Showing posts with label Love and Logic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Love and Logic. Show all posts

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!

Monday, August 13, 2012

What Parenting with Love and Logic Looks Like

Parenting through this crazy housing situation we have been through has been hard. We've tried to be consistent as possible but when your kids don't even have a bedroom to be sent to, it can be tough.

I have had these tidbits from a Love and Logic email saved for a long time. I like to look back at them now and then to remind myself what my parenting should look like. I thought I'd share them with you and give myself another refresher as well!

The "Love and Logic" approach should always look like the following:
  • A loving attitude toward the young person. A key principle of the Love and Logic approach is that we preserve the dignity - of the child AND the adult. Does yelling and threatening preserve kids' dignity? How about ours?
  • Shared thinking and control. Adults using Love and Logic techniques resist the urge to come up with all the answers and solve all the problems. Instead, they give kids the gift of thinking about and solving problems. They ask lots of questions and give lots of choices so kids stay in on the action.
  • Empathy before consequences and bad news. We are sad for kids and we hurt for them when they struggle. Our sadness (instead of our anger and frustration) helps them own problems and learn from the consequences. None of this works without empathy.
  • Relationships are paramount. If we are not preserving or enhancing relationships, we are not really using Love and Logic techniques.

Aahhhh, I feel more in control already! Sometimes we just need a reminder, right?

For more parenting resources and advice, visit

*Not a sponsored post! 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Parenting Tip: Questions Create Thinking

I haven't posted any parenting advice lately so I thought I'd pass on this little snippet of great insight from my favorite parenting site, Love and Logic.

At Love and Logic® we believe that kids are best prepared for the real world when we allow them to do as much thinking as possible. It's good practice for the real world, and it keeps the monkey off of our backs most of the time. Here's the problem. Do you know kids who like to keep adults doing all of the thinking? Do you know kids who are good at tricking us into doing so? How do we avoid falling into this trap? 

One strategy involves using plenty of questions! The more questions we ask, the better thinkers our kids will become. People who understand Love and Logic also understand that the human brain seeks closure. When we use plenty of questions, children's brains are so busy searching for closure that they have less energy left over for power-struggles. The more questions we ask, the fewer power-struggles we will have. 

 Kids grow the healthiest and strongest brains when they're fortunate to spend time around adults who say things like: 

 "I don't know. What do you think?" 

 "Are you sure that's the best idea?" 

 "How do you think that's going to work out for you?" 

 "Would you like to hear what some other kids have tried?" 

 "Do you think that's going to work out well or ________?" 

 "What do you think you are going to do?" 

 "Which one of these is the best solution to your problem?" 

 "Do you have enough money to pay for any possible damage?" 

 "Is that a wise decision?"

I love this advice. I love putting the questions back onto the kids and not draining myself over their problems.

Try it. You'll like it. :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Parenting: Saying No Without Saying No

It's no wonder that so many kids say "No!" as their first word. It's probably the word we say most often as parents, isn't it? I've learned that there are a lot of ways to say no to a child without using the actual word. (Mostly from Love and Logic, my favorite parenting resource.)
I think it's important to branch out and try saying no in other ways because the word loses it's meaning after awhile. It also helps kids to understand that you aren't just ordering them around with yes and no answers. It allows the child to think and then make a choice. And that is the best thing we can do for our kids! Make 'em think!

So here's a few ways to say no without letting the actual word leave your lips!

Here are a few tips from the latest Love and Logic Newsletter:
Give a choice and imply consequences: "Gee, I don't think that is a very good decision and I'm pretty sure it might work out poorly for you."
Suggest an alternative behavior without ordering it: "I think that if I were in your shoes, I would probably change my tone of voice rather than being asked to leave."

Ask for illumination (without using a witness stand tone of voice): "I've always wondered about what leads kids to be obnoxious. Can you help me understand that?"

Give a direct question: "How do you think this is going to work out for you?"
{For more advice on this and more, check out Love and Logic's site and sign up for the newsletter.}
The important thing to remember is that it is ok to say no. Sometimes you have to. But when you avoid it, the meaning of the word becomes much more respected!
You can avoid that constant "No! Don't talk like that to me!" and "No! You stop that right now!" and so on.
If we can say something that gets the kid to think and make a choice about what to do next, we have taught a lesson instead of just demanded a behavior to stop.
You can also use one liners and give enforceable statements. My favorites are "That's an option!" and "Let me know how that works out for you!"

This is also great advice for toddlers and young children. A cue other than NO can be used like "Uh-Oh!" and remove them from the thing/area/etc that you want to tell them no about.

It works! Try it! Do you have any creative ways to say no without using the actual word?

PS - Not a sponsored post!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

WINNER UPDATE! Love and Logic Speed-E Solutions..and a Giveaway!

UPDATE: Winner Announced!
The winner is...Sandy! Sandy, email me and let me know which Speed-E Solution you want!
First of all, this is not a sponsored post. I I just want to share the love! And it will make me feel better if a bunch of you say you need parenting help too.

If you have read my blog at all, you know what a fan I am of Love and Logic Parenting. I have found so many ideas and strategies from reading the books to listening to the cds. Now I have found a new way to soak up all of their parenting advice.

Love and Logic has started selling Speed-E Solutions online. You can download them in mp3 format and listen to them on your computer, ipod or phone. I just bought When Your Kids Get Defiant the other day and listened to it while at the gym.

Not because I have a defiant child. Nope. My kids are perfect little angels. I did it for blog research.


I love how easy the downloadable lessons make it to get parenting advice. It's a nice little reminder to turn on when things are getting, um, rough at home.

I wanted to share my excitement by purchasing a Speed-E Solutions for one of you! You pick which one you want and I'll buy it for you. Just tell me which one you want in the comments and why and you are entered to win!

Pick your Speed-E Solution here!

Deadline for entries is Tuesday, September 20th at 9pm. Because I'm old and that's my bedtime.

One comment per family please!

