In need of a new trick or two to put in my parenting pockets, I looked up Love and Logic on You Tube the other day. I had taken one class at a RS mtng. years ago. They have a bunch of short videos from a couple of different guys from Love and Logic,which was just enough info. for me. So the first trick up my sleeve, is what they call a generic consequence. It has been hard to get my kids to do an extra chore when they earn one, simply because I'm still working on trying to get them to do their regular chores. So when they do, or don't do something, and their behavior makes for a negative situation, I just simply say "Oh...Energy Drain!" (And I put my hands on my head like I have a headache.) Then I say "What are you going to do to put my energy back?" They always look at my like "I don't know, Mom!" If they don't offer any suggestions (which they rarely do), I say something like "Well, some kids like to scrub the bathtub, to put their mom's energy back...or some kids like to re-organize the kitchen Tupperware cupboard before they go out to play, or some kids like to just take a looooong nap, before outdoor play time." Then I ask them what it's going to be. I am amazed at how many times this just turns around their behavior completely, and they do what they need to, to fix the problem. It's great, I don't have to sit and think up an appropriate consequence, and life goes on. Another trick I found from Love and Logic, is just to have sincere empathy for them. Whenever one of my kids come to tattle on someone, or come to me because they've miraculously forgotten how to make their bed or brush their teeth, even though they do it just fine every other day...I just say "Oh, it's hard to brush your teeth, isn't it? What are you going to do?" Then I leave the ball in their court, making sure they know I care and that I am confident they can figure it out, and then I keep going about my day!" Then...if they take too long with their "pity party", I gently remind them that I am worried that if they take too long trying to accomplish this or that, I'm afraid it's going to drain my energy and they're going to have to find a way to put it back. So far...it's working pretty great! I'll keep you updated about how it goes!
P.S. I think, with our Heavenly Ladder, we are going to start everyone up at the top of the ladder, to reinforce what great kiddo's they already are, and then just move family members down the ladder, as their behavior requires. If they can stay within the top portion of the ladder (or if they at least, end up there) by the end of the week, then there is a reward. Still trying to think of rewards that are fun and not candy! Maybe a Life Skills lesson on Saturday nights, for those who've earned it! What do you think?!