Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Love and Logic: Take Two

I had my second class last week and continue to find the tips and pointers very helpful.

The theme of the class was "Teaching Kids to Listen - the First Time"

Paraphrasing here, but we talked about not getting your kids addicted to warnings. Your child will always come to need at least the same number of reminders and warnings that you give them. If they know there isn't a consequence until the 3rd warning, they won't comply until the 3rd warning. And, if you teach them that at home, that is how they will behave at school (speaking as the sister of an elementary school teacher).

They also discuss the idea of 'affordable mistakes'. You want your child to make mistakes when they are young so they have the opportunity to learn from them. Crashing a tricycle is an 'affordable' mistake, crashing a car when you are 16 is not. The ultimate goal is to teach your child self-control and give them the ability to make good decisions because they can think through the consequences.

Lastly, we learned about the "Uh-Oh song", which is a time-out technique, of sorts. Hard to summarize here, but an interesting idea. I also found it interesting that they stress that you shouldn't explain what your child did wrong when they are done with time out. By doing that, you are insinuating that they aren't smart enough to figure it out for themselves. (For little ones, they still don't need a re-hash of the event, but you can make it a teachable moment: "Next time you want my attention, use your words", for example). Also, not to demand an apology. If your child complied with the time out (the consequence), asking for an apology just sets up another power struggle. Give them a kiss and a hug and an I Love You and move on with your day.

I'm no expert on Love and Logic - just summarizing when I've learned. Quite challenging to put in practice in your own home - it is mostly controlling your own responses to your children and thinking before you act (ALWAYS easier said than done). As with any parenting advice, you have to take some of it with a grain of salt, and adjust it to your child's temperament, but it's intriguing so far.

I think the Love and Logic gurus, Jim and Charles Fay, travel the country teaching seminars. There might be one in your area. Or, your local school district or parent organization might host classes from time to time. Since our program is through Parents as Teachers, it focuses on early childhood. The corresponding book is Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood: Practical Parenting from Birth to Six Years.

Maybe you will find some of it beneficial in your home, or for your sanity!

No comments: