Positive Discipline’s A Bug and a Wish

How can kids solve their own problems?

When kids get into fights they often look to adults for help. At this moment we can intervene and “fix” the situation OR we can teach our kids tools to learn how to deal with conflict on their own. This tool is called A Bug & A Wish and comes from Jane Nelsen’s Positive Discipline. Watch this unscripted problem-solving between two sisters.

Want more sibling tools? Check out our blog: Siblings get them in the ring.

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Okay, so I'm remembering from momma's teaching and that the first thing that we do when we have a
problem is calm down.

Okay so let's both turn around and calm down. Now the second thing we do is each share a bug and a wish

Do you want to go first? You may. Okay

It bugs me when you're when you can tell that I'm frustrated but you keep annoying me and getting all up in my face and I wish that when I'm frustrated you would just leave me alone.

I hear you saying that you don't like it when you don't like it when I'm in your face and I know that you don't like it and you wish that I wouldn't do that. Is that correct?

Yes it bugs me when when you get when you take the grips and you use them for a really long time and I felt like that they were your grips and I wish that you wouldn't do that.

Okay so I hear you saying that it bugs you when I take the grips and you feel like they're not yours and you wish that I wouldn't do that. Is that correct? Yes.

So did you guys both do you both hear each other.

Yes. Yes.

Okay are there any other feelings that you want to share?


Okay, so but if you did this would be the time that you would each you can keep going with a bug and a wish for as long as you want. Right? Okay, so now what do you each take responsibility for?

I take responsibility for taking the grips and making you feel like they aren't yours and I'm really sorry.

I take responsibility for going in your face and even though I knew that you were mad even though I knew that you didn't like it and I'm very sorry.

Okay, do you guys feel like those are meaningful apologies?

Yes. Okay so now you guys can come up with a win-win solution.

How about we put them in the middle somewhere like in like make sense that we feel like that they're both
ours and they're not just one person's.

I think we should put them with all the gymnastics stuff like put onto the bars. How about we do that?

Real moments are learning moments.

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