Layla: Gwen hit me and called me names. She wouldn’t stop, even when I used my adult voice.
Me: What’s an adult voice?
Layla: You know, it’s like this – GWEN! THAT’S INAPPROPRIATE!
Layla: Then I stopped using my adult voice and just hit her back.
Oh my goodness, I don’t even know where to start with this. What do I correct first? A) Gwendolyn should not be hitting and calling people names. B) Do I really sound like that?? C) Layla, the nine year old, needs to not hit her four year old sister, even when she deserves it. D) Do I really sound like that?! E) Is it really “adult” to not hit back? That seems like an inaccurate definition if you’re actually living in reality.
What to do, what to do…..
Me: Gwen, it’s not ok to call people mean names, even when you’re mad.
Gwen: I wasn’t doing it in real life, just pretend.
Oh dear God – now I have to explain the difference between real life and pretend to a four year old. I wonder if she’s just trying to sidetrack me. Ok, focus, you’ve got this.
Me: It’s not ok even in pretend. We don’t call people we love mean names or hit them.
Just people we love?
Me: We don’t call anyone mean names or hit them.
What if they deserve it? …. Shhh, maybe they won’t ask that.
Gwen: She was being mean.
Me: *sigh* It doesn’t matter if someone is being mean, there are better ways to handle things than name calling and hitting. Please tell Layla you’re sorry.
Gwen: Sorry, Layla.
Layla: I forgive you. And I’m sorry for hitting you, I shouldn’t have done that. Now we can forget it and move on! Want some of my breadstick, Gwen?
Yes! Parenting win!