Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Love and Logic
So I'm doing a parenting seminar based on the book "Love and Logic" and really enjoying it. I don't necessarily agree with all of their methodology, but one teaching tool I really like is the idea of using empathy when disciplining children. Instead of reacting in anger or jumping straight to a consequence, try to emphathize with the child by saying something like, "Oh, that's too bad..." or "What a bummer!" or "That's so sad..." when then disobey, then follow up with a consequence. That way, you are showing the child you feel for them and are truly sad that they disobeyed and you have to follow through with a consequence. It takes the pressure off of you being the bad guy and puts the responsibility on them - you are sad that they made that choice and you can feel that sadness with them. I love this idea! A helpful tip for whining or arguing: Love and Logic says to "go brain dead" - don't get mad or frustrated - and make sure that you are not physically displaying this to your child (no furrowing brow, no gritting teeth, no vein popping out in the forehead), but instead, go brain dead by remaining calm, collected and quiet, then respond with one simple phrase like "I love you too much to argue" or "I know" or "Hmmmm...." and continue repeating it when they whine or argue. Don't try to argue back or rationalize with them because usually, they will find a way to push our buttons and win the argument. Just keep repeating the same phrase over and over and make sure you remain calm. Eventually, they will get that you're not going to budge and give in to their whining or arguing. Love having this tool in my toolbox!!! One of my favorite phrases from the seminar was the following: "When we do the right thing with challenging kids, it will almost always look and feel like the wrong thing in the short term." I had no idea how often my child would test my limits and throw tantrums to try to get his way. When he does that, I immediately question myself and ask "Am I doing something wrong?" But I am realizing that when he reacts that way, he is reacting to the limits set and over time....he WILL accept them! One image they gave that stuck in my mind...do you want to be the type of parent who is depositing money in the bank early on, consistently, even when it's painful and inconvenient (discipling and following through consistently) so that you can reap rewards in the future...or do you want to be the type of parent who is swiping the credit card left and right because it feels good (doing whatever makes the child happy and giving in because it's too hard) yet in the end, you will be paying HIGH INTEREST (destructive and disrespectful teenagers). I don't know about you, but I sure want to start sacking away the painful deposits now and disciplining even when it's hard, uncomfortable, and inconvenient so that I can enjoy the rewards of raising a child who is a respectful, obedient person. Go Love and Logic!