As I said in a previous post, D and I have felt like we are constantly engaging our kids regarding their behaviors of late. From sibling disagreements to arguing with parents to disrespectful words and actions that are exceptionally dramatic lest one misses how annoyed and angry the child really is, it's been a lot of staying the course of "this is who we are as a family and who we believe you can be." And several long conversations between D and myself, trying to pull ourselves together into a unified front.
I personally am a big fan of parenting one liners, quick little sayings that communicate what you as a parent desire while also buying you a little time to respond rather than just react to the situation at hand. Some of my tried and true ones include "Bummer!", "So how will you solve that problem?", and "I love you too much to argue with you."
This week, I heard the last 5 minutes of some parenting show on Christian radio and those 5 minutes gave me yet another little one liner that I think I am going to love. The show actually focused more on the words one might use in a lengthier conversation but I still think there is some staying power of the one line that started used to start the conversation: "That's not who I think you are."
What a powerful statement of truth our kids need to hear. The way you are acting is not who you were created to be. I think that's true of any kid but I especially think it's true of kids from hard places, kids who always have niggling little doubts in the back of their heads about who they are and how loveable they really are. That picking a fight with your sister? That's not who you are. Those crossed arms and larger than life pout? That's not who you are.
And I love how it flows seamlessly into words of affirmation in the middle of discipline. Things like "That's not who I think you are because I think you are loving, a person who normally does thoughtful and kind things for others." Things like "That's not who I think you are because I think you are someone who wants to please their mama, someone who doesn't want to hurt their mama's feelings."
So yay for a new one liner; I'm definitely ready to use it.