Friday, March 30, 2012

Review: Love and Logic

Kids should come with instruction manuals.

I think as a parent, almost every one of you can agree with that statement. Now, I want to say honestly that we don't have bad kids. For the most part, we don't get bad notes home from school, they all make good grades, and they all generally listen. But, here recently it seems our almost 12 year old daughter has gotten a little attitude about her that makes me want to rip my hair out and scream and stomp my feet. But, I'm the adult here...and that's not adult-like behavior. So I refrain. Most of the time (lol). My almost 8 year old daughter has NOT grown out of the whining stage yet and it is starting to influence my 5 year old son. And I absolutely can NOT deal with TWO kids whining. And don't get me started on the bedtime ritual. So, needless to say, combine this with  me in college full time, my husband disabled on dialysis, 3 kids playing soccer (of which two teams that my husband coaches and I'm team mom),  million other "life" things. and you get one crazy, frazzled parent. So, when my kids' elementary school sent out a notice about getting your kids to stop their bickering, start listening the first time, and a million other things, I was ALL over it!

It was scheduled over three Tuesdays over the past four weeks, and luckily this is not a dialysis day for my husband, so he was  dragged by his hair more than happy to attend with me. ;) The information that was provide was absolutely gold! I can not even begin to tell you well it is working in our household and it makes parenting fun again. I don't have to feel like I'm the "bad guy" and I've learned that letting my kids make their mistakes is actually the best thing for them. The basis is to provide a heavy dose of empathy to match the consequence therefore, making the "bad guy" their own bad decision, not the parent punishing them! Genius! The program is called Love and Logic. It has helped me to realize that my angry yelling really wasn't affecting them. They really are just thinking I'm a crazy lunatic. And now I know how to handle the situation without the angry yelling and they are the ones learning from their own mistakes, essentially giving them back the chance to gain the values they deserve. Okay, so I'm still being very vague here, so here is a few better examples, but keep in mind that these do not even begin to touch on the vast quantity (or the quality) of information from this program!
  • Bedtime. In my house, that means I yell at them to "go to sleep" for at least 30 minutes. Note that I said "at least". *sigh* But! All is not lost! The Love & Logic bedtime ritual is different...Instead of me yelling at them to go to sleep, instead I tell them to get ready for bed, brush their teeth, etc. and then they are allowed to get in their beds and either read a book, play their DS, or do any other quiet activity. The compromise is that they are not to come out of their room and they must be quiet. I don't care when they go to sleep, but they must remember that they will be getting up the same time as always and they will not be taking naps. I do expect them to behave properly at school and their grades must stay at all A's & B's. I'm sure some of you are thinking, yeah right, but believe it! All THREE of my kids are asleep at least 30 minutes after we put them in the bed. Sometimes sooner- my son has barely been making it 15 minutes! Needless to say, I'm impressed if for no other reason than bedtime is no longer a stress for me. 
  • Fighting & Bickering. This generally goes on either between my son and my middle daughter or my middle daughter and my oldest daughter. And this is one of those things that I absolutely can NOT handle. It drives me crazy insane batty. I become a mommy yelling lunatic, screaming at them to behave and stop fighting. Does it work? Never. They continue to fight and argue, and I continue to loose control. Who wins here? No one. They aren't learning how to handle themselves, and I'm certainly not portraying to them that I know how to handle myself. Instead, it comes down to removing the object and letting them know that you would appreciate if they could continue their argument somewhere that you won't be bothered by it because it is hurting your head. Again, I'm sure you are thinking, REALLY?! But, it works. Very well. And I'm not a crazy lunatic. Which is most definitely a good thing, lol.
Now that I've given you two examples of what has changed in our household, I'm sure you are wondering where you can get this information from. Well, to be honest, there is a hefty price tag on a lot of it. However, there are a lot of free resources available:
free articles
facebook page
youtube videos
Plus, check your local library, school guidance counselors, and school parenting areas! Also, Amazon offers some of the material and you can always buy it from the Love & Logic website. And I have picked up some of the books and materials in the past at some yard sales and thrift stores.

Essentially, I haven't seen anything that this program can't help you with as a parent, I only wish that I had paid closer attention to it sooner (my mother tried to tell me about it, literally, a few years ago). This program goes over the idea of how chores should be handled an whether an allowance is a good thing or not. It has articles on divorce, how to make the internet safe for your kids, and so much more. Even though this special program is over at my kids' school, my husband and I are planning to use the free resources available to us to continue to learn and revisit the values and ideas in this program to help us with our challenge of raising respectable adults out of our unruly kids. I hope you find it to be just as helpful as we have!Pin It

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