Oh, and if you want to get a copy of my favorite book, order it below! *affiliate link*

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Love and Logic Parenting: A Source of Wisdom or Resentment

Yesterday I received my Love and Logic Insider's email (sign up on their homepage to receive them yourself!) and the text hit me like a ton of bricks. This is such good advice and gives me so much to think about. I will definitely stop and think before I react more often. Trying harder, trying harder, trying harder to get this parenting thing right!
My friend, Dr. Foster Cline, is a very wise man. His presentations offer one brilliant piece of advice after another. One of my favorites is, "Every childhood mistake handled well can become a learning experience. Every childhood mistake handled poorly can become the source of resentment."
Put yourself into this situation: You are a child who "borrowed" your dad's power screwdriver. You left it out in the driveway overnight, and now it's missing.
After finally getting up the nerve to admit this to your father, he replies, "Wow! I bet you feel pretty bad about that. I'm planning to do some repair work next weekend and I'm going to need that screwdriver back or I'm going to need a replacement. Let me know how you're going to solve that. Give me a hug."
How are you feeling at this moment? What are your feelings toward your dad? Are you mad at your dad or yourself? What kind of learning could take place?
Now suppose that Dad handles it this way instead and replies, "That was really stupid. What in the world were you thinking? How many times have I told you to leave my things alone? This is the kind of thing that really makes me mad. If you don't find the screwdriver, you're going to be grounded for two weeks, and I mean it!"
How are you feeling now? If this happens to be Dad's typical reaction, how many repetitions of these interactions need to take place before resentment builds? How much learning takes place when you see the other person as the source of your bad feelings?
You can hear many of Dr. Cline's wise words on the CD Allowing Kids to Choose Success.
I love how it makes you stop and think, "How are you feeling now?" I forget to put myself in my kids shoes sometimes. If someone said the things to me that I said to my kids, I would probably hate them. 
Good parenting food for thought, isn't it?!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Love and Logic Parenting: Getting Your Kids to Think

 I have been reading and re-reading these super helpful tips from a Love and Logic Insider's Club email I've had in my inbox for weeks now. It's such good information, I knew you would want to read it!

How can we make sure that our kids are doing their fair share of the thinking? How can we keep ourselves from getting pulled into working harder on their lives than they are? How can we help them become prepared for a world full of decisions and consequences?
Replace statements with questions.
Some of the most powerful moments come when we empower kids by asking them what they plan to do about various situations instead of telling them what they need to do. The implied message we send says, "You are smart. You can come up with the answer." In my CD, Shaping Self-Concept, I teach that kids who are given this gift are far more likely to succeed in school and in life.
On top of that, the human brain has a hard time ignoring the questions it hears. It wants to search for the answers - it just can't help itself. What a gift we give kids when we get them to think versus telling them what to do.
A child who is redirected with the question, "Are you sure this is the right place for that behavior?" will respond much better than the child who is told, "Stop that!" One method invites thinking; the other invites resistance and battles for control. Which do you prefer?
In either case, we are enticing young brains to do lots of thinking by simply asking questions rather than stating "how it is." So, do your kids' brains a favor and feed them a steady diet of questions. Won't it be fun to see the smoke start rolling out of their ears?
I last wrote about the power of questions: how questions can actually divert the brain's focus. A person who is thinking in one direction can suddenly find himself/herself thinking in a totally different direction when hit with a question.
An example of this happened when Jill said to her teacher, "Well, I wasn't the only one throwing food." Her teacher responded with empathy and a question, "Oh, this is sad. Where are you going to eat now that you can't eat in the cafeteria any more?"
"Huh?" Jill's brain, driven by nature to answer questions, had to switch gears and go off in a totally different direction.
Most things we say can be turned into a question, putting us in charge of the conversation. Here are some examples of changing orders or statements into questions:
Order:  "You aren't going to talk like that in this house."
Question:  "Is this the right place for that language? Thank you."
Order:  "If you don't do your homework, you're going to get a bad grade."
Question:  "What kind of grade do you think you'll get without doing your homework?"
Order:  "You are not going to drive if you drink."
Question:  "What do you think will happen to your driving privileges if I start worrying about you drinking?"
Order:  "You guys better quit fighting over that remote control."
Question:  "Have you guys thought about what might happen to the remote if you keep fighting over it?"
Order:  "Quit that bickering!"
Question:  "Hey, guys, what do you think is going to happen if that doesn't stop?"
Another example of using a question to change a situation happened when Dr. Charles Fay witnessed three young boys on the school bus becoming rowdy. A teacher told them to settle down. They didn't. Dr. Fay went over to sit with them and asked, "Hey guys. Which one of those Pokemon figures spits fire?"
As you can guess, the entire scenario changed as these kids started answering and talking. No discipline was needed. A simple question made a huge change.

You can get Love and Logic's Insider Club emails yourself by signing up on their website.

This is not a sponsored post. I'm just a L&L nerd who loves to share parenting strategies with other tired parents. 


Friday, May 20, 2011

Fixing Kids Mistakes Part 2 - Sometimes, You Have To Help

I got some great replies to my post from the other day about fixing our kids mistakes. Thanks for that!

Just this morning I had a situation come up where I had to fix or not to fix.  Today, I chose to fix the mistake. I thought it would be good  to talk about the times when it's ok to fix a mistake our kids make and how to do it the right way.

I'm pretty good at talking about mistakes. I make lots of them. :)

So Chandler (who is 10) called me this morning. He forgot his band instrument. He asked if I could bring it to him. So I was left with the I fix it? 

How do we decide when it's ok to step in?  Here is how I do it:

First - Am I taking care of myself as a priority?  I don't want that to sound like a selfish statement. I'm all about being generous towards others and teach my kids to do so as well. But I also think it's very healthy to teach our kids that sometimes we have to take care of ourselves before jumping in to help others.

