Ten Nice Things

PhotobucketLast night, as I was about to take our dog Star out for her evening walk, I heard screams from the second floor. The kind of screams that can mean only one thing: The girls had hit each other.

I hate when the kids hit each other. Scream your heads off. Call each other names. Stomp down the stairs to tell me the litany of sins the other has done. Just do not kick, punch, squeeze, pinch, or slap the other person.

I ended up yelling quite a bit in frustration over this and then sent each girl to different rooms while I took the dog out on her walk (with the warning that if they fought while I was out, they’d have to get dressed and walk the dog with me, in the cold dark, every winter night.)

Then I had an idea that I’m sure was planted by someone else (was it you?). Instead of yelling more, or taking away privileges, or just sweeping the whole thing under the rug, the girls would have to do something nice for each other.

Ten nice things, in fact.

So this morning when they staggered down the stairs, I told them the plan: No electronics. No early morning TV, no checking email, using your iPod, reading your Kindle. . .nothing. . .until you’ve each done 10 nice things for the other person. Write down each item and I will okay them one by one.

Belly was first. She made Jilly’s bed, picked up the beads she spilled the night before, straightened out her dolls, hung up her coat. Her list of ten was done in under a half hour.

Jilly is working on her list right now. So far, she’s made her sister’s bed, plug her sister’s iPod into its charger for her, and straightened all the books out that are next to her bed.

I’m not sure what this will accomplish except that it feels kind of nice to have them thinking about what they can do for each other, instead of how pissed off they are after last night.

And I’m glad that someone else is making the beds.


  1. That’s lovely. A friend of mine, frustrated by all-day fighting, made her two kids hold hands for twenty minutes. They ended up laughing. (In my house, I think someone would end up with bruises.)

    So, my sister. What 10 nice things will you do for me today, Hmmm?
    Mrs. Q. recently posted..And she’s offMy Profile

    • Yes, I think I owe you about 10000 nice things after growing up as your big sister. Don’t think that this didn’t give me food for thought last night as they both screamed. : )

  2. That is genius…totally stealing it!

  3. Ooooh, genius! I will employ this method!
    Deb recently posted..ConversationsMy Profile

  4. Okay you are brilliant. I am so using this.

  5. Brilliant!

  6. Julie Robinson says

    My dad used to close arguing siblings in a room together. “Don’t come out until you are ready to get along”. Worked like a charm – we would sit and lament together how “mean” he was.

  7. This is EXACTLY the issue I am working on with my two youngest (ages 5 and 9). The older does something “mean” to the younger and he reacts with a pinch, hit, punch, kick, something. They each have a part in it and I am tired of lecturing the same thing over and over. I am planning to try this one soon! (It shouldn’t be too long, based on their recent history!) Thank you!

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