When “snail mail” was a primary method of communication, every etiquette book included this advice: If you write a letter in the heat of emotion, keep it overnight and read it again the next morning with a clear head. Chances are you’ll decide not to send it.
Etiquette experts still advise against sending (or posting) communications while they’re “hot,” but few people are listening anymore. Standard procedure now is: if you’re mad at someone, dash off—and fire off—an email or text telling them exactly what you think. Better yet, open your social media account and share your grudge with half the world. It’s a perfect illustration of the old quip, “Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt.”
At home, venting anger by opening one’s mouth is more likely to be literal—and just as certain to create more problems than it eliminates. Especially when your children learn the habit and start refusing to be bullied into shutting up.
If you’d rather maintain a peaceful home even amidst differences of opinion, use the following approaches instead.
Blessings to parents and children of all ages!