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Language Log

Thursday, Aug. 03, 2017 - 2:37 p.m.

2. Made lime and coconut milk popsicles, lime and coconut milk popsicles with toasted coconut and mango chunks, and coconut milk popsicles with toasted coconut, coconut rum, mango jam, and fresh mango chunks.
3. Watched a parenting video interview that gave me some new perspectives. That it isn't my job to solve the problem for them, that we don't need to form a triangle with parent as the arbiter. Instead we should do the minimum to keep them safe and facilitate them talking to each other (eventually to work out their own problem).

She told me to ask them what they would like me to do when someone is going to get hurt. I asked U at bedtime (when he is often receptive to conversation). "I want you to stop Q. Q wants you to stop me. I don't want you to stop me, and Q doesn't want you to stop her." Which is as succinct a summary as one could offer, really.

Also NO BLAME. You come in, someone is hurt. You go right to the person who is hurt, say "oh you got pushed/ whatever!" Use an agentless passive. If there's a way for the perp to help, ask them, "would you like to get the ice pack for his boo boo?" (Or whatever gesture makes sense). A genuine question they don't have to say yes to.

I tried all this this morning after they started their fighting. Q pushed U; I did the above, resisted offering any reproach, and she indeed got a cloth so I could clean his scrape.

I can see they do try to provoke the other into hitting so the other will get yelled at and blamed. I can stop playing that role for them.

Also encouraged Q to talk to U, not me. If they say something to me I turn around and repeat it to the other. She did: "U why do you always have to keep fighting? Why do you always want to fight?". Which was spot-on. He didn't really answer, but the fact that I haven't really been able to even get that triangle dynamic going in the first place may actually be an advantage, because they do want to deal directly with the other. If only we can teach them how to do it productively.

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