Last week, Maddie was teasing Aaron by taking one of his favorite toys, and running away from him with it. Naturally, her tactic worked. He hated it! He ran after her, and reached up and slapped her on the top of her head with his open hand.
It didn’t really hurt her, and so that did little to communicate his displeasure with her. While we were scolding the two of them, “don’t tease him,” and “don’t hit her,” he walked over to my juggling sticks and grabbed one in each hand. He raised them over his head, and started chasing after her again. When he got within striking range, he tried to give her a good whack. He missed, but if he had connected, boy, would she have felt it.
It can be a delicate balancing act between imbuing your children with a sense of propriety, and enjoying watching the pure heated emotion that flows through their being.