"please lose the attitude and choose a nicer way to say that."
"You should not talk to your brother that way. Please be kind."
"Please say that without shouting."
"Think about how that makes them feel. Would you talk to your friends that way?"
And because they are young and impressionable, they tend to respond with grace and apologies (sometimes not, but we'll say 3 out of 4 is not bad for ages 5 and 2).
I grew up in a home where it was unacceptable to use a "tone" with anyone in the home, simply because you were moody or having a bad day. Some might call that extreme, but in some ways, I think it taught me subconsciously to value others' feelings and responses as precious, regardless of how comfortable I was with them. I learned to not take my family's feelings for granted. That I couldn't just be whatever bad version of myself I felt like because it would affect them negatively, when they did nothing to deserve my attitude.
Anyway, I see many families now who find it perfectly acceptable to be pretty darn mean to each other just because, hey, they're family and we know we'll work it out. While I find that to be incredible and in some ways, inspiring that they are that open with each other, I also can't help but wonder about the concept of valuing the family members' feelings above your own.
I read an awesome blog post today that is sort of about this, a guest post on A Holy Experience. James writes about needing to remember to care about the right thing at the right time...here's a snippet that convicted me and got me thinking:
A part of my problem is that sometimes I care about the wrong thing at the wrong time.