Mouthwash Magic – Benefits of the Silent Treatment

I inadvertently came across an effective parenting tool today and I thought I’d pass it along, since that’s what this blog was originally all about.

It’s mouthwash! It’s not for your kid’s potty-mouths, it’s for me & you, the moms, and it works like a charm.

Case in point. I have been sick for forevever with a sinus infection, then a sinus infection combined with a horrific cold. Although I am a big hippie who avoids antibiotics unless I can actually see the bacteria myself they have grown so fat off me, I went ahead and coalesced to a round. No go. I’m nursing, so I’m limited in medication choices and can’t take any sinus infection WMDs.

So, in true crazy hippie form, I turn to folk medicine. This Indian remedy actually seems to be working to dislodge the solid rock of grossness I’ve had in my face for almost a year, so that’s exciting, but I understand it can take weeks or even months (seeing as how it’s gotten really settled in there). So, this particular remedy involves twenty minutes of swishing stuff around in my mouth both morning and night. (More crazy hippie info here on my favorite folk medicine site.)

What I am getting at by this long explanation is that, even though I am more irritable and tired than ever and really becoming a true-life horrible mother, I have found that I am coincidentally obtaining 20 minutes of peaceful, yelling-free parenting every morning, and for a short moment, the house is a little less crazy.

Could it be that I actually contribute to the chaos which is my home? This study says yes. This reminds me of last year when my oldest son seriously put me into a nervous breakdown to the point that I couldn’t talk to him at all. (Oh, I wish I was kidding here.) But the point is, things got better then, too. Takes two to tango.

Other benefits of not being able to talk include a limit on how loud you can be. Today I had to correct a child getting ready to throw items out the bathroom window onto our front porch with a firm, “mm-MM!!” and a headshake, yet you can only do so much volume-wise with your mouth shut.

Also, you are forced to decide if what you think needs to be said really needs to be said enough to risk slobbering on yourself. Surprisingly, the answer is typically no. I’ve also incidentally taught my kids some sign language, so those two full years taking it in college have clearly paid off BIG.

Apparently this is the only way I can be made to think before I speak, something I constantly have a problem with, especially as I lecture my son on how he needs to think before speaking.

I am seriously–no, I mean it, seriously–thinking about reading up on more healthy things I can swish around in my mouth (hint: this won’t be the rat poison named Listerine). At the very least, when I’m feeling particularly barky with my kids, I can make a habit of reaching for something to swish. I can spend my day improving my both oral health and my parenting.

Happy swishing!

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