My Family

My Family

Monday, March 26, 2007

Making Amends 101

Thomas and Bekah were throwing punches (honestly) at each other while we were getting ready for church yesterday.
Pat made them sit down next to each other and tell each other 3 nice things about each other.
It's funny to think that such a small thing could make a difference...but it works, without a hitch, EVERY single time.
In fact, it works so well, that in the past, when I have asked what the problem was the day after a "fight", neither party can remember the issue.
Pat did this growing up, and instituted it in our family.
We adjust the number of good things depending on the age of the kids involved, and the severity of the issue.
(We did get up to 20 nice things once, but I think that is our record.)
It is amazing to watch it change bitter, angry hearts to forgiving, positive, loving hearts.
My mom used to tell me it took 3 positive things to negate a negative...and this seems to prove that point.
I hope you try it soon.


Papa J said...

When the slugging REALLY gets ugly we'll tie the offenders together for an hour with a hadkerchief. Invariably, after five minutes on opposite ends of the same rope they end up loving each other. It really is one of the kid's favorite punishments, because it doesn't feel like a punishment to them. I love the three nice things or the even more serious roped together because it instantly returns the good feelings in the home.

By the end of their three minutes in the chair this morning I told them that they would have to sit together in the car and at church. To which they both eagerly responded, "Are you going to tie us together?"

Yep, that's me, teaching our children about bondage.


Anonymous said...


I love to read your blog. Your family life is so different than ours, but your blog is very uplifting and the love you have for your kids and each other shines through! So nice!

My kids were fighting tonight . . . her crying, him laughing at having been able to make her cry. So I made them sit down and say three nice things about the other . . . it was interesting to hear the things that they liked about the other and both were smiling in a matter of a couple of minutes.


Karen (Becca's work buddy)

SandyM said...

WELL.....As a former "abused" child, I can tell you that sitting next to each other in a chair saying nice things about the other person is far less punishment than what my mother used to make us do. She would make my brother and me sit in the same chair only one of us had to sit on the other one's lap with our arms around each other. You talk about punishment! It brought this girl to tears a few times.

And....I can't believe that my sweet Lucy and Tiny would ever punch anyone! Those two give the best hugs. Punches, no way!