No matter how hard you may laugh, at some level negative teasing inflicts pain!
You may think, “Oh, that’s not enough pain to pay any attention to!” Oh really! So you are saying that it’s okay to inflict pain if it’s minuscule? But is that the focus you should have? May I remind you of the verse about coarse jesting?
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29
Our homes should be the safest place on earth when it comes to the development of our personhood. We should never have to fear being attacked by those who are suppose to love us the most. So, with all the emphasis on feeling good about yourself, and maintaining a positive self-image why do we put up with negative teasing, I ask you? I go back to the influence of media such as tv and/or movies. If you allow yourself or your children to be overly exposed to the negative humor that saturates most of the shows, then you and your children will be spouting out negative phrases before you realize it! To avoid this:
WE MUST FILL OUR MINDS AND THE MINDS OF OUR CHILDREN WITH WORDS THAT WILL BE HELPFUL WHEN THEY EXIT OUR MOUTHS! ! !
How is that done? Consider the following:
1. All you have to do is make wiser choices about what you watch and what you allow your children to watch. Thankfully, there are options even on tv and the movies that have a more positive influence on the way we and our children can be influenced to interact with others.
2. Fill your minds with words from Scripture. Like Ephesians 4:29 (to begin with)! Make it a habit to memorize Scripture and model this habit for your children.
3. Post verses that you have written on cards and display them around the house.
4. Make Scripture an integral part of your family’s daily experience. Insert Scripture whenever you can to apply to a situation. For instance, every child’s name means something and particular verses can be ascribed to enhance that meaning. This might give a child an extra motivation to exhibit actions that live up to their name’s meaning.
Consider calling upon Scripture to meet the need of the moment such as when your child is afraid, like the following: Psalm 56:3, “When I am afraid, I will trust in you.”
5. Instill in your children the importance of personal devotions. And remember, the most effective method of teaching our children to have a time of personal devotion is to model this behavior for them!
6. Be wise in choosing the music you listen to and what you allow your children to listen to. Never underestimate the influence of music. And listen to the lyrics. (Google the lyrics to the songs, if you can’t understand them!) If you find something troubling, then Parent’s do something about it. BTW, if your child is making good choices about the music they are listening to, then by all means, praise them for it!
7. Encourage your children to hide God’s Word in their hearts. Get them involved in Bible study and Bible drills. Do you want your child to be wise and strong of mind? The absolute best source for that is The Bible, parent!
I think this is a good enough start. So take it from here and run with it. I’m confident I have not exhausted all the possibilities of ways to fill your minds and your children’s minds with positive thinking so that the overflow will also be positive.
And a final word here.
Always remember, as life happens in your family, memories are being made. Verbal interaction should always be laced with grace. So be deliberate about making positive memories and minimizing the negative. The reward for your diligence will provide your family with sweet reminiscing during those family get togethers in the days to come.