When our son was just a few months old my husband and I went to a marriage conference. That was a few years ago now, so you can be sure this take-away hit home as I’m still contemplating it!
T.O.V. (Tone Of Voice)…
…oh how often my TOV is condemning or more harsh than I intend or even feel. We, well, let’s be real, my son and I, use “TOV” as a quick check to the other person. Truly, I’m glad the lad is aware of TOV early in life, but it’s a radical reality check! More often than I care to admit, he has called me on my TOV; often as I’m “speaking” with my husband. Amazing how little eyes and ears interpret the ‘ol TOV. What I would consider a “passionate” tone with “resolve” come across as “angry” and “argumentative” to our son. At ninety I’m certain I’ll still hear his wee voice declaring in a giant voice, “TOV! TOV!”
Teaching him TOV has opened the doors to many conversations about communication that I don’t think would have otherwise taken place within our family. Most importantly, its been a way for us to better understand our son and perhaps feelings of insecurity because of my TOV. Nothing has been able to change me more drastically, more quickly than knowing the stakes on the line: my kids….suffice to say, I’m more self-aware when engaging others, particularly my husband; I DO think twice about my TOV (which means I should probably re-think some of those decisions).
Heart Check: What message is your TOV sending to those around you? Is it fortifying and securing to those around you?