Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Love it . . . and Hate it!

 OK . . . so I love this and . . . I totally hate it all at the same time.

When Scoots was about 3 I attended a January training through the Junior League of Plano, now JLCC. As a member who HAD to attend three meetings within a year, I could attend January training or learning sessions and it counted toward my total of meetings attended.

So, I went with some girlfriends to the Love and Logic training. We arrive at the JL office, after having had dinner and a couple of drinks, for our training. We sat on the right about mid back. My entire Provisional Year, I was back row Betty, perhaps it was the drinks that made me move closer to the front.

We had a speaker who was probably early 40s. She had on a demin prairie skirt (my sister is gagging herself right now - demin . . . prairie . . . skirt) a long sleeve, thin shirt material blouse, not tucked in but buttoned up the front with probably .25 inch lace trim on the cuffs and collar. She had mousy brown hair just beneath her shoulder with the top part pulled back in a clip. She was semi-petite in height and probably mid to average build.

Immediately, I see we are nothing alike. She could have come from the Little House on the Prairie set; I am rolling in to the meeting in a very different getup!

She tells us her name and that she is Jewish. She says she has 9, COUNT THEM 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 - NINE, children, oh and 1 on the way. No, she was not from the Duggar clan. She laughs that they had to buy a used extended cab van to hold the family for going to Church.

I think . . . "BLESS HER HEART!"

Sitting there I am thinking . . . I have NOTHING in common with this woman! She has 9 kids, drive a big van, home schools, is Jewish, it goes on and on. "This is going to be a total waste!"

But once we got into the training it was anything but!
The basis of Love & Logic Parenting is logical consequences. There were a few lessons that stuck with me from that training. I still use this methodology even today. There is not one single parenting method that covers all you will encounter as a parent so I take what I like from all of them.

Here are my top three from Love & Logic!

1 - Logical Consequences

Logical Consequences come from telling your child to either do something or not doing it and then there are the consequences.

It could be advising them to do their homework or they could get a zero on the assignment. You tell them once and let it go - you have advised them on the best course of action. But from the moment they came out of the uterus they have fought to be independent - make their own choices - forge their own way.

So again - you have given them the best advice available . . . do it. What they do and the consequences of it are all their own. Do not let your pride get in the way of them learning this lesson.

2 - Letting them own their success and failures.

You child doing his homework or not doing it was their decision. Therefore, the consequences belong to them.

Just like if you child does awesome at a swim meet - comes in 1st in their heat - it was HIM swimming . . . not you! He owns that success - it is not yours - it cannot be taken away from him! He did the work to get there - he put in the effort - he made it happen!

Not everyone can be 1st place. There is 2nd, 3rd on up to 8th place in swimming - so maybe your response should be I bet you did the best you could. Give them the benefit of the doubt that they did try hard, they did want this.

In sports . . . in school . . . throughout the walk of life . . . your job as a parent is to be a safe place for your child to land. There is always going to be someone faster, smarter, richer - it is a good life lesson for them to know your expectation of them. It is up to them to decide how they are going to respond.

The very best you can do with this situation is saying "I bet you are so proud of yourself." Their self esteem, pride . . . worth comes from them feeling good about themselves. Don't say I am so proud of you - their self worth should not stem from your being proud of them - they should be proud of themselves!

3 - Following through - We have all seen the mother saying over . . . and over . . . and over . . . and over . . . get it? Johnny come here, Johnny don't tough that, Johnny do this . . . Johnny do that.

Johnny has learned mom is a nag! Mom thinks Johnny is difficult. BUCK UP MOM! You have got to get little Johnny's attention and follow through! Do you want little Johnny slinging rocks on the street corner? NO!!!

Do not give your child an ultimatum unless you will follow through. Your ultimatum MUST be something that you are not going to back down on! You must be willing to die on this hill! Otherwise, save your breath.

I know . . . I know . . . all of you that know me well know I am not always a good steward of this! My sounding board just said I am probably more like 80%

I remember this story from my training and I want to share it with you . . .

Jim sits in the airport awaiting a flight, watching as a mother gives at least eighty different demands to her three-year-old boy over the course of an hour without ever enforcing one of them:

“Come back here, Logan!”

“Don’t go over there, Logan!”

“You better listen to me, Logan, or else!”

“I mean it, Logan!”

“Don’t run, Logan!”

“Come back here so you don’t get hurt, Logan!”

Logan eventually finds his way to where Jim is seated. The toddler smiles at him while ignoring his mother. The mother yells, “Logan, you get away from that man! You get over here this instant." Jim smiles down at Logan and asks, “Hey, Logan, what is your mom going to do if you don’t get over there?” He looks up and grins. “She not goin’ to do nothin’.” And then his eyes twinkle and his grin becomes wider.

It turns out he is right. She finally comes apologizing. “I’m sorry he’s bothering you, but you know how three-year-olds are. They just won’t listen to one thing you tell them.”

Now you tell me . . . who is schooling whom here?

Hey, I know . . . parenting isn't easy. We are all doing the best we can. I firmly believe, as Maya Angelo says . . . "when you know better, you do better." Read until you find a parenting source that matches your own, talk to your girl friends; get some insight from other sources!

Children's aren’t bad little people; we are just bad managers of them!

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