Wednesday, September 7, 2011

love and logic: thinking words

setting limits through thinking words

rash words are like sword thrusts, 
but the tongue of the wise brings healing. 
proverbs 12:18

i am just about finished reading parenting with love and logic and i am so glad i decided to blog my way through it. even if it is just excessive ramblings to my readers, there is so much knowledge from cover to cover and blogging it out helps me absorb as much of it as i can. it also gives my husband the "cliffs notes" version, so we can be on the same page. that's the goal anyway. 

thinking words. the love and logic philosophy may recommend that parents shy away from issuing orders and imposing their solutions on their kids' problems, but that doesn't mean that it gives a licence to misbehavior. in fact, we set limits to the type of behavior we expect by making enforceable statements and giving choices. but how can we set limits on their behavior without telling them what to do? these limits give our children security, something they really need. 

thinking words, used in question form and expressed in enforceable statements are one of the keys to love and logic parenting. they help kids do exactly what we want them to do...think! it is never too late to start offering choices to your child, but the younger you start the easier it will be when they are older. if you have older kids, pick one or two situations that you are comfortable in offering choices. you can always work up to more once you (and they) get the hang of it. but if you have a young child at home, start now! here are some examples of thinking questions that you could use with a young child; 

instead of, "you put that coat on now!"
say, "would you rather carry your coat or wear it?" 

instead of, "because i said put your boots on, it is snowing outside!"
say, "would you rather put your boots on now or in the car?" 

instead of, "i'm trying to watch this football game, so be quiet!" 
say, "would you rather play nicely in front 
of the television or be noisy in your room?" 

seems easy right? i mean as i am reading the book and the not so clever examples they give, i think...this is so basic, duh. but guess what? in the heat of the moment your logic goes out the window. okay, maybe not yours but mine does. we had an ugly moment just this week. here i am totally absorbed in reading this book, and practicing it's methods and yet my 2 year goes totally bonkers in the car and i just loose it. i mean loose it. yelling, pointing my finger, making a million threats i could never follow through on. it wasn't pretty. did he pipe down, say he was sorry and beg for forgiveness? yeah right, it fueled the fire and got even hotter. this is because fighting words invite disobedience. when we use them we draw a line in the sand and invite our kids to cross it. but i'm not perfect and as i was sputtering out all this angry nonsense i was even thinking, "these are not thinking words, jenni. these are not thinking words." 

so ugly moments will happen. don't get too down about it and stop being so hard on yourself, we all loose it from time to time. and really the goal is that we get our kids thinking instead of fighting. this is a fine line, and i thought the book offered some good guidelines; 

fighting words

tell our kids what to do
"you get to work on that lawn right now!" 

tell our kid what we will not allow
"your not going to talk to me that way!"

tell our kids what we won't do for them
"i'm not letting you out of this 
house until you clean the living room." 

thinking words

tell our kids what we will allow
"feel free to join us for your next 
meal as soon as the lawn in mowed." 

tell our kids what we will do
"i'll be glad to read you a story 
as soon as you have finished your bath." 

tell our kid what we will provide 
"you may eat what is served or your may wait 
and see if the next meal appeals to you more."

so here is the truth, i can't post about everything in the book. there is so so much information, and i am just trying to share the highlights from each chapter. even though i am almost done reading the book, i have lots of blogging to catch up on. i highly recommend this book to anyone with children. it is a great go to book that you will want to keep around for a resource when your kids get older and the challenges change. i guess the choice is yours; you can get the cliffs notes version here or run out first thing tomorrow and buy the book. i also guess that i will never know either way. but you will have to live with make a good choice! 

happy parenting! 

1 comment:

  1. My husband sent me this link, and I agree with many of the ideas suggested in the Love and Logic. What frustrates me is that I can't always stop my emotions from overloading my logic, especially when I get frustrated! I wish the logical choices I have to give them would readily pop into my head. Over time, it will get better.

    While I do believe that the Love and Logic way of parenting is another gift to good parenting techniques, I hope it doesn't get passed over as a fad.

    Have fun with learning these techniques! And thanks for posting!