 I really don't want to raise kids who think my sole purpose in life is to run around and fill their every need and desire in life. Rushing in every single time they mess up will teach them this. I will always be willing to drop everything instantly for my kids if they really need me to. But I will also balance that by teaching them (by modeling it!) that they can not and will not always have me at their beck and call.

If I have plans with a friend for lunch, I will not cancel or show up late just to bring my son his instrument because he was irresponsible in remembering it. It wouldn't be fair to me or my friend. It wouldn't be fair to my child either in the long run. I would show him that my personal life, my time, it matters and he should respect that as well.

Second - How important is the request? Today the request was of semi-importance.  They are preparing for a concert. He has worked hard all week practicing the songs and was eager to show his teacher his progress today and try to get a solo. Which made me wonder why the heck he forgot it since he's been gearing up for it all week! Anyway, if it was something small, I probably would have said no. But today, I had nothing going on and this was important to him, so I did it.

Third - How often does this mistake happen? If this were happening every week...concert coming up or not...I would have said no. Chandler is a very responsible boy and it is rare that he forgets things. He has only forgotten his instrument one time before this whole school year (and for the record, I did not bring it to him that time!) and because I knew this was a big day for him, I was very surprised that he forgot it. This morning was a bit rushed and because of baseball going late last night, we did not do our usual prep for school the next day. I knew this was a simple oversight, not a regularly occurring case of irresponsibility.

Lastly - Nothing come without a cost! The bottom line to fixing mistakes is that it can't be for free! I would be teaching him nothing if I just brought him the instrument and never said another word. Take the time to use every mistake as a learning opportunity!

I gave Chandler the choice, yes, I will bring you the instrument, but gas is very high right now and I have to come all the way back to the school, so I'll need you to pay for the gas. Do you still want me to bring it?  He thought about it and I knew he was weighing how worth it this was to him. He decided, yes, he would pay for the gas, he really didn't want to miss band practice today. (I was SO glad he said yes! Great lesson learned today!)

Get creative with your consequences and remember to make sure that they realistically and practically relate directly to the mistake. Grounding Chandler from tv for the day would teach him nothing about responsibility.  That would be a punishment. I am not into punishing my kids. (Well, sometimes I want to but that doesn't mean I should :) )

Other options could be, I took a half hour from my day to do this for you so now I need you to make up that half hour by doing something for me...extra chores work but I've also been known to request a foot rub.

Another option would be since I missed my half hour workout at the gym today I will be going for a walk and I'll need you to stay here and do the dishes. 

See how they are all related to the fact that I took time out of my day (teaching importance of respecting other people's time) to help him?

So there you have it. The other side of the coin. Yes, sometimes we do step in and fix our kids mistakes. It can be an equally wonderful teaching moment! Just remember the word...SOMETIMES! :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fixing Kids Mistakes - To Help or Not To Help?

I've talked about it before, but I'm back to it.  I've been thinking lately about my kids' mistakes. As a parent you want to protect your kids, to help them along as much as possible. But I am finding that fixing their every mistake is only hurting them in the end.

My job as a parent isn't to catch my child every time they fall, it's to make sure when they fall, they know what to do, how to respond and how to get back up again.

This is my latest parenting technique I need to work on.

What will my son learn from more? Me bringing him his boots (that he forgot) so he can play outside at recess or letting him sit inside alone for recess?  Me nagging at him "Don't forget...don't forget...don't forget!" or letting him forget and feel the natural consequences of that irresponsibility?

Through the reading of my favorite parenting book, Parenting With Love and Logic, I am realizing that letting my kids deal with their own mistakes is what is best for them.

The price tag on mistakes right now is low. But one day they will be high. I want to teach them how to handle failures and mistakes now, while the price tag is small and we are here to remind them to put their hands out in front of them so they don't land face first.

I don't want to remain a rescuer/helicopter parent. It's not healthy for me or for them.

What do you think about fixing kids mistakes?

*Note: Amazon affiliate link included*

Friday, March 25, 2011

Love and Logic Parenting: DO IT NOW!

This week's Love and Logic Insider's Newsletter was really helpful for me so I wanted to pass it on!
I get asked often about the fact that when we do Love and Logic Parenting that it doesn't leave room for what to do when you need something done NOW and the child won't listen.  For me, Step 5 in the process shown below really seems to do the trick!

While the Love and Logic® approach doesn't teach parents to be bossy or demanding, we do recognize that there are times when we simply need our kids to help us right away. Listed below are some steps for making this happen.
Step One: Make sure that you are doing a good job of helping your kids when they ask you.
Step Two: Ensure that they have something they really value. At a later date, losing this item or privilege can be used as a consequence.
Step Three: Hope and pray that they will either refuse or "forget" to do something you ask them to do for you "right away."
(Tasha's Insight: He says this because the only real way to teach your kid a lesson, is to let them fail!) 
Step Four: In a sweet and respectful tone of voice, ask them to do something for you "right now."
Step Five: When they refuse or "forget," let them think that everything is just fine. Don't say a word. Later in the day, or possibly later in the week, say something like, "I love you so much. I've noticed that you don't think it's important to help me when I ask you to do things for me right away. The sad thing is that this shows me that you aren't really mature enough to have_______________________." (Insert mp3 player, cell phone, driving privileges, etc.)
Another strategy involves saying, "This is so sad. I love you so much. I _________________ (Insert iron clothes, drive places, buy nice snacks, etc.) for kids who help me quickly when I ask them to.”
Of course, displaying empathy, resisting the urge to lecture, and holding firm will make the difference between success and failure.

 If you want to receive helpful parenting advice like this in your email, go sign up!  
And if you want to whole book, trust me you want the whole book, you can buy it on Amazon using the links* below.

Note: This is not a sponsored post!

*Amazon Affiliate Links

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Love and Logic Parenting: The Most Beautiful Gift

If there was ever a Love and Logic Insider's Club Newsletter to share with you all, THIS is the one. I felt so much peace after reading it. My goal for Christmas has always been to teach my boys about the true meaning. About love and goodwill not presents and greed.  I really gleaned so much from these few statements and I hope you will to!

