Big D: "My leg really hurts when Sissy fusses."
Me: "Hmm, really?"
Big D: "And when other kids make bad choices, my chest hurts."
Me: "What happens when you make bad choices?"
Bid D: Apparently stalling for time . . . "Um. My leg hurts, too. My leg really, really hurts."
Me: "I hear ya, bud."
How much easier this whole parenting thing would be if sudden pangs would flare up in a finger here or a toe there when white lies were told, sister's got pushed, etc. And how much more meaningful our words would be when we tell our offspring that their behaviors are going to hurt them in the long run.