As a trained facilitator in Love and Logic, I should know better. I should know that talking less works better. Letting consequences speak for themselves is more effective than lecturing. So…I am taking a deep breath and offering some advice based on my recent mistakes.
When M. (9 year old girl) created a library in the girls’ bedroom (this involved blankets and pillows on the floor, nearly every book in the house on the bedroom floor–not a small thing. I could open a children’s bookstore.) I didn’t need to respond in exasperation. Instead of asking, “When would this ever be ok?!” Yes–I admit–I said it. I should have just let her know that I would serve dinner as soon as the mess was cleaned up. Then she would have picked up, we would have had a pleasant dinner and I wouldn’t have suffered from high blood pressure.
When K. (10 year old girl) pulled everything out of their closet and brought it all out on the floor I would have saved myself some trouble if I would have had the same expectation. That she could have free time as soon as it was cleaned up. Instead, every time I went back upstairs to check on her progress, it looked worse instead of better. No kidding! Very frustrating.
However, what Love and Logic would say is that by sparing kids from the consequences of their mistakes we rob them of a chance for learning to take place. So, I will refresh my memory and study the techniques of L & L, thereby creating a more peaceful home and more responsible kids. It’s a win-win situation!