My kids sometimes made cutting remarks or insulting observations that they dismissed as being humorous or "only words." To illustrate the lasting effect of words, I had my children hammer several nails into a board while saying a common insult for each nail. Then I had them use the claw of the hammer to pull out half of the nails. I pointed out that, like our words, even if the nails were "taken back," the damage to the board remained. Words not taken back (the embedded nails) also stayed. This illustration allowed my kids to see the harm their words could inflict and to think more carefully before speaking.
This article appeared in the February/March 2016 issue of Thriving Family magazine. Copyright © 2016 by Marybeth Mitcham. Used by permission. ThrivingFamily.com.
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