Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
Teaching our children to slow down, put on the mind of Christ, and think about what they are going to say is essential. The home is the place God has ordained for us to learn these skills, and others. We need to teach toddlers to speak softly and sweetly. When we hear them bark, "NO! that's mine!" or any other toddler like command, we reply with a look of shock, a quiet voice and instruction saying, "oh, no no.. Jesus doesn't want us to talk like that. Can you ask sister to share with you in a nice voice?". I then help them ask nicely and sometimes have to practice this several times before they learn it for themselves. We need to teach our elementary children to respond to hurtful comments or actions with prayer and grace instead of words spoken in anger, and we teach our teens to love those that speak evil of them. However the greatest lesson we can teach our children is through our own example. We need to show them how to respond to gossip, slander and hatred with 'soft words'. I have found God always provides plenty of real life experience to put my example to practice! :-) When our children witness us dealing with conflict do they see us speaking grievously? How do we know if what we are saying is grievous? Well, if what we are saying stirs up more anger.. in us, those around us and/or the person that has offended us, then those words are grievous! Let us each strive to bridle our tongue for a wholesome tongue is a tree of life! Proverbs 15: 4