Yet another of the most important Christian parenting tips is that of teaching kids to speak kindly with others.
The truth is, the tongue can be used to bring great blessing to people. It can also do great damage. Our goal as parents should be to train our children to increasingly use their tongue to the glory of God.
A Principle to Remember: Speak words that bless and build up!
Biblical Basis: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29).
According to Ephesians 4:29, our words should do two things — build people up and benefit them in some way. If our words tear people down or harm them, they’re doing the exact opposite of what God wants.
~ Shortcut to Understanding ~
Free free to share this story with your child:
One of the ways to make sure that good things come out of our mouths is to make sure that only good things are going into our minds.
Suppose I put a bunch of chocolate cookies in a cookie jar. Then you come down the stairs and stick your hand into the cookie jar. What will you pull out? Cookies, of course!
Well, what if the next week I put weeds from our lawn into the cookie jar. Then you came down the stairs and put your hand into the cookie jar. What would you pull out? Weeds, of course!
Whatever we put into the cookie jar is what we will pull out of the cookie jar.
The same thing is true of our lives. If we constantly put bad things into our minds — like listening to kids on the playground saying bad things, or maybe watching a TV show we shouldn’t watch — we’ll probably have some bad things come out of our mouths. But if we put good things into our minds, good things will come out.
Do you want to be like the cookie jar with cookies or like the cookie jar with weeds in it?
In teaching our children to speak in a God-honoring way, the place to begin is to model this behavior for them. If we are abusive in the way we speak as parents, how can we possibly expect our children not to do likewise? Ask yourself if you do any of the following in front of your children:
• Criticize people?
• Mock or ridicule people?
• Say unkind things about people?
• Tell a “white lie”?
• Speak with a sarcastic or derisive tone of voice?
Our children learn by observing us.
If you want to teach your child how to speak rightly, be sure to start with yourself!
 Adapted from Virginia Ann Van Seters, 26 More Object Talks for Children’s Worship (Cincinnati, OH: Standard Publishing, 1990), pp. 38-39.
— Dr. Ron Rhodes