Think Before You Speak, Text or Post
Words have the power to hurt or to heal, to tear down or to build up, to change the way someone feels and to change the world.
Your words can have great impact on others and the world around you, but unfortunately, your emotions can lead you to say things you don’t mean or wish you could take back. Learning to pause and think about your words before moving them from thoughts to spoken words helps you to make different choices and choose words that better reflect your intention, your character and your values.
Teaching our children and teens to take a moment to consider their words before speaking, texting, posting, or publishing online is a good habit to develop. Whether it’s when communicating with friends, family, teachers, coaches, bosses ,or strangers, pausing to THINK before they speak is a valuable life skill that takes teaching, modeling, and practice.
So, before putting their words out into the world, teach your children to pause, relax, and THINK.
- T is it True? – Is what you are going to say a fact or an opinion? How do you know if it is true? Is it backed up with facts? Is it just gossip or a rumor?
- H is it Helpful? – Are your words going to be able to help someone?
- Is it Inspiring? – Are the words you are going to say make others want to be the best version of themselves? Are your words going to make someone feel excited and want to do good things?
- N is it Necessary? – Do you need to say this? Do you need to be the person saying this? Does it need to be said right here, right now? Does it have to be said or do you just want to say it?
- K is it Kind? – How will your words make someone feel? Will they make someone feel happy, excited, included, encouraged, supported, cared for, loved? If someone said those same words to you, would it make you feel good?
Remember, a single word can change everything. Be the goodness you want to see in the world.
- Think Before You Speak – video for kids
- My Mouth is a Volcano – children’s book
- Think Before You Speak: Strategies for Clear Communication – video for adults
- Your Words Matter (Say This Not That) – handout for teachers and parents