There's been a lot of commotion around here

and it seems like my stress/anxiety levels are through the roof.  I hate that my kids get the brunt of some of that.  I've been reading through my Love & Logic parenting stuff this morning.  It's probably worth a weekly read, at least for me.

"Kids have the uncanny ability to get us pulled into trying to control what we cannot.  We must avoid this trap by using 'enforceable statements' that tell kids what WE WILL DO or what WE ALLOW... rather than trying to tell them what to do or not to do."

Examples of enforceable statements:
  • I'll turn on a movie when you've cleaned up your mess.
  • I keep the toys I have to pick up.  You can keep the ones that you pick up.
  • I'll be happy to listen to you when I'm off the phone.
Below in red are ineffective statements and the green are the enforceable statements:
Please sit down so we can eat dinner!  
We will eat dinner as soon as you're seated.

Hold still and dont talk while I'm reading to you!
I'll start reading again when you're done talking and wiggling.

Stop whining!
I'll be happy to talk if you can use a big boy voice.

Dont hit or push!
You may play if you can stop hitting and pushing.

Eat your dinner!
We have dessert for people who eat their dinner.

Put on your shoes so we can go!
I'll be happy to take you to the park as soon as you put your shoes on.

Enforceable statements allow kids to have agency and allow parents to put the ball in the child's court and then stay calm.  (That's what we need around here... a little more calm.)

Love and Logic also talks about guiding our kids to solve their own problems.
First, we empathize with their problem by saying "Oh, that's sad."  Or "I bet that's frustrating."
Second, we send the 'Power Message' by saying "What do you think you'll do about it?"
Third, offer choices.  "Would you like to hear what other kids have tried?"  Offer a variety of choices ranging from bad to good.  Each time a choice is offered, ask the child, "How do you think that will work?" which forces them to state the consequences of that choice in his/her own words.  Then offer another choice and ask the question again. Lastly, give the child permission to solve the problem and be willing to let them handle the consequences... with your support.


Mike & Becca said...

That's my Jill!! I love those love and logic books. Wish every parent would read them. My favorite these days is the "reward for everything." My sister bribes her kids for everything. My fav seminar once was about not bribing or rewarding expected behavior... it's expected. Instead there should be a consequence if it's not done, not a bribe to do it. Otherwise they learn that they only do it if there's something in it for them..... that's what I think at least! :)

Courtney said...

We have craziness too...we are actually taking the seminar this weekend! I can't wait...I love learning things like this and then think, duh. It SHOULD be so easy!

Leah said...

I so need to take those classes...seriously...I love what love and logic teaches. Thanks for this post...I say everything you are not supposed to say!! ARG!! Maybe in the fall when my dougie can come with....hope you are well...I've been thinking of you...I will call you soon!

Amanda said...

sometimes we need to give OURSELVES a little more love and logic too...at least more love.

KatieJ said...

I really need to read that book!!!

Alona said...

Love and Logic is great. Our school is trying to get us all trained on it! :)