Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Gotta Put In a Plug

The month after #1 was born, my mother-by-marriage (mbm) gave me the most important book I own for Christmas.  I have read it more than any other book.  Honestly, I read it about once a year and refer to it a number of times throughout the year.  Do I need to say it?  I LOVE it!

Lately, there have been a few friends who have asked parenting questions, and I have to be honest, I feel kind of dumb answering them.  I feel like, although I have seven, I don't know all the ins and outs of parenting.  Some of that may be due, in part, to the principles of "Love and Logic."  I don't do ALL that it says, and I don't do it perfectly, but the things I have done have helped our family immensely.  It's not like a bunch of little formulas, it's basic principles that can fit with so many situations, not just with children.

One of the things it teaches is that parents should give their children choices.  Carefully thought out choices; those that will end up being win-win.  Would you like to obey me, or would you like to go to bed would not be an appropriate option.  In this case, it would be win-lose, and it would manipulate the child.  The parent has to be happy with the child making either choice.  Would  you like the blue cup or the red cup?  Would you like to sleep on your bed or on the floor, but of course, you wouldn't ask this one if you didn't want your child to choose the floor.

Through this, I have learned a lot of flexibility and have learned to be creative in solving a lot of problems.  Along the lines of the sleeping issue, one of my children was having a real hard time going to bed at night, so I started in just giving choice after choice after choice.  Once the child was in bed (actually on the floor, in a sleeping bag, with the light on), there was no fight at all.  Everything, in his mind, had been on his terms.  I had decided that none of these things really mattered to me.  If they had, I wouldn't have made them a choice.

There is always the possibility that the child will choose not to choose.  In this case, there are three choices, you can choose A or B and if you choose not to choose A or B, you by default, choose C, which is the parent gets to choose.  After having this happen a few times, my kids rarely choose C.

One thing I love about "Love and Logic" is that although the authors are not LDS, their principles go right along with what we believe about the very reason we live on this earth--to use our agency.  In following these principles, we teach children, from a young age, to value their agency and to learn to use it wisely.

This is just one of the principles in this book.  I more than highly recommend it.  If you read it, I'd love to know your thoughts.  Enjoy!

I also just found this link that gives some of the background behind being a "Love and Logic" parent.


Julia Shinkle said...

I took a love and logic class and I love all the concepts but have a hard time with follow through as a parent. I need to get my notes out and review.

Erin said...

Aww, I didn't even see this blog post before reading the one above! Yep, Love and Logic is awesome :)

Jen said...

I'm so glad you brought this up! I love Love & Logic! How easily I forget what I've learned from this class! My daughter and I have been bucking heads lately over certain issues and I realize I am trying to "force" her to choose as I would want her to. Thanks for the re-reminder to get back to these principles.

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