Tag Archive | negative teasing

Words for Parents!

   Image-1

   There are some youngsters near and dear to me that have recently embarked upon that vulnerable journey in life referred to as adolescents. And I am being reminded of the pitfalls that await our children during this section of their life’s journey as I learn of the struggles my loved ones are facing.

   Therefore, I pass along the following in the hopes that if you or your adolescent is having a difficult time maneuvering through the challenges of this time, you may find these ‘words’ to be the lifesaver for you that they were for me. 

*    *    *    *

   As my children came along, I knew, from my own experience, that I had to find a way to protect them from the damage negative words could inflict, especially negative teasing. Thus I believe God prompted me to establish a rule in our household of “no negative teasing”. 

th-3

   Negative teasing at some level inflicts pain. Sure on the surface we may be laughing but down deep we aren’t! It certainly doesn’t build up someone to teasingly call them ‘stupid’ now does it?

   But the most revealing and powerful force to defeat the negative thinking that years of hurtful words had produced in my own life, regretfully didn’t come to me until I was in my 50’s. Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice is the compilation of lessons given to me in how to overcome and/or heal from the damage caused by hurtful words.

power10 

   It is from this perspective of healing that I offer these words to parents, for we must pass on to our adolescents an awareness of the Truth thought found in Ephesians 4:29 (opening photo)! We should model the Truth of this verse in the words our children hear coming from our mouths before we try to impress upon them how to filter their words through this Truth.

NEXT

   We need to teach our children how to handle the hurtful words (whether teasing or otherwise) that is inflicted upon them. For without this guidance our children will be tempted to believe things about themselves that are nothing but lies.

   We must teach our children that God’s Word is the most powerful of all weapons to destroy the enemy’s fiery dart attacks. However, we must first learn how to use that weapon for ourselves then we will be equipped to pass along successfully what we have learned to our children.

   Within the Bible are counter attacks for every fiery dart Satan throws at us and our children. Therefore, it is imperative that we teach our children (after first learning for ourselves)  how to recognize Satan’s fiery darts, then how to call upon God’s Word to defend themselves. (Ephesians 6:16)

the_sword_of_truth_2_by_eblackmore-d4zm1i9

A FINAL WORD

   Please remember that the flesh is weak. If we do not arm ourselves with the Sword of Truth, our flesh will not be able to resist the temptations that will arise from the fiery dart attacks. But by wielding the Sword of Truth against every hurtful word, the tempter’s plans to weaken us will be demolished. (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)

 

The Fiery Darts of Parenting Series – Negative Teasing!

Because my book only contains two areas of application (marriage and adolescence) where fiery darts are concerned, I am being impressed to include a series of posts having to do with the application of how to fight the fiery darts encountered in parenting!  Up until now, the theme of my blogs have been a bit random.  Well, maybe not a bit but a whole lot random.  It was suggested to me way back when I began blogging to do something like I am now attempting, but it just never happened.  So, here goes people.  As always, I welcome and appreciate your feedback.

NEGATIVE TEASING!

Oh, mom, I was only teasing!  You know I don’t really mean that!  Lighten up, we were only having fun.  

Are you kidding me? !  Since when has it been okay to put someone down or say all manner of false things about them as long as you say it in a kidding way?  Since our day, that’s when.  And may I be more specific here–since our kids (and us adults) have been exposed to a steady diet of negative teasing disguised as humor on almost any sitcom you care to watch.  TV and movies are masters (and I emphasize the word, ‘masters’) at this type of negative humor and the power of their influence can be seen and felt whenever a group of people are hanging out together. (It makes me sad to write that!) 

Given the fallen nature of man, we shouldn’t be surprised that we have succumbed to thinking that humor is a lot more funny if the words we use are negative!  And while I’m not surprised that people who reject Christ and His teachings have embraced this type of humor, it bothers me DEEPLY that Christians have bought into this LIE! (I’m just calling it like I see it folks)  Actually, it’s one of the most popular and successful fiery darts in use today! Um!

