Mentoring Moment :: What Did You Do When Your Kids Compared or Used Unkind Words?

Mentoring Moments What Did you do when your kids talked unkindly or compared

What did you do when your kids compared or used unkind words with one another?

I just received a question like this, and as I was emailing this sweet mom back, I thought that maybe there might be others who would be encouraged if they heard this.  We need each other.  We need to talk about things like this. Here is the answer I gave her:

Hey gal,

  • You are the Best Mom for your kids

One thought to remember is you are the best mom for those precious kids the Lord gave you! I didn’t say perfect- but you are the best.  God picked you to be their mom and will give you wisdom and direction when you need it.  I think I always was second guessing myself and wondering if I had what it takes…you do! You have what it takes and More- you have Jesus!

  • Safe Place
One thing we tried to do is make our home a safe place for everyone, and we would  talk about that.  I would say,  “I want everyone to feel safe here and loved because God created each of you in  a special way.”   I would try to guard that- not letting unkindness or mean things go on and on.  Discipline when needed.  Separate when needed.  Always remembering if they were too tired or too hungry to obey.  It does make a difference.
  • Big Muscles

Kids need to use their big muscles every day, especially boys.  I would make sure they were active every day.  That meant I had to go out with them in the back yard and just chill or watch them play or read.  Whatever.  But I needed to be out there, too.  I wrote more on that here.

I think when they are using their big muscles and being physical for some parts of the day, some of the other issues disappear.

  • Rest Time is a Must

I also made them have a Rest Time every day.  It is hard to be kind and slow to anger all day long.  It is for you and me, and it is for them. They need separation and time to be by themselves.  Everyday.   At Rest Time, they didn’t have to go to sleep, but they had to be by themselves…reading on their bed.  No talking to me or to others during that time.  “This is what the Johnsons do,” is what I would tell them.

  • Verses that Teach

Now on to some verses.  A good verse I remember is this one.

Proverbs 12:18

 The words of the reckless pierce like swords,
    but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

We would talk about how their words could be like swords or  they could bring healing.  Great imagery.
Another great group of verses that popped into my head were these:
Ephesians 4:29-32
29 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. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
I would talk about the ability for their words to build up their brother.  And I would say, “Hey, we want our words to be building words not tearing down words.  That sounded like you were tearing down your brother. Let’s try that again.”  Or I would just prompt with the word “building” and not give a big lecture.
Or I would use verse 32 and say, “Hey- we need to be kind and compassionate to each other….what does that look like?  Can we practice that right now?”
  • Night Time Prayers
One big thing I did a bunch is pray through these verses at night when I tucked them in.  In the dark I would talk about things that I had seen that day and remind them of God’s truth.  A lot of the time I would just pray what I wanted them to do out loud- ha! 
“God, Help _____ to remember he is the older brother and he needs to build _______ up, even when ______ makes him mad.
 Help______ to be kind when _______ is driving him nuts.”  
Especially as they get older, at night in the dark, is a great time of sharing.
I hope this helps.  I did not do this perfectly.  I wish now that I would have memorized more verses. But God is faithful, and He will fill in the cracks.  Talk about about a Sursee!
Readers, do you have a special verse that you use with your kids when they compare or are unkind?  Do share, please.


  1. I remember “rest time” at the Johnson’s house.
    Even though we don’t have kids yet, I am going to try to remember these things, especially the verses, rest time, and using the big muscles.

    • Ahh, yes. I do think you were a part of loads of those rest times. Sounds like you are still incorporating those into your life today which is so great. xoxo

  2. amber lee says:

    Sweet Friend! Thank you for these encouraging words! I LOVE this insight! Expecially the part about rest time! I am finding how much we all need a few min apart every day so that we enjoy our time together so much more!

    • Yes, gal, that is so true. A little time away is good for all. Really giving those littles some good skills they can use their whole life. xoxo

  3. Leslie–great post! So needed these tips and reminders. Love your heart and the way you help so many of us to be the mom God wants us to be!

    • Hey friend,
      I am glad that these tips are helping someone out there. You have what it takes! Don’t forget that! xoxo
      Did you and your kids take a rest time today? : )

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