When I got home last Friday, my 16 year old cousin who was babysitting the boys for the day, had a complain. “Treyton said a bad word to me today.” I braced myself. “What did he say?” I asked. Trey was four. Not too young to know bad words but old enough to know they were bad. “He told me screw off.”
I took the young perp to my room and sat him down for the serious talk. “Treyton, you said a bad word to Azur today?” The kid was oblivious. He had no clue he had committed said crime. So I helped him with his memory. “Did you tell Azur to screw off?” It worked, his memory came flooding back. “Yes, Luka broke the green thing off the play structure and the screw fell out so I yelled screw off! to Azur. I was telling him the screw was off. It was!” He was telling the truth. One of the neighbors’ kids had broken off the little green flower pot from the structure and the screw was indeed ripped out.
Well that was it for my intended lesson and accompanying discipline. I gave him a hug and sent him on his way. Sometimes things just aren’t as bad as they seem.