Sticks and Stones

Maybe you have children who say nothing but compliments and wonderful affirmations to each other.  That's fantastic, and any advice you have would be greatly appreciated. I, however, have children who love each other dearly but every so often get so frustrated that they resort to just being mean.  One of my children was introduced to the phrase "I hate," and now when they get really upset about a toy being taken away or some other injustice, they go with "I hate you," instead of "Can I please have my toy back, thank you." 

Blood curdling might be the phrase I would use to describe my state of being when their sibling comes crying and tells me the words they've been told.  I didn't realize my passion for injustice and my anger towards the use of the word hate, until recently.  I, mean I know they probably learned the word from me in some throw away comment like, "I hate being sick, or I hate having to wait in line at the grocery store," and I know they don't mean what they're saying to their sibling so I just do not want to allow the phrase "I hate you," to be used in our home.  

In trying to think of a consequence, I realized the words cause such hurt and I want to target what's being done, so I've decided to make them use their words to build up the other person.  Every time one of my children tells another one, "I hate you," I wait until they've calmed down and discussed the situation that made them upset.  Once that's been resolved, I have them say five nice things about their sibling.  I do require that they are 5 nice things about their personality, or things they like to do with them, not so much physical characteristics like,"I like you hair."  

I've used this technique twice now, and it's been so wonderful to see the transformation from crying sadness to smiling and joy in their faces.  The truly wonderful part is that both my children that were involved are smiling.  It makes both children happy.  It's been lovely to see the compliments they come up with and surprise that comes across their faces as they hear the compliments. 

I'm sure this would be a great idea to have my children affirm each other more often, and I'm hoping this will show them the significance and importance of their words.  If nothing else, it's wonderful to hear them compliment each other. 

What do you mamas do when your children say mean things to each other?

Copyright 2018 Courtney Vallejo. All Rights Reserved. 

Image Credit: Copyright 2018 Karen Padilla. All Right Reserved.