I was disturbed about this when my own children were small.  So much so that I became very selective about what they watched on tv and videos (no dvd’s back then) and I limited their amount of exposure to both.  That’s when the family rule, NO NEGATIVE TEASING, came to be established.

Here’s an example of it’s early beginnings.  When anger is being expressed, it’s only natural to verbally express that anger.  Right?  And you can’t use just any words!  It has to be words that pack a punch!  So, whenever my children expressed anger in the midst of some conflict they were having with each other, out would come those words that had been sitting there in their minds just waiting for the opportunity to be released!  It would be at times such as these that they would hear me say something like the following:

  “Your sister (or brother) has a perfectly good name.  You will use that name when addressing each other.”

My children figured out that they could get away with using hurtful or negative words as long as they cloaked it in humor.  (Do you suppose the idea originated with Mary Poppins?  You know, “A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down! There goes that fallen nature again, taking a good idea and perverting it!)

Well, just like Barney Fife, I nipped that negative teasing in the bud!  Whenever, I heard negative teasing disrupting the peace of our home, I countered with what became a very familiar phrase around our house,

“That’s negative teasing!”

It worked pretty good, I’m pleased to say.  And you can be sure that as my children grew older and wiser, they wouldn’t hesitate to call their father or I down when they heard either one of us violate the family rule!  (Parent’s struggle with that ole fallen nature too, you know! Not an excuse; just stating a fact:(  My children held my feet to the fire on that WHENEVER they had the opportunity.  (Don’t you just love the accountability factor that can prevail in a family!)

Actually, it’s all about making memories (which I’ll cover in another post).  I was keenly aware that my children would be making all sorts of memories as they grew up in our home.  I was determined and deliberate that most of those memories would be positive.  Therefore, negative teasing had no place in our home.  And apparently, God agreed!  Note the following verse:

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

Taking this verse to heart then we will examine the words that are coming out of our mouths either in anger or in jest and if those words don’t build up those who are listening to us according to their needs, then we need to zip it! And keep it zipped until we have determined what our hearers need to hear and thereafter, fashion our words accordingly.  Good idea?

 

Watch Your Mouth!

The more I learn about fiery darts, the more my awareness of their deadly work increases.  In this post, I would like to point out how things we say can set up another to have a major struggle with fiery darts.  At this point I haven’t quite figured out how to resolve this dilemma but here’s what I have noticed.

As an example, let’s say someone says something to you of a critical nature.  You receive their words and  the floodgate is opened to a variety of fiery darts.  The struggle is on, while you try to thwart each attack with Isaiah 54:17,

“No weapon that is formed against you will prevail.”

 You try to not overreact and try to respond reasonably, yet you cannot deny that your feelings have been hurt. Obviously, their criticism is unjust and now your struggle is weighted down by trying to figured out how you can respond without accepting blame you do not deserve but at the same time be open to see their side of it.  The onslaught of attacks are only intensified at this point, for  your resolve to stand strong against the fiery darts and their critical words begins to wear on you.

But you keep going back to the Truth of the particular situation and with a great deal of help from God, you find your footing.

THEN

you find out they were only teasing and even though they know you didn’t ‘get it’, they remain insensitive to the pain inflicted by their negative teasing. So now, you’ve got a new phase of fiery darts to deal with, ugh!  It’s not as easy to laugh at yourself as it is for the person who criticized you in jest, but you try. What do you do with that real pain you struggled with?  Does it never end?

Well, you move on, determined to not allow this to negatively affect the relationship but wondering if you should have a frank conversation with this person about the carelessness and insensitivity of their little joke.  But wait, if you do, will they take you seriously or will they just say you’re making a mountain out of a molehill?  The last thing you want is to make an honest appeal to them concerning your feelings only to have them be lightly or casually dismissed.

In this example, can you see how we set each other up to be attacked by fiery darts?  I think situations like this can be remedied by making sure that our intentions or meanings to what we say are clearly received by others.  And if we aren’t sure about the intention of something said to us, then we should ask a simple question like, “Are you saying …….?”  Then too, keeping the following verse in mind, could help a lot–especially when we are in teasing mode:

“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

Just a thought.  What do you think?