Friday, November 28, 2008

A Home or a Hotel?

Are you running a home or a hotel? How will your children know?
  • Does a mysterious maid service clean up all their messes?
  • Is room service available?
  • Are electronic ammenities readily available in room with somome else paying the bill?

No parent heads down this road on purpose. When children are little you have to do some things for them. Later, there are times when it is faster to do it yourself or maybe you just want it done a certain way and a child's attempt may be imperfect. Think yellow flashing warning light here! A little careful instruction, some careful praise and side by side effort now will lead to perfect jobs later. It's never to late to invest in your child's future.

Intentionally involving everyone who lives in the home in being a contributing member of the family is a real self esteem builder in the long run. It also makes your children into good guest at the homes of othersbetter students throughout their school years, and good employees later on.

So, with the holidays coming up, what chores can be accomplished by others. Could small hands carefully unwrap ornaments or detangle and test lights? Can they set the table for dinner and clear it away afterwards? Could they make favors for each placesetting for a holiday dinner?What part of meal preparation can they help with... basic cooking skills are always a plus! The general rule of thumb is never do anything alone that you could have involved others in helping you with (even if it is faster and easier to do so).

And don't forget Love and Logic basics like

  • Offer choices: Do you want to set the table before dinner or make baked potatoes in the microwave so I have time to set the table?
  • Use enforceable statements: Feel free to watch Tv as soon as the table is cleared and the dishwasher loaded.
  • Lead with empathy: You're tired? That's so sad. \

I would so love to hear your ideas on this!


  1. I have four little boys under 5 and trying to change my parenting to use more empathy. If I said "You're tired? That's so sad" to my son though, he would know I am lying because it is not sad at all if he is tired. Being tired is just a part of life. I'd love these boys to grow up strong men who can empathize, but saying "That's so sad" for his complaining sounds wimpy and untrue for us. Do you have any other examples that I might be able to use?

  2. The Love and Logic books and curriculum offer lot's of different options. Any empathetic phrase will do but L&L says to use the same one all the time as over time this will cause a neural pathway to grow and your child will associate your phrase with a need to change behavior. As long as it is said with true empathy... "Oh No", "Oh Oh", "Oh Man", "Bummer" or even just a sound like "Mmmm". I use "Rats."

    Hope this helps! Jill :)


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