely ornery person speaks harshly, people accept it and move on...

When an otherwise kind, sweet, easy going (whatever adjective you prefer) person speaks with an edge, they are chastised...

Ever noticed?

In my youth, I must have been an otherwise kind, sweet, easy going (insert whichever adjective you prefer) girl. I know this because if I ever lost patience with someone and raised my voice, had an edgy tone or spoke harshly, my sweet Mom (or my kind Dad or my siblings) got after me.

Gasp, then in a lower than normal tone of voice I'd hear... Ruth!

Still happens to me, sometimes.

So when I hear my daughter and daughter-in-law encourage their children to use their sweet words, I'm impressed! In fact, it helps me respond in a more positive vein when interacting with others.

Laura doesn't correct Kellie by telling her the words to use... if Kellie forgets to say please when asking for another taste, toy or help, Laura simply encourages Kellie by saying... "Oh, try another way, please."

Kellie understands and rephrases her request... with her sweet words!

In my opinion, apologizing falls in the Sweet Words category.

Ever noticed how some folks don't ever apologize?

Yes, it's difficult to admit a weakness, or that we were wrong, or impatient, or insensitive.

But an olive branch can mend so many fences.

Like how I mix metaphors? :)

Learning the art of apology and using that skill can help strengthen relationships.

It can also help you further your career.

The business world can be cut throat. Those who are humble enough to admit errors and apologize when things go awry, are seen as having strength of character.

Another thing about Laura's parenting style that impresses me is her ability to apologize to Kellie when Mama loses her patience, or sweet words, sometimes.

We are products of our environment.

The way children respond and interact with others comes from what they learn at home. Or, how they are spoken to, at home.

And yes, my heart melts when I hear Kellie apologize to others when she feels it is necessary.

Late one evening, a few weeks ago, Kellie was having a difficult time going to sleep. Daddy and Mama let her join them while folding laundry, Kellie was excited to be able to help... saying, "Oh, I can help fold the wipes!"

Folding the wipes at the Gent house is somewhat of a funny thing because... you don't really fold them... you simply stack!

But, hey! When a 3 year-old wants to help with the laundry, I say capitalize on the moment!

Anyhoo, I happened to be talking to Laura on the phone that late evening a few weeks back when she asked Kellie if she'd like to talk to Grammie.

While talking to me, Kellie was trying to get herself situated on the sofa next to Mama and I heard Kellie say...

"Oh, I'm sorry Mama, I didn't mean to kick you."

A classic case of living what she learns!

I just love spending time with my grandchildren and sharing sweet words with each other.

Tomorrow, Grandpa and I are traveling to Provo to attend Abbi's dance recital. I'm so excited to see Abbi perform the dance she has been learning and practicing.

I'm also excited to spend time with her sister and brothers.

A few evenings ago, I was able to talk with them on the telephone. It's fun to talk to each of them and learn what's going on in their lives.

Alona and I talk about what she is learning in school, what book she is currently reading and what she's been doing in her Daisy troop. Currently she is learning about the weather and practicing math equations for end of year testing. She is also reading a book about a boy who babysits.

Abbi likes to tell me what's happening in her life, too. Many times the conversations start with a "Guess what, Grandma?" She told me about her costume for the dance recital, who'll be going to watch her and going for a walk with Mom. She's a little bit sick at the moment, too.

Kacen is becoming more of a conversationalist.

For the most part, we get a Yes or No response to our questions.

Sometimes, though, his little personality shines through the phone line and he leaves us laughing.

One time we asked him what he had for dinner. After a pregnant pause he replied...


Its funny on a few levels...

First, his delivery is perfectly timed.

Second, if you know his Mommy, you know there is no way Cookies is what he had for dinner. As a treat afterward, maybe... but not dinner.

Heather works very hard ensuring her children get healthy, balanced meals.

This last conversation was fun, too.

We shared a laugh together about Grandpa.

Since it was almost time for bed, I asked him if he was wearing his Spiderman pajamas. He said no, he was wearing his Lighting McQueen pjs. I then asked if that meant he would go to sleep really fast... like Lighting McQueen.

"Yes." was his reply.

Kacen also told me he was going to play hide-n-seek with Grandpa when we come over on Saturday. I asked if he was going to hide really fast... like Lighting McQueen? and he replied...


Then I asked if Grandpa was going to find him really fast, like Lighting McQueen?

Kacen replied... "No, he's gonna be like... (?)."

Not understanding his last word, I asked, Is Grandpa going to find you slow, like Mater?

Kacen chuckled and said, "Yes!"


I love sweet words and I love talking to my grandchildren!

1 comment:

Natalie said...

Great post Ruth - I love the "Sweet Words" idea - I will have to try it out :)