The fourth principle of Love and Logic: Teach them to be responsible for the consequences of their actions.
The concept is this. First allow kids to make as many choices as possible as long as it doesn't cause a problem for anyone else. Then, hope and pray they make a few mistakes because, "the road to wisdom is paved with mistakes." Finally, give a sincere dose of empathy when a poor decision is made and BEFORE delivering any consequence. (p. xxii)
- Choice: "Jenny is coming over. I love having company over when the house is clean and tidy. That shows them they are special to us.Would you like to make your bed now or in 15 minutes?"
- Child's Mistake: Half hour later and bed has not been made.
- Empathy: "Oh that is so sad. You didn't have time to make your bed. I am so sorry. I just would be so happy if Jenny come over and see such a messy house. She might not know how special we think she is.
- Consequence: I'll call Jenny's Mom and ask if she can come over another day.
Of course, the trick is not to warn, lecture, or threaten and not to back down when your child promises instant compliance or throws a fit. That's a good time to go brain dead! (see the next blog)