Have you noticed how much effort some folks put into finding just the right Christmas gifts for their child? I bet you know someone who doesn't think twice about spending endless hours - or even days - scouring store shelves for that awesome action figure, digital doodad, or doll their child has been wanting.
Let's think about it. Is there anything wrong with this? What's the problem with spending lots of time and energy looking for neat and nifty Christmas gifts for our kids?

Nothing. But…
What happens when we exert more energy on finding these gifts than showing our youngsters what a gift they are to us?
Ouch! I've done this. Yes, I've fallen into this trap! I've worn-out myself trying to make things perfect that I've forgotten the most perfect gift of all: the expression of never-ending, unconditional love.
We're all wired to need it. All of us yearn for a relationship with someone who will love us forever, regardless of how stinky we behave. Isn't this the greatest gift we can give our loved ones? Isn't this what Christmas is really about?
During this Christmas season, my hope is that you'll…
  • spend more time playing with your kids than you spend shopping for them;
  • remember that the gift they really yearn for is you;
  • hug them and smile into their eyes as often as possible; and
  • show them through your never-ending love what a precious gift they are.


I told you it was good! Now put down the toy catalog and go give those rascals a hug! :) 

Sign up at Love and Logic to get the Insider Newsletter in your inbox.


*Amazon affiliate link. This is not a sponsored post. Just spreading the love!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Love and Logic Parenting: You're Grounded From Your Mom

I received my Insider's Club email from Love and Logic and the title was, "You're Grounded From Your Mom".  I was so excited to read what that meant!  Could I ground my kids from me and take a night off? I think this is such an innovative way to get kids to think and appreciate their parents and I thought you all would enjoy it too! So here is what the emails said:

Fifteen-year-old Brandi has been out of control. She refuses to listen to her mother, calls her mother filthy names, won't come home on time, and has turned the home into a battleground. Mom, in desperation, called her husband at work and demanded that he do something, which he did.
Dad grounded his daughter from her mom for one week. She is not allowed to talk to her mom, and Mom is not allowed to talk to her.
"This is the stupidest kind of discipline I ever heard!" screamed Brandi. "I need my mom. She needs to cook my meals. I need her to help me with my hair. I need her to take me shopping. How is she going to answer my phone calls? I need her to drive me to school. I hate this! None of my friends have to put up with this!"
Here is a youngster who is starting to realize how important her mother is. Next week Mom plans to use that famous Love and Logic mantra, "I'm happy to do the things you want when I feel respected." This is going to be interesting.
A great example of the power of this phrase can be found in the story "Little Johnnie," in the CD by my son, Charles Fay, Ph.D., Oh Great! What Do I Do Now?
Is that a great idea or what?! I am definitely saving that for a rainy day!  Especially once the boys become teenagers, I can see that coming in handy! 
Sign up for Love and Logic's Insider's Club emails at their website HERE and join me in my quest to become a better parent! You can also purchase many of their books and CDs on Amazon, check them out through my Affiliate Link below!

*Not a sponsored post* 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Love and Logic Parenting Tip: Sibling Rivalry

If anyone knows anything about Sibling Rivalry, it's the Lehmans.

My husband came from a family of five kids.  I had two brothers.  We have three boys.

Yeah, we know sibling rivalry.

I wasn't always sure, however, how to deal with it.  Until I found Love and Logic. I listened to the Sibling Rivalry Cd over and over and over and I learned sooooo much.

If you are dealing with (or better yet, know you are going to deal with in the future) sibling rivalry, I guarantee that you will have an easier time with it if you prepare yourself with some Love and Logic tips and techniques!

So here are the points I have found that help us the most!

First of all, it will happen.  No matter how hunky-dory your kids may get along, there will be some level of sibling rivalry!

Focus on the things that you CAN control about your children's fighting, arguing and overall not getting along.  Here are a few tips from the latest L& L Insider's Club Email.

Listed below are just a few of the many things we can control:
  1. Whether we do extra things for kids who are battling with each other.
  2. It's perfectly reasonable for a parent to say, "This is such a bummer. I'm tired-out from listening to you arguing with each other. I don't have the energy to drive you to your friends' houses."
  3. Whether we allow certain items to remain in our homes.
  4. A friend of ours said to her kids, "This is so sad. Every time you guys play with that game you get in a fight. I gave it away so it wouldn't be a problem anymore."
  5. Whether we allow their fighting to interrupt our responsibilities and time.
  6. Have you ever noticed how kids tend to argue and bicker with each other when you are trying to do something that requires your complete attention such as trying to talk on the phone? If you feel secure that your kids won’t harm each other, it's probably best to say, "This is really draining my energy. You guys need to work this out or go your separate ways."
  7. Whether we give them "bonding opportunities."
  8. When your kids start to battle with each other, experiment with saying, "Sounds like you guys need some bonding time." Then assign them some chores to give them an opportunity to feel the love.
I love these tips. They are quick and easy to remember.  If you are drowning in sibling rivalry, write those points down and stick them on the fridge!  Step back from arguing with your kids and let them handle their own battles!

My favorite thing to do when my boys are fighting is to make them sit on opposite ends of the couch.  Then, they have to sit there and talk out the problem they are having. At first I had to sit in between them so they wouldn't pummel one another and I helped them talk things out, taught them how to voice what they wanted and then offered suggestions on how to solve the problem.  Now, they can usually handle it on their own.   Even at 5 and 6, Charlie and Chase can problem solve! It's wonderful!  

But it hasn't come easily and it was WORK.  But the end result is so worth it!  

So when I see them fighting, all I have to say is "To the couch!" and they know what to do.  Then, if no agreement can be made or they refuse to talk or calm down, they just sit!  Doesn't bother me!  They are each responsible for when the other can get up.  So, Chase decides when Charlie is done sitting and Charlie decides when Chase is done sitting.  Once in awhile, one will get ridiculous and say, "I am NEVER letting you get up!" And I may have to step in, but generally, they both agree when it's time to get up and let each other off the hook.  It works!  The fight usually ends in agreement or at least a, "Let's just forget about it and go play something else."  Which works for me too!

