Target is a problem for me. No matter how I hard I try, I cannot walk in there and spend less than $50. There’s always something that catches my attention, and I make an excuse to buy it.
I’ve had the most success avoiding the concession counter, but today something caught my eye.
The Cherry-Pomegranate Icee.
I’m a sucker for an Icee. I live about 5 minutes from a movie theater, but I will drive another 15 minutes to a theater that sells white cherry Icees.
As I was paying for my popcorn/Icee combo, two women and a teen approached the counter.
“I’ll be right with you,” the clerk said to them as she went to get my popcorn.
The teen made several “Mama can I have” menu requests while they waited. Mom vetoed every one and suggested water. When the girl started to complain, Mom suggested that she use her own money. The girl scoffed and rolled her eyes.
I held back my chuckle as I took my popcorn and Icee cup from the clerk. Mini Me was only 8, and she panicked at any mention of breaking into her allowance.
Mom turned to the other woman in her party. “This heifer got paid this week, but then she has the nerve to turn around ask me for money.”
“But I didn’t get any money for my birthday!” the girl exclaimed. The other woman laughed.
I was so caught up in the exchange that I ovefilled my Icee cup.
Did this woman just call her teenage daughter a heifer?
It’s easy to pass judgement on a single incident, so I did my best avoid that. Instead, I started to think about what I say to my own daughter. My temper runs short when I feel rushed or overwhelmed. In various moments, I’ve called her a drama queen, a slow-poke, and a faker (based on ailments that flare up only at bedtime).
I go Mama-Bear HAM if someone says someting hurtful to my kids, but what good is that if I then turn around and insult them?
Some comments may not seem like a big deal, but multiplied over the weeks, months, and years of childhood, they could degrade a relationship.
When I was in high school, I won an essay contest. I didn’t want to attend the award ceremony and read my work, but my mom made me go. When I released my teenage rage, she said I was acting like a bitch. I was hurt. After I read the essay, I was glad I did. I decided I was being a jerk, and I let it go.
But that single incident had the potential to leave an ugly scar.
I want my kids to feel loved even when I don’t agree with their decisions, so I need to be more mindful of the things I say.
What would you like to change about the way you communicate?