Friday, August 31, 2012

Riding The Bus - A Love & Logic Lesson

We have had a bit of a problem over the summer with the boys fighting in the van. Anytime we drive anywhere, there is a fight. We have rearranged seats, had consequences, and I have pulled over more times than I care to remember. So when the first two mornings back to school consisted of fighting during the drive, that was it, I was not putting up with it anymore.

I have always driven the kids to school in the morning because it gives us a little more time in the mornings. We don't have to get up quite so early, things are less rushed. But by golly, I will get up at the crack of dawn if it means I can teach them a lesson. I'm a good Mom that way. :) Now that the boys are older they are pretty much getting ready on their own. They make their own lunches and dress themselves. So I knew they could handle getting ready for the bus without it becoming a problem for me.

So last night I told the boys it was time for bed. "But, Mom, it's 15 minutes early!" I responded that we were going to have to get up a little earlier than usual so they would need to go to bed a little earlier than  usual too. And then they asked why and my Love and Logic empathy had a chance to do it's thing...

"Well, it kind of too bad." When my kids hear this, they know something they won't like is coming. "When kids fight in the van on the way to school, I get way too drained. So you guys are going to start riding the bus to school in the mornings! I checked with the bus driver and she will be here at 7:20 am. I am going to set my alarm a little earlier than normal. Maybe you should too." WHAT?! They were stunned and dismayed. I started hearing the "its not my faults" and "well if he didn't touch me" arguments. I just sighed and said, "Off to bed now, we have an early morning!" And so they did.

Morning came and I knew at least one of them would attempt the "oops I missed the bus" scenario. So when it was looking like Charlie wasn't going to make it in time I said, "Oh that's ok. I'll just take you. I charge $3 for a drive to school. Would you like to pay me now or later?" And he he just rolled his eyes and ran to the bus.

Ahhhh, I love this Love and Logic Parenting stuff. It sure feels good to take care of myself and teach those boys a lesson. It's even more fun when they learn more than one!

Have you taught your kids any good lessons lately? Do yourself a favor and put your foot down! The best parents are the ones that take care of themselves! My morning was filled with coffee drinking on the front steps instead of refereeing back seat fights. I'll take it!


  1. I remember the clothes shopping with my girls uugghh made me want to pull my hair out...didnt have much money so i shopped at the cheaper places. One day my moriah (all grown and a child of her own now} said to me, ITS NO FAIR ALL MY FRIENDS GET TO BUY THEIR NEW SHOES AT THE MALL, so when shopping day came the girls were like where are we going and i said,,to the mall to buy your shoes ohhh were they excited til we got there and we walked into i said you wanted to go to the mall for your shoes so here we you can tell your friends you got them at the

  2. The boys might accuately like riding the bus. This might work out real good for you!

  3. I had something similar. During a middle school year when one son was carrying a heavy saxophone case every day plus a heavy backpack, I helped by driving both boys to the bus stop, as they'd have to walk up a very long, very steep hill, and then a few blocks more.

    However, for our family, often it was one darling son in particular who clearly kicked or pushed or took the 'best' seat when it wasn't his turn or roughly threw a brother's backpack if it was in his way...After a few times of witnessing him doing these things, and trying various consequences, I decided to think of Love and Logic and enforce consequences that a paid school bus driver would do when a kid gets unruly. I firmly said I will not drive someone who is impolite or hits or kicks.

    That same week, one morning he got into the van first, trying to block his brother's entry and then kicked his brother. I said he needed to get out and walk to the bus. If he hurried he could make it. He wouldn't get out of the van, and we had to go. Uh oh. At age 12, he already was as big as me, and I was not going to try to bodily get him out. I quickly thought of Plan B (I should have foreseen that I'd need a Plan B).

    So, I calmly opened the door and removed his backpack and placed it on the grass next to the car. Then I drove both boys to the bus stop. As I predicted, the boy who didn't have his backpack didn't get out and announced "then I'm not going to school".  I said, "ok". He must have been really confused.

    We came back home and I let him know I could drive him to school but I'd charge him $30 for the gas and my time, or he could stay home and I'd be phoning the school to let them know he chose not to attend. He stayed all day in his room, angry at me. But it worked! I think there was one time when he chose to pay me the money, but he had much better self control in general that year.

    I knew this would work because my son very much wants to follow rules (at least at school!) and an unexcused absence would upset him. And, I was okay with him missing some class time since he was already earning all As. If he didn't care about going to school, I would have had to think of something else like charging him money for being exhausted having to deal with his physical outbursts, or...?

    Was what I did too much? Anything I could have done better?

  4. I LOVE this! Hope it helps the fighting on other trips, too! And the $3 charge? Awesome idea! Tucking it away in case we need it some day! 

  5. I think you did great! You stayed calmed and kept it his problem! Nice job!

  6. I charge for lots of things. Money speaks to my children. LOL


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