So as part of MY training for being a Foster Parent, I (on the advice of some wonderful blogger friends, K & C), bought "Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood" (L&L for short). Let me TELL YOU!! It's HALARIOUS!! It's an easy read and I just found it soo easy to implment. I litterally found myself LAUGHING OUT LOUD!
I am a Drill Sargent Parent, I (as I said before) WANT an immediate consequence. I want what I want.. when I want it. But honestly, being the "BAD GUY" all the time.. is hard! I want to have fun with the kids too... but I also want them to have limits an be safe. And sometimes, I lose sight of the fun, and only focus on the limits and being safe. You know what, if they get hurt... it isn't that big of a deal. They will learn a lesson.. "Hmmm walking too fast on the icey sidewalk isn't a good idea. I just fell on my butt and it hurt! Next time, I will walk slower."
L&L allows the child to think and make decisions and deal with the consequences of those decisions. It allows them to take responsiblity for their actions, and best of all the parents aren't the ones imposing the consquence.. the child is!
An example or two:
#1 - In the morning getting ready for school, I have now been asking the girls "Do you want to wear your coat or carry your coat?" Yesterday "B"ella chose to carry it. When we arrived in the garage (where they leave their shoes and where its warmer than outside but definitely colder than the house) she says "Its TOLD!" and without me even asking "What do you think you should do?" she put on her coat.
Now this morning, I repeated the question, "Do you want to wear your coat or carry your coat?" "C"indy looks me perplexed and says "It's cold outside what are we going to do if we carry it?" and I just replied "What do you think you should do?" and she looked at me like I was the dumbest person she had ever met and said "I wearing my coat." I took everything in me not to just bust out laughing!! Not that I want them to think I am stupid.. but I want them to THINK! So what if she decides to carry it to the car.. she will be cold for litterally 1 minute, or decide that its too cold and put it on. No one is getting hurt in this process and she is figuring things out for herself.
here.. and here. Anyway, instead of dealing with her meltdowns I started giving her choices. Yesterday we had two instances where meltdowns were avoided.
Instance One: She left one glove in the car while going into the restaurant to eat, and started crying and stomping her way into the restaurant. I squatted so we were at eye level with each other and said "'B'ella you have two choices, you can either continuing crying and throwing a fit outside of the restaurant OR you can come sit down with us and have fun inside the restaurant. Which do you choose?" She stopped crying and said "Have Fun!"
Instance Two: When we got home she was having difficulty taking off her boots (every so often we go throught the I TANT moments, even though she did the day before). So I said "'B'ella you can either take off your shoes like a big girl and come in the house OR you can throw a fit, leave your shoes on and stay here. Which do you choose?" She calmed down and said "I take off toos. (shoes)"
So did I know what she would choose in each instance? NO! But was I okay with what she would choose, yes.. I sure hope so, because I am the one who gave her the choices. It was not oaky with me for her to continue crying and stomping around a restaurant.. she could do that outside, with me (not alone). And the same thing with the shoes. I had the door to the house open and was in the mud room watching her take off her shoes, but I didn't want to be on top of her had she decided screaming was the answer.
I am not all for promoting products on my blog, but as a "recovering" Drill Sargent Parent (I am only 2 days into the program) this book is SOO helpful and again HALARIOUS!! If you don't beleive me.. just try out the two tactics I used and see what results you get and how you feel afterwards.