Thoughtful Thursday: Common Household Courtesy

Do you love your family, your husband and your children? Boy, I do. I feel so blessed by God to have my husband in my life. My children are some of my favorite people to hang out with. I have a feeling that most of you love your families as well.

A few weeks ago, I overheard this in our local Wal-Mart:

Mom: (extremely nasty tone) Just shut up and leave me alone! I'm trying to think here.

Child: But, Mom, my teacher said I needed...

Mom: (even worse tone, practically screaming) I said to shut up!

Mom: (super nice, sweet voice talking into her cell phone) Yeah, I think I can make it tonight.

I wish I could have taken a snapshot of that kid's face. It just went vacant, no expression nothing. I would like a photo to remember that event because as I walked away all I could think of is why did that lady sound so mean and hateful to her own child, but so kind to whomever was on the phone.

Fast forward about three days and here was a conversation in my house:

Chipette: Mom, I'm getting hungry. When are you going to fix lunch?

Me: Let me finish getting this typed up on my computer.

(About 5 minutes later)

Chipette: Mom, have you made my lunch yet?

Me: (nasty tone) Can't you see I'm busy here!?!? I'll get your lunch when I'm finished.

The minute the words left my mouth I thought back to that lady in the store, and I realized that I act like her far more than I like.

And I started noticing that my children were pretty rude and mean to each other most of the time. I noticed that more often than not, I had a sarcastic tone in my voice when I talked to Hubby. Chipette was starting to talk back to me much more frequently than she ever had before.

What had happened to us?

We had lost our common courtesy. Not out in public, though. No way would I want someone to hear my snapping at Chipette like that...what would they think? My kids tend to get along pretty well when we are out and about, too.

And that got me to thinking, if I love my family so much, than why do I talk to them worse than I would a stranger?

So this Monday morning during Circle Time with the girls, we decided to try an experiment. For one week, we would treat each other like we would treat a stranger. I had to talk to my kids the way I would talk to some random children at a park or at church. My kids had to behave with each other like they would a child they had just met for a playdate.

It has been and amazing, eye-opening week! I was shocked at what a habit I had gotten into with talking so severely to my kids. At the beginning of the week, I actually had to stop and think about how I was going to respond. My children have had to do the same with each other (with a few gentle reminders from mom).

But it's so much more peaceful in our home, just like it should be. Throughout your life, you'll encounter rude people wherever you go. Shouldn't your home be the one place that you can go and be built up and encouraged, not torn down even more? I hate to admit it, but I'd let our home become a place of rude words and actions with me in the lead.

I want to encourage everyone to do a courtesy check in your home. Bad habits have a tendency to creep in while our guard's down.

Bringing courtesy and kindness back to the treehouse, 



  1. What an outstanding post! It literally gave me chills--chills of conviction, I'm afraid. Thank you so much for that gentle, humble, and much-needed reminder.

  2. Thank you for your honesty in sharing this post. And, thanks for the reminder to treat our families best!