Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Summer Arguing....Ahhhhh! #1

For some parents June  is a combination of blessing and challenges! While it's great to have a more relaxed summer schedule, it may not take long before sibling rivalry, nitpicking, and arguing set in.

"He touched me!"

"She looked at me funny!"

"He took my..."

"It was my turn to..."

Love and Logic wisdom says that every time a child causes a problem we should hand it back to them in loving ways starting with a strong dose of empathy.  Since the goal is for the child to do more thinking about the problem then we do, one technique is to lead with empathy and then use problem solving.  (Guiding Children to Solve Their Own Problems)

Child: "She looked at me funny!"

Parent:  (with empathy)  "Oh man.  That's never good.  What do you think you can do about that?"

Child:  "I don't know."

Parent: "Would you like to know what other children have tried?"  
(This gives them a choice about whether or not to get input from you.  If they don't want it you can say something like, "Okay. I am sure you will figure out something.  In the meantime why don't you guys take this outside.  Feel free to come in when you can be calm and nice to each other.)"

Child: "I guess."

Parent: " Some kids ignore there brothers when they do that.  Some kids go play in their own rooms to get some peace and quiet.  Some kids take time to play with their brothers for awhile."  (The parents gives no more than 3 options or choices all of which would make the parent totally happy.)

Child:  "I think I'll just punch him."

Parent:  Well that's an option.  What do you think would happen if you did that?  (Help them consider the consequences.)

Child:  "I'd get in trouble."

Parent: "Yep.  That probably would not be any fun. Let me know what you decide.  (Give the child room to make their own choice.)

What if the child makes a bad choice.  The parents gets to lead with empathy and let the consequences do the teaching.  The child gets a double opportunity to learn from experience.

More on summer arguing coming soon.  In the meantime, this book would be a valuable addition to your summer reading list.  Love and Logic Magic When Kids Leave You Speechless.

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