One down, three ups

“You’re stupid.”

“You’re so ugly.”


“You big baby.”

Yep, these are all things out of the mouths of children – specifically those would be my children earlier this summer. Some people may brush this off as kids just being kids. Often times kids simply repeat things they hear on TV or from other kids without thinking that these things can hurt others. But they can and they do.

In order to curb our kids desire to say mean things we implemented what my husband calls one down, three ups.

Each time one of the kids says something mean or puts down the other kid, they are required to say three nice things about that person to that person.

So if Jase says to Lexie, “You are just a whiny little stinky butt,” then I tell him what he said wasn’t nice, and he owes her three compliments. His reply, “You’re funny. You’re nice. You’re pretty.”

In the beginning, it got to be that he kept saying the same thing each time he had to give compliments. We then implemented the rule that you couldn’t use the same compliment again during that day.

Remarkably, this has worked well. Since implementing it, we have seen a decrease in name calling and derogatory remarks. And if I am not there to catch them, the other child gladly calls the other out on it. I can hear them in the other room complimenting each other.

Now if we can only get them to stop purposively antagonizing the other and talk in a nice voice instead of yelling, our house would be an even better place.

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