Actual thing that happened in my house tonight:
Middle Child came into my room crying. "Oldest hit me because I said he's a good singer! He hates me for no reason! He hit me with a PIPE!"
(mind you, she'd been WILDLY unpleasant to the whole family all evening, so I wasn't too keen on taking her side)
Still, I went to Oldest's room and asked if he'd hit his sister. He said "Why? Does she have a mark?"
(Where is the raised eyebrow emoticon when I need it?)
I said "I don't know, did you hit her with a pipe?"
He said "She came to my door, I was singing while I was getting ready to work out, and she said 'Nice singing, Asshole'. So I poked her in the stomach with the piece of weather stripping I was holding."
(Don't ask why about the weather stripping, just back slowly away with me, back to the relative safety of my master bedroom)
Middle Child interjects "I was TRYING to give you a COMPLIMENT!" and then slams her door.
I say "Don't call your brother names, don't touch your sister. In fact, no more speaking tonight."
But I should have given Middle Child this helpful hint: when giving a compliment, remember it will be better received if you don't tack the word "asshole" on the end of it.example: "I like those earrings" sounds a little better than "I like those earrings, Asshole!"
and "Nice place you've got here!" is almost certainly going to be taken with more grace than "Nice place you've got here, Asshole!"
(See, it's the teachable moments that make parenting so darned special!)