Teaching My Kids To Set a Guard on Their Mouths

Psalm 141: 3-4

“You’re a poo poo head!”
“No, you’re a poo poo head!”

“Pee, pee. Pee pee head!”

“Mummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, Chase called me a poopy diaper!”

I don’t know about you but these kind of conversations are really familiar in my house and in fact were getting a little tooooo familiar. I’d disciplined both of them on a couple of occasions but one morning while doing my devotions I was reminded of this Scripture and decided I needed to really talk to them about putting a guard on their mouth.

Psalm 141: 3-4

Set a guard over my mouth, Lord;
keep watch over the door of my lips.

How many times have we personally said things we’ve wished we could take back? Lashed out in anger or spoken harsh words and knew the minute they fell that we shouldn’t have said it?

I’m not patient by nature and too often I find myself wanting to say something and then realizing that I shouldn’t. I have to tell myself to set a guard on my lips and I’m a grown woman! If I can teach my kids early on that there is power in words then I know it won’t be as hard for them later on. So here’s what we did. I’m not a teacher and this is very basic but after several searches online and a call to my Mum in England (who is a teacher!) I came up empty handed.

  1. We talked about the Scripture in Psalm and I asked Isaac what a guard was. We talked about how guards watch over things and make sure nothing comes through.
  2. Then, we drew our faces and a great big mouth. Isaac cut them out for him and his brother.
  3. I hung the pieces of paper up in a doorway and gave them a handful of small pieces of cereal. Chase thought this was a great game and whenever Isaac’s dropped he ate them (Bahhhh to the 3 second rule!)
  4. I then took a piece of paper and taped over the mouths and ask them to keep going.
  5. Thank goodness for my competitive 5 year old who said, “oh yeah?” and starts trying hard to get it through!!
  6. Sure enough he was unable and we then talked about how our words are like the cereal and before we talk we should pray and ask God for wisdom.
  7. We then prayed and asked God for help and then….Chase ate more cereal!

Ever since then when Isaac hears a bad word he says, “Chase put a guard on your mouth!” Similarly, I’m able to do the same to him and it’s helping Mummy learn not to say impulsive things either ;)

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

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