Monday, May 6, 2013

MiniVan Conversations: T-H-I-N-K

I don't know what it is about being in our minivan that almost instantly incites an altercation between my girls - especially between the oldest two.  As soon as they get in from the carpool line after school, it starts.  Someone says the other is annoying.  One tells the other to shut up.  They argue over who sits where.  They argue over what to listen to on the radio. The same thing happens when we get in the car to go to church or to run errands or go pretty much anywhere.   It is endless.  And maddening.

Last week, we were driving across town to a retirement home where all three girls were taking part in a performance with the children's choirs from our church.  As usual, the bickering started right away. Before we even got in, they were arguing over seats.  Soon after we started driving, they were arguing over the radio and then the insults started to fly.

I was about to blow.  Instead, I took a deep breath and remembered something I had seen on Pinterest.  Yep - Pinterest saved the day!  Are you on Pinterest??  Have you seen this???

I love this and I love planting the seed in my kids that they should always think before they speak.  So while we were driving, I "preached" this lesson to them.  I had them spell out the word T-H-I-N-K and we talked about what each letter means.

T- Is it True??  Is it really true that you hate your sister?  

H - Is it helpful?  Does it help anyone when you say "Butt" and fall out of your seat laughing?

I - I changed this one to "Is it Intelligent?"  Does what you are saying even make sense?  

N - It is necessary?  Is it really necessary to tell your sister to shut up?

K - Is it Kind?  Is calling her stupid a nice thing to say?

I consider this a new twist on the old "If you can't say something nice, then, don't say anything at all" lesson.  I think the girls understood the concept, but it will definitely take some time for this to become a habit - for both of us.  However, I am really going to try and implement this strategy with them.  When they are fighting or laughing about "potty words" I want to remind them to T-H-I-N-K before they continue to speak.  I have printed out a copy and added it front and center to our refrigerator.  Hopefully, over time, it will become a habit - for everyone in this house.

It is a strategy that adults should use as well, I think.  Let's face it.  We all gossip from time to time.  We all complain about stuff.  We all have those people who get under our skin and we are almost compelled to say mean things about them.  But often, our words are hurtful and/or unnecessary.  Perhaps if we also T-H-I-N-K before we speak, the world would be a little bit nicer place!    


Robin Kramer said...

Lisa, what a great reminder! Thanks for sharing!

Karen said...

As a former teacher, my heart does somersaults of joy over this. What a great message, very nice post!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Thanks, Karen! I used to teach special needs preschoolers who wouldn't understand this, but it could definitely work in classrooms to help children understand how to be kind and purposeful with their words!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Thanks, Robin!

Steph @ Three Loud Kids! said...

I have seen this on Pinterest before and I have to say I really love this. Its such a great reminder that I think a lot of us do not do.

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Hi Steph! It is definitely not just kids who should remember this! Thanks for stopping by!!

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