"Treat others are you would like to be treated" is a pretty common mantra, right?
It makes sense from a karma standpoint, if not from just general decency.
Mum-of-four, Melissa Roy, however, has put the phrase practise into action and it using it to stop her children fighting.
Writing on her blog Beyond Mommying, Roy says she had her two girls each write how they would like to be treated on a sheet of paper.
"I gave them thought starters like "I want other people to..." and "Others should treat me..."" she wrote.
"They traded papers and read their sister's feelings aloud and I asked "do you understand how your sister wants to be treated?" They both nodded."
That's not all, what she did next really put this technique over the top.
She told the girls to say "I don't care!" and crumple their sister's paper up:
"They both looked at me incredulously, shocked that I would ask them to do something like that to their sister's words.
But they both slowly did as I asked, and I explained, "When you do mean, hateful or hurtful things to other people, it's the same as taking their feelings and crumpling them up.""
Next, she asked them so suggest ways of fixing the paper. By apologising, the girls replied, and smoothing the paper out.
"My girls quickly realised, though, that they couldn't just smooth the paper back out. No matter how hard they tried, the wrinkles were still there.
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."
Roy then explained to them that, no matter how long or heartfelt the apology, the damage has already been done:
"No matter how hard you try to smooth over hurt, the scars of the pain will remain.
No matter what you do, or say, once you've wrinkled another person's feelings, those marks will always be there."
Just as you think the lesson is over, Roy hits the girls with a final question:
"What happens if you crumple up and try to smooth out that piece of paper too hard or too many times?"
It will rip, one of the girls replies. "And 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."
A truly important and insightful message, for children (and adults) of any age.