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So What is wrong at my house?
My kids are whacking each other, that's what. And for the life of me, I couldn't figure out why. I abhor violence and don't spank unless mortal danger was involved in the infraction. So when my nearly 3 year old got mad at her 5 year old sister and slapped her hard on the back, I blamed unruly preschool kids for rubbing off on my angels.
Flash forward an hour. The two "little angels" were nose to nose yelling at one another. I'd had it. I hollered for them to stop. It was like they couldn't even hear me. Next I stomped over and dropped down to their level. Still, like I wasn't even in the room. So what did I do? I swatted both girls on the back to get their attention. Just a featherlite pat.
These kids were like funhouse mirrors, reflecting and distorting my behavior back. When I was frustrated at them, I would swat them to get their attention, or get down to eye level. How must that look to them? I'm big, they're little. Though I don't intend it to come off as intimidating, it probably does. So they take that tap and magnify it 20x.
I have a few things to work on apparently. What about you guys? Have you ever accidentally been a bad influence? Better yet, how do you discourage fighting?