Kari and I recently took a class on the Love and Logic® parenting… uh, technique?? Method?? Whatever… its a way for us to be on the same page, and have a plan about how we raise our kids. Basically its a way to give kids choices and consequences on the way to becoming responsible people.
It’s not easy
It hasn’t been easy so far. It sometimes feels like battles are created that could easily be avoided. I gave him the choice between two shirts one morning. He chose the blue shirt, and as I was putting it on him he decided he wanted the brown one. Instead of saying, ok and letting him wear the other, as I would normally do (because who cares, really), I said, bummer, maybe tomorrow you’ll get to choose the other one. BAM – Huge blow up, fits and crying ensue. Uh Oh, I said, looks like its Tory needs a little bedroom time, and I left him in his room to have his fit. A few minutes later I went back in while he was still crying, gave him a big hug and told him I loved him. We went on with our day, and he completely forgot about the brown shirt.
A whiff of success is all it takes
We’re starting to have success. Choosing our outfits in the morning are much smoother, and quicker. He makes his choices and lives with them. No battles. We no longer take 20 minutes to get our coats and boots on to get out the door. Tory knows what’s expected of him and if he choses to not go along, there’ll be a consequence.
Does it sound like we’re forcing him into doing things our way? I don’t think so. The choice is usually his to make (there are some choices he doesn’t have, like running out into the street) and there is a consequence to that choice, good or bad. We’re empowering him to make good choices.
The thing that has always irritated me the most is the whining and the crying. I’m realizing now that it’s our fault for allowing it to happen. It’s been easy to just give in when I’m tired and don’t want to listen to it anymore. It takes more diligence and patience and work and effort. It’s harder. But it makes sense, especially when I think ahead to what they’ll be like when they’re older. I want them to be responsible and take ownership and understand there are consequences to the choices made.
At least now we finally have a plan. Here’s a link to the Love and Logic website.