Sometimes, some thing or other starts out relatively innocent and then snowballs out of control. It is here that Matthew or Jonathan might insert the comment "Ya think?" but since we are no longer using it here, they'd be having to apologize and back track for a few minutes so I am ever hopeful that they'd just keep their mouth shut instead.
The comment started innocently enough. I made some statement that was indeed fact for our household, Matthew knew he'd gone over the line. In an apparent attempt to let me know he knew what he'd done, he said in a rather sarcastic tone "Ya think?" and rolled his eyes. I didn't realize just how far that would go and how often it would be repeated, and if I did I'd have shut it down right then. Since I didn't, "ya think" became something like a battle cry for semi hysterical hormonal teenagers residing here. Instead of admitting they were wrong, they'd just say "Ya think?" and be done with it.
It drove me nuts but I thought it would go away on its own. I picked my battles and thought that they would get the hint about that one by osmosis. Or perhaps even by my dreaming it they would just wake up one day and say to themselves that they totally got how full of rebellion and sass it was and they'd be stopping it that day. Yes, I do dream don't I?
Finally I could take it no more. I told them that we wouldn't be using that phrase in this house any longer and that by using it they were acknowledging that they'd need to apologize to everyone who heard it, and that perhaps some other consequences would raise their common sense head if it didn't curtail right quick thereafter.
I noted yesterday that indeed there was a much more peaceful attempt to communicate. Some of the normal, obnoxious, get your brother at all costs banter was no longer nearly as mean. Attitudes had begun to come back to some semblance of normalcy. Could it have really been that simple? Could banning such terminology from their mouths have made such a difference? Surely there has to be more to it?
No. It seems that's the only change we've made. Of course I can't discount the effects of Pastor Jeff's sermon on Sunday morning, or the ever constant prayer said over them daily during my quiet time with the Lord. But this seems to be the major change. I guess simple things really do matter. Especially when it is a matter of the heart.