Wednesday, September 3, 2008

When Everyone Works Together...

What if you used Love and Logic at home, and the grandparents bought in too, and the school system even encouraged its use providing training to teachers and staff? Imagine how awesome it would be to have a conference together about some small problem at school knowing you both spoke the same Love and Logic language and could come up with a well thought out strategic learning experience together.

Love and Logic not only offers great classes for parents... they offer "9 Essentials for the Love and Logic Classroom" as well. Lesson 1 from this curriculum focuses on the skill of Neutralizing Arguing.

"Children who learn that they can get their way through arguing and manipulation actually damage their personality development." When they see adults who can't or won't stand firm self esteem plummets. Why? Unconciously they come to believe that the most powerful people in their life have given up on them. They think, "If they can't make me behave, I must be pretty hopeless."

So what's the best way to neutralize arguing? Learn the skill of "Going Brain Dead." The minute a child or student starts to argue... stop thinking. If you think, you might be tempted to try to reason with them and they might even use your own words to trap you. Instead, softly repeat in broken record (scratched CD) style a simple phrase. "I know" works. "I"ll listen when your voice is calm" can work. I've also used, "I care about you to much to argue" and "Thank you for sharing." Any phrase works as long as it is respectful, short, and you repeat it. The one-liner should be repeated in a sincere, unemotional manner.

Experiment with this as a teacher or parent and see how it works for you. Be ready though... if you are changing a long held pattern, the child you are working with may get angry or throw a tantrum. Stay brain dead, stay calm and unemotional. Eventually the child will get tired and move on.

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