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Playful Self-Discipline: Communication

speech bubbleSometimes, I hear things come out of my mouth and I think, “Did I really just say that?”

Other times I don’t say things that I’m thinking. Knowing when to be silent is important, but so is knowing when to speak up and being able to do so in an effective, respectful way.

Many, many times I say the same words and phrases over and over again, even when it’s obviously not working. I do this out of habit, I suppose, and when I’m feeling frustrated and unwilling to take the time and energy to really connect or choose a more effective way of communicating. However, the feeling of speaking empty words to a child who is not listening because they’ve heard it all a hundred times before, well, it’s really very unpleasant.

As Amber says in her totally real, down to earth post, moms are great at providing dire warnings, whether or not they’re called for. I think it’s completely understandable that parents are concerned about their children’s safety and want to protect them. But overdoing the life-and-death warnings for things that are really just annoying is an excellent way of turning ourselves into the boy who called wolf. One day there might really be a life-and-death emergency and our kids won’t be listening.

My Playful Self-Discipline challenge for May is to focus on my communication. I want to say what I mean and mean what I say. I want to make eye contact with the person I’m speaking to when I say it. And I intend to listen with as much openness and presence as I possibly can.

Have you got a Playful Self-Discipline challenge this month? I’d love to hear about it!

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{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Naomi Jesson May 5, 2011, 6:12 pm

    To listen more. Sometimes I just talk WAY too much. It doesn’t help that I have a hearing deficit! GAH!

    • michelle May 5, 2011, 11:01 pm

      That does sound hard! Listening is often underrated skill, but it really is so important! Let me know how it goes for you this month.

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