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