Let me start out with a little background about myself. I am the father of two. My daughter is six and my son is three. Both of them are colorful little kids. My daughter is autistic and my son is average. My daughter's condition is the source of much joy and much stress, it all depends on the day.
One of the recent challenges my daughter has thrown at her mother and I comes in the form of hair pulling. She pulls her own hair when she gets upset. She also pulls the hair of other children. When it comes to pulling other children's hair it's more of a compulsive behavior. We are working with our daughter's therapists and teachers on this and are making process.
One day when I was discussing the protocol for proper inter-child social interaction with my daughter I had an epiphany of Monty Python proportions. I simply suggested that any time she sees a little girl with long that she should say "shrubbery" instead of pulling the little girl's hair.
This suggestion was really meant more for the amusement of my wife and myself, but, it stuck with my daughter. It's become a bit of a warning. Kind of like a putting a collar with a bell on a cat. Now when my daughter sees a little girl with long hair she shouts, "Shrubbery!" and Mom and I know to tighten our grip on her hand.
So, I am slowing moving my daughter from being a bully to being and odd kid. As a parent I'll take odd kid over bully any day. On the way into church today she rattled shrubbery off at least three times in a row and had me and her mother laughing.
It's amazing how one word can take a tough parental situation and turn it into something genuinely funny.