Thumper's father had another take on it, "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all." (yes, I know. The double negative is HIS not mine.)
With four children, spats and fights are bound to happen. We are a "no hitting" household so I'm sure you can imagine how it goes all over me for one to hit another.
While the physical torment of each other is minimal (thank God!), the mouth. Ah, the mouth.
Teach not thy lip such scorn, for it was made For kissing, lady, not for such contempt.
It is true. Nothing is opened more by mistake than the mouth.
I learned early on that a quick wit and sharp tongue go together all too well. (A friend and I had our astrological charts done - Leo with Gemini rising. He told me that meant I was the world's most quick-witted smart-allec. I'm sure many of my friends agree - regardless of one's belief in astrology.) The real challenge was in thinking and not speaking.
This is the lesson I'm striving to teach my children.
In doing so, we created bracelets. In the faddish world of things on your wrist from "Live Strong" to "BELIEVE" (why does that remind me of George Carlin's skit, "Somewhere between 'Live free or die' and 'famous potatoes' is the meaning of life." ?) I was sure that this fashion statement would make a difference.
I'm a firm believer of The Complaint Free World movement but I needed something more. In all honesty, I needed to be able to point out to them what they were doing without having to move my own bracelet, thank you very much.
Hence, my "THINK" bracelets were born.
These aren't just to remind them to think before they speak (although that is the main purpose). Each of the letters actually stand for something. (Because if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.... or something like that.
Is what you're about to say:
H - helpful
I - intelligent
K - kind
With a house full of smart allecs, it didn't take long for them start being sarcastic. "Is it NECESSARY that I wear this?" chimes in one of them. Another picks up the ball, "Is it HELPFUL for this to hang on my wrist while I'm trying to do stuff?" Another can't be outdone, "Is it KIND to make me have to wear this?"
I am not amused. My stone face and raised eyebrow (think: Spok) silence them immediately. This is also known as the "Mommy Look". You know the one.
I answer, "Is it INTELLIGENT for you to tick me off?" I continue, "Is it NECESSARY for you to be such pains in the..." I'm sure you get the idea.
Keep in mind, I've created this because I'm sick (and tired) of hearing them
But here is the bracelet:
A good rule of measurement is to do 4 times the circumference of your wrist. Since only the outer strings are used for macrame, they will get shorter faster.
Really, it's just a matter of square knots, half knots, and bead placement. The sky is the limit with regard to your creativity. Put a dab of glue on the end knots to keep them secure. Keep in mind that hemp doesn't do well if it gets wet so you really should make this bracelet removable (as opposed to just tying it on your wrist.)
There you have it - a Mommy/Daddy audiovisual on how peace is SUPPOSED to happen in the home.
As The Complaint Free World website will tell you, it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. Be consistent, be firm, and be consciously aware of how you speak to them and expect the same thing in return.
“It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”
- Mark Twain