So be bold with your ideas and make your kids responsible for their own behavior when it comes to sibling rivalry!  Don't step in to every argument they have.  You will just wear yourself out!  Set limits, control what you can and step back and let them do the work!

Never work harder on your child's problems than they do!!!

This is not a sponsored or paid post.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Love and Logic Parenting Tip: Aren't There Enough Unpleasant, Rude People in the World?

This is this week's Love and Logic Insider's Club email. I love the subject matter of this one. Raising kind and respectful kids is top priority to me and I've mentioned before that the best way to raise a child like that is to be an adult like that! Here is what the email said about it:

"If there weren't enough pleasantness-challenged people in the world, there might be a good reason for creating more of them. But, as you've probably noticed, there seem to be plenty.
Mary is doing her part to increase the ratio of world niceness to nastiness. She also knows that nice kids are more likely to choose nice nursing homes for their elderly parents. As a result, she's careful to demonstrate niceness to the teller at the bank, to the mail carrier, to the grocery store checkout clerk, etc.
Mary has a secret: she doesn't always feel like being so pleasant to every one of these folks. Sometimes, she'd just as soon nod, grunt, or ignore them altogether. But Mary has her precious little daughter Shelby in tow as she goes to all these places and sees these individuals.
From my son's DVD, Painless Parenting for the Preschool Years, Mary was reminded that important values such as respect are "caught" by little ones through the powerful force of modeling. She could spend lots of time telling Shelby to be nice, but she has learned that it is far more effective to show Shelby exactly what it looks like.
Shelby has even learned to say nice things and smile as they progress through their day. And even at her young age, little Shelby has noticed that people seem to be happier around Mommy, and they often tend to be nice right back. Can you imagine the advantage Shelby might have when she's making friends or interviewing for jobs some day?
If only more moms and dads set out intentionally to model courtesy and respectfulness for their kids when they were driving, running errands, and interacting with other human beings. It just might work better than yelling, "Hey! You be nice!", when they are less-than-sweet."

So get out there and be an example of kindness and respect to your kids and to others!

The world thanks ya!

*Amazon Affiliate Link

Monday, September 27, 2010

Love and Logic Parenting Tip: Getting The RESPECT You Deserve

I receive the Love and Logic Parenting Insider's Club newsletter (which I LOVE, by the way) and I got this little tid-bit in my inbox the other day. I just loved what it said and wanted to share it with you!  I added a few of my own thoughts in italics. Cause I like to get in the last word and stuff.

Do your kids wipe their feet on you like a doormat? Do you ever find yourself grieving because you've lost the dream of having kind, appreciative kids?

You're not alone, and there are steps you can take to begin turning things around.

* On a daily basis, remind yourself that you deserve to be treated with the same level of respect with which you treat your kids. (This means you should be, you know, respecting your kids)
Maintaining this attitude of self-respect gives us the intestinal fortitude to expect respect in a respectful way.

* Don't move on until you've neutralized arguing. (For the love of all things good and holy, DO NOT ARGUE WITH YOUR KIDS)
This means repeating something like, "I love you too much to argue," instead of getting pulled into a debate.

* When you become good at neutralizing arguments, begin setting small yet completely controllable limits.
Pick small issues that you have total control over. Then set limits you are prepared to enforce. For example: "I'll get that for you when I hear 'please.'" (It's easy to forget to respond to bad behavior because you are used to it, like when someone screams, "Get me water!" you do. Don't do it! EXPECT better behavior! Be on guard!)

Since you've already mastered the ability to stay out of arguments, you'll be prepared for your child's reaction.

* Remember to model an assertive, respectful and empathetic attitude.
When we've been treated badly by our kids, it's easy to fall into the trap of providing consequences with a "get-even" attitude. If we do, our kids will sense this and rebel. (ie: I'll give you something to cry about it ain't gonna cut it, try instead: "Ohhh, this is so sad. When you can speak to me nicely I'll be happy to listen to you." and walk away from the smart mouthed kid before your urge to slap 'em upside the head emerges. What?!)

* Begin to set progressively larger limits.
When our youngsters begin to see that we can handle smaller situations without backing-down or losing our cool, it becomes easier to set and enforce limits over big issues. (practice makes perfect!)

The key to rebuilding respect from our kids involves proving to them that we can handle them without getting frustrated or angry. In my CD, Oh Great! What do I do now?, I provide more practical tips for making this happen. (Totally in love with these CDs. Get one or two or all of them)

What do ya think?! Pure gold, isn't it?!  This isn't a paid post, by the way.  I just truly love Love and Logic Parenting and what it has done for us! Hope you learned something too!

But if you DO want to buy the book, use my little Amazon Affiliate links to the side there or the button below and I'll get like 20 cents! I live large, people.

The end.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Love and Logic Parenting Tip: You Can't Make Me!

I think it's one of the most dreaded statements a parent can hear come out of their child's mouth.


It sends shivers up your spine, no?  I think the reason the shivers appear at the sound of it is because we know....they are right!  We can't make our kids do anything they don't want to do.

I mean, we can try.  We can threaten them within inches of their life and give them the "mommy glare" and they might do what we ask of them with a chip on their shoulder and a mumble under their breath.

But the more and more I attempt at honing my parenting skills, the more I realize that I just don't want to be that kind of parent.  Because, one day, one day not that far from today, the mommy glare will not work.  They will be too big for me to put over my knee.  They will be mini adults making grown up decisions.  Those are the moments, the should I try this alcohol even though I'm underage moments, when they are far from my gaze and all they have is my voice inside their head, their own thoughts and ideas about choosing right and wrong.

I can not make them choose the right thing why should I try to make them do it now?

