The Hug Initiative
Moms have a lot on their hands. We are always busy doing hundreds of things and sometimes our sweet little offspring have other ideas! Sometimes, they just don’t co-operate. Like us, our kids have bad days, bad attitudes and meltdowns. It’s our responsibility to correct their bad behavior. Sometimes it’s as easy as counting to three and sometimes it requires a more creative punishment. While we occasionally get a break from chores and errands, we never take a break from our child-rearing. As much as we don’t enjoy discipline, part of child-rearing is punishment. As the world changes, punishments have become more complicated. We may feel like we walk a thin line between child abuse and child neglect but I am firm believer that bad behavior requires a punishment fits the crime.
We are going on week three of Christmas Vacation. I’d like to say my near-perfect, self-entertaining children never fuss, never complain, never whine… but, that would be a lie. If you are like me, you may be near the end of your rope wondering why you have a house full of toys and your kids are still finding ways to annoy each other! After about the third silly argument I decided I needed to come up with a way to lighten the tension and remind my children that they have to be nice to each other. Because their fights had become so trivial, I decided to come up with a creative punishment.
It was a little over two weeks in when it started. You can blame it on lack of sleep, out of the normal routine, close quarters but all of the sudden from the other side of the house, I heard something like this:
“No, I didn’t.”
“Yes, you did!”
“Give it back!”
“I didn’t touch it!”
“Yes, you did!”
*The sound of two sets of feet running to find me*
Turns out, one of my daughters was accusing the other of misplacing her new Monster High doll’s hairbrush. Neither had bothered to actually look for it and it mysteriously appeared on her bed, beside her pillow, where minutes before they had been sitting. But now, two little girls stand before me fussing over something so petty that I almost laugh. That is it! Time to step up my mom game and remind these girls who is the boss! That is when the genius idea hit me. Its time to HUG IT OUT!
I can assure you there is nothing sillier to a 9 year and 6 year old girl than being forced to hug! The minute I announce that their punishment is to HUG, they bust out laughing and immediately forget about the hairbrush. They slowly lean into each other thinking they can do the quick side hug.
“No, No… ladies. I mean a REAL hug!”
The girls laugh as they hug each other. I decide to make it a group hug. All is well in the world… well, at least all is well in my house… for now.
After that, I nicknamed my punishment “The Hug Initiative.” My sister tells me its quite common for moms to punish their children by making them hug it out. Some moms even have an extra large shirt their kids must wear while they hug. I didn’t have to resort to a “Get Along” shirt but no judgment here because I just learned first hand that hugging really does work!