Or: Hand Over the Toys and No One Gets Hurt
I’ve been reading Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood: Practical Parenting from Birth to Six Years (cheesy cover edition) for a while but the last week or so I’ve been picking up my reading and my implementation. I had to, because the Joygirl’s been testing me and sometimes I flunk.
The basic idea is that you show your child love by offering empathy, setting boundaries, and showing you can handle them testing their limits (and yours). You use logic in that you give swift, clear consequences and you are always trying to help them learn to make good choices.
I thought I knew the general idea of Love and Logic but once I got into the book I realized some of my errors/weaknesses:
- too many warnings
- emotional reactions
- too much lecturing
- too much attention given in general to bad behavior, even if it’s negative attention
- not making/helping her learn from consequences
So for example if AJ would throw a toy at my face, I might be on my last nerve and shout at her, grab another toy away, physically put her in time out, and then lecture her on how throwing things is dangerous and hurts and is not taking care of her things. Yeah, like a two-year-old cares about taking care of things. I mean, this is a being that poops in its pants.
Now if she throws something, I immediately and calmly take it and put it out of reach, saying something empathetic like “I’m sorry you won’t be able to play with this now.” (I read that I must work on banishing sarcasm. Oh, right, like I would ever use that tone of voice.)
And now, to curtail one of her favorite stalling techniques, I’ve started “you can keep the toys you clean up.” If I have to clean them up, I get to keep them.
You should see my stash.
Also new is that instead of me just giving them back whenever, she can earn them back. So when she discovered after her nap that the Fisher Price house and Sesame Street are up on the shelf, I told her since I helped clean them up I got to keep them, but she could earn them back by helping me by putting her books that are dumped on the floor back on her bookshelf. She thought that sounded fair but then wanted me to help. I said I already helped you, now you have to help me. (Cue the tantrums.) She made an attempt later on when I was in there sorting laundry but got distracted and never finished, so I still have all the goods. Looking forward to having all the books cleaned up tomorrow, because dang she loves that Sesame Street!
She’s a great kid overall but this end of the two’s has definitely been more challenging than the beginning, and the older they get the harder it is to “make” them do anything. You can’t start too early. I definitely recommend this book. Especially if you feel like your child is an angel one moment and a demon the next–or turning you into that.
You were eighty percent angel Ten percent demon The rest was hard to explain