Rolling eyes and sagging posture are nothing new when we discuss our “words” with our not-quite-child-not-yet-adult teen offspring.
“It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it,” we implore. There are times I swear that unseen to the eyes of a nagging (ahem, educating) parent, a tiny “no vacancy” sign is posted at the cerebral gates of teens. Do they really have no attention for “tone of voice” or feelings in others? Perhaps.
Then I’m forced to take a look at our adult life; our adult habits that we establish as the example. A talk show host opins that, “teens can’t communicate or use vocabulary anymore because of technology.” Celebrity shows tear people apart for their outfit, their bad hair day, their cellulite. News programs, politics and television are full of negativity, gossip, criticism, anger, teasing and intolerance. What about our own conversations in the home? How many times have I had a “tone” to my voice that I intended in every way it was received? Where did our kids learn to use their words – both spoken and unspokane?
Albeit not perfect, I am proud of two relatively decent humans we have raised. They do care about others. They do communicate and use language and they do, despite their best defenses, occasionally absorb a little of our “wisdom” at their cerebral gates.
I can tell by the fact that they sit and talk with us at the dinner table. They have an opinion about the news or religion or business or politics. They are friends to others. They react when things are not fair or don’t make sense. They respond when we are trying to pull one over on them and preach what we don’t practice. They are prepared to be successful because they aren’t afraid to challenge the emptiness of our words at times.
Perhaps that little sign at their gates is more accurately posted as “no vacancy” for hollow words.