Are you seeing what I'm getting at here?   Every single day, the price tag of the mistakes our kids make gets more expensive.  Today we teach them to choose the right thing and share their toys, in a few years they choose the right thing and decide to not share the cigarette with a friend.

Yes, I think it is that simple.

So here are some tips on changing your behavior so you can teach your child that life is full of choices and there are consequences, both good and bad, to follow those choices.

*Always give options.

This has to be the simplest thing you can do for your child.  Giving options, even small ones, gives your child a sense of control.  Take control away from a human being and you have a robot.  Take control away from a toddler and you have a tantrum waiting to happen.  I don't want little kid robots.  And I've done enough years of tantrums to tell don't want those either.  I want responsible human beings with good decision making skills.  So teach them, teach them how to make good choices.  How?  Give options:

"Would you like to go the bathroom now or after you get on your pajamas?"

These little spurts of decision making for little ones, shows them that you know they know how to make choices.  As they grow, the options become larger:

Would you like to wake up with an alarm or are you going to just hope you wake up in time for school?

And then....oh God help me...

Would you like to pay for the car insurance all up front or in a monthly fee?

Inevitably, you will ask one of these questions and the answer will be: NEITHER...AND YOU CAN'T MAKE ME.

...deep breaths...

Your response?

You are right, I can't make you do anything.  So I will give you another choice:

Then you pull out the big guns:

That's fine if you do not want to go to the bathroom before bedtime, but if you wet the bed, you will have to clean the sheets and blankets in the morning...and a new mattress costs about $50 or the equivalent of (insert expensive, favorite toy here).  So that's decide.

Would you like to ride the bus for free or would you like to pay me $3 to pay for the gas to bring you to school? (works great for kids who oversleep or lolly-gag and always miss the bus)

Let me know when you decide about how you are going to pay the insurance, until then, I know you can figure out a way to get to and from all of your school and sports obligations

And then either, A) They will see that you are not giving in and will make a reasonable decision or B) They will keep fighting you.

What do you do?  You got it, more options:

If your bed wetter still insists on not going to the bathroom, let them go to bed.   Yes, let them.  When they have an accident in the morning...DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT, give in.  Follow through..
"Uh-oh, looks like you wet your bed.  Let me know when you get all of the sheets pulled off the bed and I will start the washer for you.  Then you can decide how you are going to pay me for the damages to the mattress." 

"Looks like you missed the bus. How would you like to pay me for the gas that it will take for me to drive you to school today?  Your allowance or your birthday money you have saved?"

"I'd be happy to drive where you need to go if you'd like to pay me for the gas, otherwise, here is the number to the local taxi service, but remember, they only accept cash, so be prepared for that."

Get creative with the consequences, use what will work for your kids, what will motivate them.

But make sure it makes sense for the crime. 

Taking away the tv from a 3 year old will not teach them how to follow the bed time routine without having a fit.  But making them give up their favorite toy for damage payment and miss Curious George in the morning because they are too busy stripping blankets off their bed every morning might.

Grounding a child for a month  for missing the bus repeatedly does not teach them how to get up and get themselves ready on time every day. But making them use their birthday money that they have been saving towards a new video game might.

Allowing your teenager to skip out on the insurance while you cover their butt while saying, "you owe me one" will not teach them responsible vehicle management.  But making them tak a cab or (gasp) walk to school and extra curricular activities until they pay might.

More tips:  

Don't argue in between option giving.  Give them options clear and straight forward.

If you get upset, walk away, tell your child you will discuss it when you are both calm. 

OR, make the bed wetter wear pull-ups, let the middle-schooler get an unexcused absence and support the school's discipline actions for skipping school, don't allow the teenager to drive the family car if he can not afford to pay the car insurance on their own vehicle.

Get tough, be firm, show them that you say what you mean and you mean what you say.  When they can not make reasonable decisions, make them for them.  Not with anger, not with judgment, in a very simple, matter-of-fact a decision needs to be made so I will make it for you way.

Sure, these options may seem harsh, but life isn't a cake walk.  No one makes my husband get up and go to work in the morning.  Sure, if someone stood over him, threatening to beat him if he didn't, he'd go.  But he doesn't go because he has to.  He goes because he wants to.  He wants to provide for his family, he wants to pay his bills, he wants to do the right thing.

There are plenty of people in this world who do not get up and go to work because they simply do not not want to.  They'd rather mooch off their parents and friends, rack up an unhealthy amount of credit card debt and dig themselves into a hole of self loathing and "Why doesn't anything good ever happen for me".  You can imagine that their parents did not teach them cause and affect with real life consequences.

So stop trying to MAKE your child "obey you or else".  Start giving option after option after practical option. Make the decisions theirs.  Make the problems theirs. 

LOVING the ideas I'm getting from this book. It's saving my life, and I'm not just saying that because they sent me a free book and if you click on the link below and buy it I will make like 30 cents. Promise.  I really can't enough good things about it!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Love and Logic Parenting: Getting Kids To Think

I'm signed up for the Love and Logic Institute's Insider's Club newsletter which is like a little gold nugget of parenting advice in my inbox every week. This week's was a quick note and reminder about getting kids to think. It was such awesome insight and I wanted to share it with you!

So here is an excerpt straight form the email. I'd really encourage you to sign up for the emails yourself!!

Have you ever stopped to think about what a blessing it is to be a good thinker? Now I'm not necessarily talking about being a genius or intellectually gifted. I'm mostly referring to being able to use good problem-solving skills and good old-fashioned common sense.

As this world becomes ever more complex and temptation-laden, it becomes more and more important that we teach our kids how to build their mental muscles. Listed below are some quick tips:

* When your kids ask you for help with something, encourage them to try a bit longer before you jump in to help them. The only way to really learn good thinking skills is by having to figure out some things on your own.

* Ask them as many questions as possible. Examples include, "What else might you try? What have you seen other people do to solve this problem? What would happen if you tried_________? Where might you learn how to do that? Is that something you could learn about in a book, by asking someone, or by looking on the internet?"

