We were model Love and Logic® parents with our first child. From the time she was 8 months, we followed the lessons of this great parenting attitude and it worked! I just had to say, “Ut-oh” and she knew to rethink her choices.
But then life happened. My husband was transitioning in his professional career. I was in the middle of my doctorate. We dealt with family stressors. Our middle child was born and life became very chaotic. Don’t get me wrong, the chaos was beautiful, but it was nevertheless chaotic. And unfortunately, we didn’t stick to the Love and Logic® principles very well, especially with the strong willed little boy who was quickly growing up.
We are back at it now, and let me tell you, wow! The initial phase of restarting Love and Logic® was a little difficult as we sharpened our skills and our kids, especially our middle child, adjusted. When we are consistent with this parenting attitude, our home is much more beautiful, and much less chaotic.
Things I have learned:
- We see how capable our kids are. Not only can they make their own decisions, but they are strong enough to deal with the consequences. Instead of being a referee during an argument between our two oldest, we have utilized the phrase, “I believe you are capable enough to figure this out. If you need some ideas I am here to help.” Watching them work out how and when to take turns or play nicer has been great. We can see them grow with every chance to think for themselves. And they feel proud of themselves for working things out themselves.
- We connect. Instead of being our kids’ problem-solver, we get to be a consultant. We get to talk with them about different ideas on how to solve problems and watch their minds work as they think through how the different options may work. These conversations are great ways to connect, help, and allow our kids to see they are capable of problem solving. Additionally, since we respond with loving empathy, we feel closer to our kids and they know we won’t respond with anger.
- We are empowered. Not only are we empowering our kids to see they can solve their own problems, but we feel empowered as parents. We feel great when we see them figuring things out and we know they are proud of themselves. Additionally, we give them choices and the power to make choices. Therefore, we get some of that power back when it is our turn to make choices.
- We do not question whether or not they “got it.” After lecturing your kids on something, do you ever wonder if your message went in one ear and out the other? When we skip the lectures and allow our kids to think for themselves, we typically do not question if they understood the message. The learning process and consequences are doing the teaching, not the lectures.
- We focus on what we can do, not what we can’t. We cannot control our kids. We can only control how we respond to them. Kids will mess up, just like parents do. And that’s ok. We shouldn’t prevent our kids from small mistakes with affordable consequences. What we can do is love them and consult with them on how to solve their problems, and watch them grow in the process.
- We aren’t perfect. And that’s ok. Just as our kids need practice in learning new skills and the decision making process, we also need practice in the skills of parenting. Just like our kids, we need space to make mistakes and learn from those mistakes. The great thing about using this parenting method when kids are young is that they are making small, affordable mistakes, and so are we. We have the chance to try again. We aren’t saving the mistakes for the big and expensive ones of adulthood.
How do you think this would work for your family?
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If you would like additional information on Love and Logic®, you can check out their website www.loveandlogic.com. You can also check out a Parenting the Love and Logic Way® class Renewed Hope Parenting offers. Renewed Hope Parenting is an independent facilitator of Love and Logic®. We are not employees of the Love and Logic Institute.
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