The Genius 'Stop Fighting' Hack Every Mom of More Than 1 Kid Should Try

Beyond Momming/Facebook

"Treat others how you want to be treated." It's the golden rule, and one we recite to our kids over and over again, but it can be difficult to get the message to truly sink in, especially when "annoying" little brothers and sisters are involved. After tiring of her daughters shouting hurtful things at each other, one genius mom tried a little trick to get them to think before they fight -- and her brilliant idea is going viral.

  • "I handed my daughters each a brand-new piece of paper ... and told them to write down how they want other people to treat them," Melissa Roy wrote on Facebook.

    The mom, who runs a popular blog and Facebook page called Beyond Momming, says she gave her kids a few "starter ideas," like "I want other people to ..." and "Others should treat me ..."

    Once the girls were done writing, she asked them to trade papers and read each other's instructions for how they'd like to be treated. But that's not the most genius part of the exercise.

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  • Once they were done reading, Roy told her girls to "say 'I don't care!' and crumple up your sister's feelings!"

    Naturally, they were shocked, but she made them do it anyway, and that's when the magic happened. Roy explained to her kids that "when you do mean, hateful, or hurtful things to other people, it's the same as taking their feelings and crumpling them up."

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    Once the papers were balled up, Roy asked her kids to "fix it" by smoothing the paper back out to represent an apology. But, of course, the girls quickly realized that once the paper was crumpled up, it wasn't so easy to just smooth it back out. "No matter how hard they tried, the wrinkles were still there," Roy wrote. "And as they tried to fix their sister's words and feelings they'd destroyed, they saw how hard it is. And real feelings are the same. No matter how hard you try to smooth over hurt, the scars of the pain will remain."

  • Roy even took the lesson a step farther and asked her girls what would happen if they tried to smooth the paper out too many times.

    "It will rip," one of her daughters said. And Roy wrote, "She's right, paper that is crumpled and smoothed and abused will eventually get thin and weak, it will rip and be irreparable. And when treated with disregard for too long or in extremely hurtful ways, people can break, too."

  • Of course, parents all over social media are floored not just by her genius idea, but also by how well it illustrates the concept of kindness.

    The message was shared all over Facebook, including on the popular parenting page Perfection Pending, where everyone is tagging their friends and husbands like, "We NEED to try this."

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  • One person even shared the she tried it with her kids' dad to help them learn how to communicate better.

    Kindness is a virtue, but that doesn't mean it's an easy concept to grasp -- especially for kids, who may be perfectly nice at school and out in the world, but usually don't think twice about calling their brother or sister a "jerk" for taking their Legos. This mom's trick is a brilliant yet simple way to teach kids to think before they speak or start that next fight, especially with the people whom they love the most.