Have we ever stopped to think of what may be the consequences of our thoughts, actions or the things we say?
Not many of us do, for often, the words leap out of our mouths faster than we can even think about the resultant action, for far too many times, our hearts completely rule our heads.
We make far too many decisions in life. Even being undecided is a decision, by its own derivative. We are often faced with things that would require a response, or a thought. How many times do we actually have time to think about the effects and consequences of what we do?
Many times we just follow what comes into our minds, neglecting to worry about what and how another person would feel as a result of our words and actions.
Harsh words, once unleashed, can never be retracted. It may be forgotten over time, but some things said which are cutting and hurtful - will never be completely diminished.
For example, your child confides in you, and you simply say what you feel at that moment, without any thought of your his / her feelings, and how they may take it upon themselves. You don’t bother ’sugarcoating’ your words, perhaps only realising that your opinions and what you think matters more than you think - only after the words were uttered.
"I told you nothing will come out of it. You still want to go against me!"
"How many times have I told you to listen? You really deserve whatever your're facing now."
"I'm tired of talking to you. You get upset, you do it all over again. You never learn!"
"Don't talk to me now. I can't be bothered to listen to you!"
Perhaps you were upset. Maybe you were sick and tired of repeating the same thing over and over again, only to have them defy you. It could be a bad day in Motherland... when everything seems bleak and tiring, because despite all your efforts, the kids just seem to go against you for the sake of doing so.
But do you stop to think about what may be the consequence of your seemingly straightforward words?
It's not about being honest, or hiding behind the statement: "They have to learn, even if they do so the hard way. I would rather have them hear it from me than have others whisper behind their backs."
As a toddler, they run about, despite being told to walk properly and not run.
They fall, bust their lip, or get a huge booboo on their foreheads.
You shriek, and in the same breath, question their listening and understanding abilities as to what you always remind them to be mindful about.
As a teen, they seem to develop this "Going out with my parents is uncool, I would rather hang out with my mates till odd hours and to hell with the curfew" attitude.
They neglect to study, and perhaps get lower than usual marks.
You nag, going on and on about bad company and how if they continue their 'lifestyle' they are bound to be in some menial job or serving tables (I resent that, by the way). Or worse, they get caught breaking the law and get sent to a juvenile home. You create worse case scenarios even before they happen, plunging the child into a chasm of negativity and despair.
Perhaps I may be that way in the future, when BabyMoo is older - when I'm at the end of my tethers and he still tries my patience. However, I'm still going to try to constantly remind myself to calm down and remember that I have been there before. I have been at that stage where I questioned all my mothers's advice, despite being proven time and time again that she's right. Where I learned things the hard way, and learned to solve problems on my own, because I had no one else to blame but myself.
Sometimes maybe the kids have to learn the hard way.
Sometimes, all they need is just someone to extend a hand when they fall.
To help them up, hug them and tell them that failing is part of life's lessons.
Not someone to tell them off, to judge their actions, or to point an accusing finger at them.
Just someone to still run to, and provide sanctuary in their life's journey despite everything else.
They can hurt more from the words than the results of their wrongdoing.
Maybe the only thing that would never heal - is the fact that person whom they believe understands them and loves them as they are - was the one who uttered those words. Harsh words are never all that necessary, because the impact can be as lasting as a hundred serrated knives, especially if it comes from someone close, or someone whom they expect to always be there.
I have to always remind myself of this given my quick temper and low tolerance for silly antics - because parenting is a lot harder than they make it seem in books.