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Two Words to Say to Kids When They Mess up

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Glossary of Terms

At URSTRONG, we believe it’s important to use kids’ language for kids’ problems. That’s why we have our very own, unique language of friendship. Here are some important terms that children, parents, and teachers learn in our program.

Friendship Fire®: Any situation between you and a friend that results in negative feelings.

Mean-on-Purpose: When someone is intentionally unkind to someone else.

Quick Comeback: A very short word or phrase that is used when someone is Mean-on-Purpose. Quick Comebacks are designed to let the other person know that you heard/saw what they did and you’re not okay with it.

Friend-o-meter: A visual tool that assesses the health of friendships, ranging from the healthy zone to the unhealthy zone.

Friend-o-cycle: The normal cycle in a friendship that brings the friendship back to the healthy zone after experiencing a Friendship Fire. The phases of the Friend-o-cycle are: Healthy Friendship – Fire – Confront the issue – Talk-it-Out – Forgive & Forget – Closer & Stronger – Healthy Friendship…

4 Friendship Facts: A set of four facts that help us have realistic expectations in our friendships so we understand what is normal.

  1. No friendship (relationship) is perfect.
  2. Every friendship is different.
  3. Trust & Respect are the two most important qualities of a friendship.
  4. Friendships change…and that’s okay.

Red Shirt Girl and Striped Shirt Boy: Two characters that remind us about the importance of body language.

Friendship Ninja: A Friendship Ninja is someone who surrounds themselves with friends in the healthy zone of the Friend-o-meter. A Friendship Ninja is kind and friendly to everyone. A Friendship Ninja understands the 4 Friendship Facts and puts out their Friendship Fires when they ignite. A Friendship Ninja stands up for themselves and their friends. A Friendship Ninja makes new friends and understands that friendships change…and that’s okay. Above all else, a Friendship Ninja is someone you want to be friends with because they’re true to who they are!

Kids make mistakes – we all do. Here are two words to say to a child to give them a second chance.

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Time and time again, the little people in our lives say and do the wrong thing. That’s because they’re still learning and they’re human. Just like us adults, they make mistakes. And just like us adults, sometimes their impulsive, knee-jerk reaction is the opposite of what they meant in their heart-of-hearts. However, the amazing thing about having a conscience is that we know when we’ve made a bad choice. Children are actually very good at knowing the difference between right and wrong.

We want to teach our children to self-regulate and strengthen their internal filter, so that they can take a moment, move past their poor choice, and act on the appropriate reaction. And, one of the easiest ways we can begin to teach this is by calmly saying two simple words when they’ve messed up: “Try again.” Giving kids a second chance is an easy way to help them learn to make good choices, to slow down and think before they act.

Rather than carrying out our knee-jerk reaction to scold or shame children when they’ve made a mistake, we can help by allowing them to rewind and rewrite the story. “Try again, buddy!” Eventually, with time and patience, you won’t need to give them a second chance because they’ll make better choices in the first place.

Written by Dana Kerford
Friendship Expert and Founder of URSTRONG