Friday, March 23, 2012


Yesterday, Marcia posted the question:
What's your word for sassy kids?
Apparently this answer is, in part, regional. I love words, and enjoy learning different words and expressions for things, even though we're all speaking English.  There you have it---a peek at my inner geek.

Anyway. My answer to Marcia was initially just disobedient, which is exactly what they're being.

I thought on it some more, and caught myself---my word for disobedience is ugly.

In my ever-present quest to provide a picture of true beauty to my daughters, I want them to understand that beauty is not just physical, as advertisers would have us believe.

Beauty is a heart issue.

I want this to seep into my daughters' souls. My desire is for them to see and be beauty with their hearts.  

When my daughter doesn't share a toy or pushes her sister---she is being ugly.

And that's exactly what I say,
Hadley, that is an ugly way to act! We love our sister by sharing our toys.
Brynne, pushing is an ugly thing to do! We love our sister by sharing space on Mama's lap.
 In my parenting, as with my relationship with God, four things must happen:
  1. Stop
  2. Consider
  3. Repent
  4. Restore 
Stop. Simply, stop the ugly behavior.

Consider. Consider other ways to handle to approach the situation. 

Repent. Literally means "to change your mind"---to see what you did was wrong.

Restore. Restore the relationship that was broken by ugly behavior. 

Example: Brynne pushes Hadley off my lap:

I tell her that what she did was ugly, and we love our sister by sharing Mama's lap (Stop). I offer to move her over a little bit, so that everyone has enough room, and ask her if she'd still like to join me on my lap (Consider). Before we can continue on with reading the story, Brynne needs to look at Hadley and tell her she's sorry for pushing her---they have just learned to say the word "sorry" they typically sign or say it (sometimes both) (Repent). Then, Brynne needs to give Hadley a hug or a pat on the back (Restore).

Sometimes I feel like we go through those steps a million times a day. And sometimes more discipline is needed, depending on the situation.

I'm so thankful for moments like these:

That make the ugly just a bit more bearable.


Marcia (123 blog) said...

I love your post - it's so considered and purposeful.

Do you read lots of She wrote a post a few days ago on purposeful vs perfect parenting that I think you'll love.

Also, thanks for linking to me and I can't wait to hear your accent!

Miss Megan said...

What a thoughtful, insightful post.
Ugly. What a great way to describe disobedience. The act of being ugly to each other....and how to fix it...hmmm....I may try that method with my girls too.
I love the pic of them holding hands of course, and agree, those moments make the ugly more bearable!
Thanks for sharing!

Corinne Ritz said...

I love that picture at the end. It melted my heart!
I love the word Sass. I even have a friend who named her daughter Sassy! I wouldn't do that, but I did call Lily 'my little sass-a-frass' when she was little. I saw it as a fun, crazy, personality trait. It was a pet name to let her know how much I loved her spunk.

I love that you use the word 'ugly' when describing to your daughters 'bad' behavior. That is brilliant! That will help them to really understand such an abstract idea as they grow and learn.

Amy Sullivan said...

It's funny, I actually say "sassy kids". I say I teach sassy kids and sometimes a couple sassy girl attitudes spring up in my own house.

I like how you describe your thought process when dealing with "sassiness" in your house.

Have a great weekend, Julia.