Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Love and Logic Week #4

I finally had my fourth Love and Logic class this past week. I say finally because we had a two week break due to the instructor having prior obligations. I felt like I was in limbo waiting for the class to start up again. I didn't realize how much I was depending on the instructors advice and suggestions. Lets just say I had a little list of things to discuss with her once we resumed classes! Although, all things considered, Aidan and I have been having really good weeks, with the exception of a couple of minor incidents, which are totally normal, and one rather obnoxious incident (someone let the "H" word fly..."H" as in Hate. ummmm...don't kids usually tell parents they hate them once they reach the age of 15 NOT 5?? But that is a post for another day or maybe never)

This week we focused on the "O" in the acronym C.O.O.L. O stands for Ownership of the problem. Majority of the class was spent determining when a problem isn't ours to solve and then learning techniques regarding how to help our children solve their own problems. I loved loved loved this.   The key is to ask yourself this question:  what is going to happen to me if that problem doesn't get solved?? If the answer is nothing, then it's the child's problem, not ours. So often I find myself getting caught up in Aidan's problems and I have to admit, as a parent I've always believed his problems are my problems. I'm his mom. Of course they are my problems too. Right? Wrong. This lesson really helped me sort through some of that. I worry about him making friends. Technically that is his problem, not mine. I worry about him acting out in school. His problem. I freak out because his room is a disaster area. Also his problem. And so on. Getting confused regarding who needs to solve the problem is super easy to do. In fact, I will go out on a limb here and say tons of parents do this... make their children's problems their problems. Once you've determined that the problem is your child's, you assist them in solving the problem on their own, versus doing it for them.

There are five steps in guiding your child to solve their own problem.
Step One: Empathy
  • use your empathetic phrase. Mine is "what a bummer" or "how sad"
Step Two: Send the "Power Message"
  • Ask the child "what do you think you're going to do?"
Step Three:  Offer Choices
  • Ask the child "would you like some ideas," followed by "some boys/girls your age..."
  • The key is to give a variety of choices ranging from bad to good. It's usually best to start out with the poor choice. Each time a choice is offered, go on to step four, forcing the child to state the consequence in his/her own words. This means going back and forth between steps three and four until you have stated all of the choices.
Step Four: Have the child state the consequences
  • Ask the child "and how will that work"
Step Five: Give permission for the child to either solve the problem or not solve the problem
  • "Good luck, I hope it works out for you"
I am looking forward to seeing how this will work in our house. I'll keep you posted! 

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