The “Nice” Experiment

Nov 8, 2012 by

The “Nice” Experiment

Now, my kids (10 and 8 years) are old enough that I probably can’t/shouldn’t post about them very frequently. Oh, that they might be babies, where I could exploit them with impunity. However, despite my reticence to talk about their lives, I do feel the need to talk about something they do that I’m fairly certain is universal to all siblings everywhere.

They bicker.

Constantly.

Snipe, snipe, snipe. She pushes his buttons, he pushes hers. Each tattles on the other for perceived unfairnesses until my husband and I want to take every item they own and give it away. As I’m sure my mother did when I was a child and bickering with my brother and sister.

But then I had an idea. An idea SO good that it has to be God-given.

I call it “The Nice Experiment.”

From now until Christmas, each of them has to do one truly nice thing for the other. And it can’t involve material things, like “I’ll give her my stuffed animal for the day.” Each idea has to be cleared through me, so that I can be sure it’s something the other will believe is truly nice and not just indirectly benefiting the giver.

Here are the ideas that we’ve come up with so far:

  • Give a hug – a REAL hug, not a brief touching of the arms, or the labored breath of the “python” hug
  • Actually pay attention to a sibling’s sports event, and take pictures
  • Let the other go first for once
  • Play together after school

So far, the experiment has gone really well. Both the kids are very proud of the ideas they’ve come up with, and appreciative of the actions of the other. But I worry – what happens when we run out of ideas? I tried to help the kids come up with ideas by researching the topic on the internet, because I know that ALL things can be found there. But shockingly, there is a dearth of ideas on how kids – particularly siblings – can be nice to each other. So any ideas you all have, please help me out!

I will keep you posted on how the “Nice” experiment is progressing. So far, I remain optimistic.

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