There’s no doubt that my two Littles love each other. They play together peacefully for long stretches of time, laugh hysterically for reasons only known to them, and comfort each other with hugs and pats on the head. They have their own little world together.
But sometimes, a playful push becomes a shove, a laugh becomes a shout, a hug becomes a too-tight squeeze. I try to avoid direct instruction (“Stop that!” or “Be gentle!”) and instead attempt to “sportscast” what is happening (“I heard Little Sir say No.” or “Your sister is crying, Little Sir.”) as advised by the wonderful parenting expert Janet Lansbury. I also use the concept of the positive phrase “I am” as encouraged by We Choose Virtues.
Yesterday, brother and sister were getting a little bit too rough for their Mama’s heart. I wanted to just scream “Stop!” – and admittedly I was really about to. Instead, I made up a little song to the tune of “Frere Jacques,” more commonly known in English as “Are you sleeping?”I am gentle, I am gentle Yes, I am! Yes, I am! I will hug my sister, I will hug my sister Yes I will, Yes I will I am gentle, I am gentle Yes, I am! Yes, I am! I lo-ove my brother, I lo-ve my brother Yes I do, Yes I do
It worked like a charm! They settled down and we had a bit of quiet at last. I’m definitely adding it to our learning basket about gentleness. I imagine that we can also use this for other virtues:I am patient, I am patient Yes, I am! Yes, I am! I will wait for my turn, I will wait for my turn Yes I will, Yes I will
Do you use songs too to inspire a behavior? Do you think it will work for your kids?