Subtext. Ouch.

by Michelle Acker on March 14, 2013

in Learning the Art of Living,Thought Provoking

“I’m SORRY!”  screams one of my boys at the other, with a tone that says he is obviously not sorry at all.

I have this conversation with my boys all the time:

It’s not only the words you say, it’s the tone and attitude with which you say them that also convey what you really mean.

I’m constantly reminding my boys that tone and attitude matter as much as the words they say.   

And yet, it wasn’t until I attended the DotMom Conference and heard Angie Smith talk about the Subtext of what we say to our Kids that I thought about this as it applies to me.  That it’s more than just my kind tone, it’s the subtext of what I do, that also teaches my kids.

Isn’t that always the way it is?

We let our egos get in the way, forget that WE too have the same flaws that we point out in others.


So what am I really saying to my kids when I sit with my laptop open and say “Just a minute, honey, let me finish this…”?

Subtext: This computer, blog, facebook, work, etc is more important than you to me right now.  


This SUBTEXT thing has been haunting me ever since I heard Angie speak on it.  

The subtext of what I say to my kids.  To my husband.  To myself with my inner voice….

What are your actions, tone, attitude, etc saying in the subtext of YOUR life?


Something to think about…




{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura Rath March 14, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Ouch. When I see something like this in my daughter, I have to ask myself if she learned it from me. Too often the answer is yes. Great post!

Lyli @ 3dLessons4Life March 14, 2013 at 10:37 PM

Ouch, indeed! We talked about this tonight, but in the context of how we approach God — often giving Him our sloppy seconds or leftovers because we are distracted by everything else going on in our crazy lives.

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