* Allow them to mess up. Too frequently, we step in and tell kids exactly what to do when we worry that they might make a mistake. When the consequences are small, allow them to blow it and learn.

Now that is some awesome insight right there!  If you'd like to read more, check out my favorite parenting book, Parenting With Love and Logic over at my Amazon Store!

I was not paid to say any of this, I just really love me some Love and Logic. :)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Love and Logic Parenting: The Difference Between Praise and Encouragement

So I'm making my way through the book Parenting with Love and Logic and learning so much!  I wanted to share a few points about Praise vs Encouragement that I thought was really interesting and has changed the way I encourage my kids!

We all want our kids to grow up with a healthy self image.  We want them to be confident and feel good about themselves when they do something well and when they fail miserably.

The problem with praise is that sometimes we over-use it.  We want so badly to encourage our children, that we do it all wrong!  Have you ever praised your child for a job well done even though they didn't do well?  We all do it...we feel bad that they failed but we know they tried hard so we say, "Good job!"  The kid is sitting there thinking, "Did he just watch the same basketball game that I played?  Cause I was terrible today!"  The child then begins to wonder what other things you say "just to be nice".

As the book says, "In the end, false praise almost always leads to disrespect."

Now, we shouldn't respond with, "Well that was terrible, what were you thinking when you took that shot?!"

But we shouldn't be corny, cheesy or insincere either.

Respond with questions and statements that let your child come to their own conclusions about themselves.  Then back them up with encouragement.

Adult: "That was quite a game.  How do you think you did today?"
Child: "Terrible, I missed every shot I took."
Adult: "Why do you think that is?"
Child: "I don't know, I don't want to talk about it." or maybe you'll get lucky with "Maybe I should practice more?"
Adult: "Well I'd be happy to help if you like, just let me know!  In the meantime, just keep trying your best."

Ask a question, the child comes to his own conclusion and then you offer help and encouragement as needed.

See how much better that is than false praise and cheesy cheer-leading?

Also, making statements like this are a big no-no:

"Wow!  Look at these grades!  You must be the smartest kid in class!"

What your child hears is, "Being smart in my parent's eyes equals having perfect grades.  Anything less than perfect is not acceptable to them."

Trade that for:

Adult: "So I looked at your report card, what do you think about those grades?"
Child: "I feel good about them, they are good grades!"
Adult: "I feel good about myself when I work hard at something too!  Good for you for trying your best!"

What your child hears is,  "My parents understand how hard I worked to get good grades and they are proud of me for trying my best."

Another example:  Acting overly happy about every little thing your child does. Look Mommy!  WOW, that is amazing!  Look Mommy!  WOW, you are just plain awesome!  Look Mommy!  EXCELLENT!

Sure, you mean well, and by all means, we should give our kids a little praise here and there.  But there is nothing healthy about a child who expects exuberant praise over every. little. thing.

A healthy way to encourage your child is to make encouraging statements when they least expect it.  Not overly cheesy comments, just statements.

Your child's room is clean.  You walk up to them when no one else is around, give them a little pat on the back and quietly say, " I noticed that your room is clean."  Give a little smile and walk away.  They feel good about a job well done, they know you noticed and that your praise was sincere.

You can also do this method just to let your child know that you notice them in general.  Your child is drawing quietly.  You walk up behind them and quietly say, "I notice you like drawing!"  And walk away.

Letting your child know that you "notice" things when they are not expecting it shows them that you notice them, their efforts and that you are proud of them without be insincere!

The book also notes a very important point about self esteem:

Positive Self Esteem Comes From Accomplishment

"The final steps of forming a positive self-concept as our kids grow is an inside job - it is something kids have to do for themselves.  It comes from working hard and accomplishing good things.  No amount of stuff or praise can build a resilient self image for children.  Oddly enough, kids don't feel good about themselves when we do everything we can to keep them happy or give them everything they want.  They have to sweat a little and earn things for themselves."

Makes so much sense, doesn't it?  Take a moment to think about how you praise your kids and remember the golden rule.  How do you like to be encouraged?  False "feel-good" praise or sincere acknowledgment and encouragement?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Love and Logic Parenting - Letting Your Kids FAIL

That title is a tough one, isn't it?  Just the thought of it makes me want to throw this book in the garbage.  But the wisdom in the idea of letting our kids fail is so deep, I just have to make myself embrace it and let the helicopter land for a bit.

As I continue to read Parenting with Love and Logic I am finding myself so much stronger in my confidence as a parent.  It really feels so good to have practical ideas and thoughts about parenting in my Mommy tool belt.  Here are a few thoughts about letting your kids fail that I read recently.

The basic idea here is that unless we allow our children to fail, we can not allow them to choose success.

Love and Logic helps kids raise their odds of becoming thinking individuals who choose success.  As parents, this means that we must allow for failures and help our kids make the most of them during their elementary school days, when the price tags are still reasonable.

We can hurt a little as we watch them learn life's lessons now, or we can hurt a lot as we watch them grow up to be individuals unable to care for themselves.

These are all points that I took straight from the book.  It's like gold, isn't it?  Here are my thoughts:

When I do not allow my children to fail, I am teaching them that no matter what happens, Mommy and Daddy will always fix your problems for you.  Whether it's a broken toy at 6 or a crashed car at 16, I want my kids to know that they can handle their problems and that Mom and Dad will always be there for them as support.  Does that make sense?  Let's see an example:

Chase breaks a toy due to, let's say, extreme boy behavior.  He comes to me crying, "I broke my toy!"  my response could be:

"Oh, that's just terrible! Here, let me see it, let me see if I can fix it. OH NO.  I can't fix, I'm so sorry!"
Chase falls into heaping mess on the floor, screaming.
"Oh, honey, don't cry!  Here, look, Mommy will ask Daddy to fix it, Mommy will keep trying, Mommy will buy you a new one, do you want a cookie to make you feel better? Please don't cry my sweet little gum drop sugar plum angel face baby boy."


