Sunday, August 21, 2011

love and logic: opportunities

children's mistakes are their opportunities

how much better to get wisdom than gold!
to get understanding is
to be chosen rather than silver.
proerbs 16:16
two rules of love & logic: effective and simple

rule number one:
adults must set firm, loving limits using enforceable statements without showing anger, lecturing, or using threats.
here are some examples:

-please feel free to join us for dinner when your room is clean.
-would you prefer to wear something nice to church or go in your pajamas?
-feel free to join us in the living room to watch some television once your chores are finished.
-you are free to use the car as long as your mother and i don't need it, once you have deposited the insurance deductible in a savings account, and as long as i don't have to worry about alcohol or drugs.

let's be honest, some of these seem a bit intense. the idea is that if you start using enforceable statements at an early age, then they are accustomed to it when the situations have higher risks.

rule number two:
when a child causes a problem, the adult shows empathy through sadness and sorrow and then lovingly hands the problem and it's consequences back to the child.
here are some examples:

-oh what a sad choice you made.
-oh how sad. that never turns out very well for me when i do that.

the truth is that love and logic parents seem to have very limited vocabularies and respond with the same phrases over and over, locking in the fact that you love them and feel sad when they make wrong choices.

there are a couple other points that fall under this rule as well;

-neutralize your child's arguing. if you child drags you into a battle, you are often ruining their chance to learn this bigger lesson. the book says that consultant parents, "blow in, blow off, and blow out...but they never blow up!"

-consequences can and often should be delayed. it is okay to acknowledge that something needs to be done, but that you are going to have to spend some time thinking about it. this is helpful when you are in the car, and really can't enforce the proper consequence. but also giving yourself time to come up with the perfect consequence is more beneficial than throwing something together in the heat of the moment. plus, letting you child sweat is out a bit ends up being part of the solution.

where does that leave me?

i am really good at giving coen choices. all day long coen is picking between, "this" or "that." i have even caught him giving his stuffed animals choices in the playroom, and a few times he has even offered ME up a couple choices. he responds really well to this parenting style, and i enjoy helping him learn to make good decisions everyday. i need to get better at using enforceable statements. i like to think that these statements are needed when there really isn't a choice, or the choice is really a form of discipline. often in these situations, my choices turn into threats...and that's not good! so i guess i need work on my enforceable statements. i'll get back to you on how it goes. happy parenting!

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