I Can’t Stop Using This Four-Letter Word

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stop - Boston Moms
Photo credit: Kin & Kid Photography

I can’t stop using this four-letter word:

S-T-O-P!

Stop fighting with your brother.

Stop jumping in the crib.

Stop throwing water everywhere.

Stop playing with your food.

Stop this. Stop that!

Some days I feel like I have no other words for my boys, except stop. Do you feel it too?

We are trying to teach our children to be their best selves and to be kind to one another. It’s something we need to teach — to be kind, to use kind words. But the old saying, “Do as I say, not as I do,” is not acceptable, and I need to make sure I am leading by example.

Over the past couple of months — after my 5-year-old pointed out I was saying “stop” all the time — I’ve tried to stop (no pun intended?) using it.

Instead, I’ve come up with some alternatives to diffuse the situations.

Could you and your brother play nicely?

Please come out of the crib.

Water stays IN the tub!

We eat food, not play with it at the dinner table.

My tone may not be that different from when I am saying, “STOOOOP!” But I hope the sincerity and positive words go a lot further than my former more negative reaction. And maybe, just maybe, my kids will pick up on the change — and I’ll have fewer “STOP!” situations to diffuse!

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Krystal Avila
Krystal is a Massachusetts native, who grew up in the burbs and is now loving the city life in Roslindale with her husband and 2 boys (3 and 1.) She and her husband met 8 years ago downtown working at a restaurant together, and since then, their love of restaurants has kept their date nights exciting, trying out the latest places. Learning Spanish has been something Krystal has loved to do ever since middle school and that has become her passion as a Spanish teacher in Boston, wife to a Salvadoran, and mother raising her children bilingual. Loves: family, friends, playing with her kids, a comfy hoodie on the beach when the sun goes down, nachos, baking, ABC Family movies, Christmas time. Not so much: loud music, putting away laundry, terrible threes (whoever said it was twos, was wrong), and black pepper.