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Conveying the right idea is all in the word selection isn’t it? Here are a few comments homeschooling moms might hear from their husbands, and a little advice to dads as to how to “improve” their words. This is written tongue-in-cheek of course, with a little bit of truth thrown in ….. If even one of these makes you smile it will make me happy-

Upon walking through the door after work and seeing an erupting volcano on the kitchen cupboard a husband:

MIGHT BE TEMPTED TO SAY: “Well, that doesn’t look like dinner.”

BETTER CHOICE: “Wow, a volcano. Cool. Hey, who wants to help me with dinner?”

BEST CHOICE: “Awesome project, guys! Your mom really outdid herself on this one. Let’s go to the library to get a video on volcanoes then we’ll take your teacher out to dinner!”

Upon stepping over Legos in the shape of DNA a husband:

MIGHT BE TEMPTED TO SAY: “This house is a mess. You know, somebody’s going to trip.”

BETTER CHOICE: “Hey! I found some DNA. Ha ha. Get me the box and I’ll put it away!”

BEST CHOICE: (Turning to wife) “You think of the best projects for our kids and I’m sure you could use some cleaning help. Let’s get a weekly cleaning service so you can concentrate on the kids’ education!”

A husband and wife’s eyes meet after a long day. A husband:

MIGHT BE TEMPTED TO SAY: “You know, you’d look so pretty with a little make up”

BETTER CHOICE: (Handing his wife a tube of rose colored lipstick) “I saw this in the drugstore. It reminded me of your pretty lips and I remembered you like this shade.”

BEST CHOICE: “I love seeing your face in the candlelight. Let’s go out for dinner.”

A husband is quizzing his child on the state capitals. The husband:

MIGHT BE TEMPTED TO SAY: “Honey, he missed one! He missed Delaware!”

BETTER CHOICE: (turning to child) “You got 49 out of 50. Good job! We won’t tell Mom you missed Delaware. You’ll get it next time.”

BEST CHOICE: “Delaware, Schmelaware. Who cares? It’s a small state. Let’s take Mom out to dinner!”

On Saturday morning, a husband:

MIGHT BE TEMPTED TO SAY: (rushing out the door) “My tee time’s at 8. I’ll see you sometime late this afternoon!”

BETTER CHOICE: “Okay.” (sigh) “Where’s the list?”

BEST CHOICE: “Honey, I’m going to clean out the garage, mow the lawn and take care of the miscellaneous fix up projects you wanted me to do. I’ll keep the little ones with me. Why don’t you go work on lesson plans or take a little break today? We can switch next weekend.”

Looking at a computer generated library print-out left on the cupboard, a husband:

MIGHT BE TEMPTED TO SAY:32 books!? How can you have fines on 32 books? Who even reads 32 books?”

BETTER CHOICE: “Well, at least the kids are learning something.”

BEST CHOICE: “You actually saved us money! Do you know how much it would cost to BUY 32 books? I’m so glad the kids are reading so much!”

At 10 PM a husband:

MIGHT BE TEMPTED TO SAY: “Goodnight.”

BETTER CHOICE: “Wow, you’re so diligent, staying up to go over the kids’ worksheets. Atta girl! I’ll make some popcorn!”

BEST CHOICE: “Scoot over. I’ll help you grade.”

Sunday morning before Mass a husband:

MIGHT BE TEMPTED TO SAY: “I’ll be in the car. Bring the kids when you’re ready.”

BETTER CHOICE: “If you want me to dress them, show me what you want them to wear.”

BEST CHOICE: “I’ve got the church books and the diaper bag, and the kids are in the car. I know you just were able to change only a minute ago. No rush- Come out when you’re ready.”

At ‘that time of the month’ a husband:

MIGHT BE TEMPTED TO SAY: “Didn’t you already have chocolate this morning?”

BETTER CHOICE: Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

BEST CHOICE: “I’ll get you those Hershey Kisses stashed behind the bread, and hey, you look great in those sweatpants!”

At an ordinary meal a husband:

MIGHT BE TEMPTED TO SAY: “Meatloaf, vegetables and a fruit bowl … again?”

BETTER CHOICE: “Hmmmm. A balanced, nutritious meal.”

BEST CHOICE: “Wow, you are amazingly creative with our meals considering the modest allowance you have for groceries and the fact you have little time because you do such a great job homeschooling our children. And I love the fresh flowers on the table. Nice touch!”

After receiving standardized test results of the kids, a husband:

MIGHT BE TEMPTED TO SAY: “Well, I should hope they’d do well!”

BETTER CHOICE: “Good job!”

BEST CHOICE: “(turning to wife) “Honey, these are splendid. The kids did great! With a mother like you it is clear to see that the children are going to be both beautiful and brilliant!”

From Stories for the Homeschool Heart (2010) by Theresa Thomas and Patti Armstrong

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