"I broke my toy!"
"Oh, no, how did that happen?"
"I was throwing it and it just broke!"
"Oh, that's too bad.  When I get too rough with my stuff, something bad usually happens too.  What are you going to do about it?"   (note: this is said with true empathy and love, NOT sarcasm)
"I don't know, YOU fix it!"
"I'd be happy to help you out with this problem when you speak to me nicely."
"Mommy, would you please help me fix it?"
"Sure, let me see here...oh, I'm so sorry, it doesn't look like it is something that I can fix."
Chase falls into heaping mess on the floor, screaming.
"I can see how upset you are about this.  When you are ready to calm down, let me know and you and I can work together to figure out a solution to your problem."
So when he becomes calm, we will talk about ways to get the toy fixed (ask daddy, use his saved money to buy a new one, chalk it up to a lesson learned and talk about not being too rough with our toys).

The consequence?  The broken toy.  If it was a toy he liked, that is a big enough consequence on it's own.  If it was not and he continues to show careless behavior with his toys, we may need to have this conversation:

"Mom, where are my toys?"
"Ohhhh, it's kind of a bummer..."
"Since you are having a hard time remembering to be gentle with your toys, I took them away for a couple of days, you know, to protect them.  I'm sure you'll find something else to do for now."

So the first example is maybe a bit exaggerated, but really not too far from some of our truths, is it?

The second example is me showing empathy and placing the problem back into Chase's hands.  I did not make it my problem. I did not rescue him.  I did not fix it for him.  Sure sometimes, we do need to step in, that's common sense.  But if we raise our kids with the idea in their heads, "If I screw this up, how am I going to fix it?" as opposed to "I'm not going to worry about the consequences, Mom and Dad will just take care of this later (like they always do).  For now, I'm just gonna have some fun!"  Well, it's easy to see how they will respond when the problem is:

"MOM, I just crashed my car."
"Oh, no, are you ok, what happened?"
"Yes, I'm fine.  I was driving too fast/being careless/changing the radio station/etc"
"I'm so glad you are ok.  Don't worry honey, I'm sure you know how to handle this.  Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you."

I know, I know, easier said than done, and I don't have teenagers yet.  But I was a teenager once and I did watch my poor parents deal with two teenage boys, so I can really see where this mind set will work if started early enough with our kids.

Another thought... don't rush in to prevent mistakes.  Let them get the answer wrong on heir homework once in awhile.  How about instead of stressing yourself out about that report due in two days that your middle-schooler forgot about, you let them get a failing grade and as a result, can not play school sports until the grade is raised.  GASP, I know.  That's not a bad parent, that's a parent teaching their child responsibility.

So what do you think?  I'd love to hear your thoughts on this and we can all use some more ideas and advice!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Love and Logic Parenting - What Kind Of Parent Are You?

The wonderful people at Love and Logic sent me their book Parenting with Love & Logic by Foster Cline and Jim Fay.  The book is all about teaching children responsibility and in the mean time, if I might I add, saving your life!  I dove right into the book as soon as it came in the mail and spent a lot of time on the second chapter where it discusses the different types of parents.  I thought it would be interesting to share those parenting types with you and see exactly where do we all fit?  My eyes were truly open when I read this and got honest with myself about my parenting.  NO WONDER things have been difficult with my children.  We were doing it all wrong!

The Helicopter Parent:
This type of parent thinks loving your children mean revolving your life around them.  You are constantly meeting their every need, correcting every mistake and "protecting" them from everything and everyone.  You make sure your child never experiences disappointment.

Children of Helicopter Parents grow up to become "wanderers" who are unable to think for themselves, makes decisions or handle problems on their own.

The Drill Sergeant Parent:

This type of parent believes that a child should be TOLD what to do.  Your child will listen...OR ELSE.  The parent always thinks for the child and in doing so teaches them, "You can't handle this, so I'll handle it for you." and "You can't think for yourself, so I will think for you."

Children of Drill Sergeant Parents become followers.  When they are away from their parents, they will look for anyone to TELL them what to do.

The Laissez-Faire Parent:

This type of parent is so confused about what to do when it comes to discipline and often lives in parental guilt.  So they become too lenient and let the child do whatever they want, whenever they want.  There are no boundaries, lots of threats and no real consequences for bad behavior.

Children of the Laissez-Fair parent are spoiled brats.  Period.  We all know what kind of adult they can become. *yikes*

The Consultant Parent:

This type of parent involves their child in decision making.  They ask questions and give choices.  They do not TELL their child what to do, they TEACH them to make good decisions.  They establish options within limits.  

Children of the Consultant Parent become confident in making decisions and weighing out consequences.

So, what type of parent are you?

I admit, I am was a Helicopter Parent.  I have been trying for some time now to back off.  To let my kids make decisions, to give choices, to let them fail.  It has been hard, but so rewarding as I watch my boys learn how to behave, how to choose.

I will speak for my husband, Matt, and say that he is a Drill Sergeant Parent.  He says jump and he wants them to ask, "How high?"  But we are learning together that both of our ways of parenting are simply not the way we want to parent anymore. We have to be on the same page and we have to work at changing the way we react to our children and instead respond to the situations before us.

Did you catch all of those very important bold words? 

I think it's also very interesting to note that the different ways my husband and I like to parent are the ways our parents parented us!  (Not that you all did a terrible job, Moms and Dads, I think we turned out pretty darn good.)

Also check out Love and Logic's book Helicopters, Drill Sergeants and Consultants: Parenting Styles and the Messages They Send By Jim Fay.

My next Love and Logic post will be about letting our children fail.

Oh it's gonna be good.

Disclaimer: Love and Logic sent me this book free of charge in turn for my honest review. Because I love it SO MUCH, I will be posting weekly Love and Logic ideas and thoughts to share with all of you instead of one review.  Also, the product links used above are my Amazon Affiliate links, which means I will make money if you purchase those items through my links.  So, you know, do that.  :)