Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Love & Logic... w/responsibilities (this is a long one)



Things with L&L have been going really well with us... though we have our bad moments where we have no desire to issue choices and logical consequences- but those moments are few and far between. Tonight Damien had a bit of a frustrating moment during bathtime- which is a typical time for either of us to be frustrated. 9 times out of 10 Deacon will give us a really hard time when it's "washing day"- he really doesn't like washing day for some reason. Damien walked into the bathroom tonight and calmly reminded Deacon it was washing day and after giving him a 2 minute warning proceeded to get the process started- which was about the time Deacon had a minor panic attack. Damien immediately got defensive and told Deacon that it was washing day and his time for play was up... it was time to wash- which sounds reasonable, but to a 3 year old who wants control of the situation, Damien pushing and not giving Deacon any control was not helping. Instead of listening to escalating situation I pulled Damien away... he was visibly upset w/Love & Logic and said that while he loves the book and concepts, the book needs to do a better job helping us figure out choices to give our kids... because in the heat of the moment he can't think of choices- and I agree, it's HARD to think of those logical choices when you're frustrated. But when we talked about it we both agreed that we should ASSUME that we will need to give MANY choices on washing day- since it is rare that Deacon will wash without a fight. So we might as well have these choices ready to go from the start... so when Damien went back in there with a new attitude Deacon's response to him did a complete 180... it was amazing how smooth the process went from there.

Anyways, we have also decided (with the encouragement from a good friend) to start a responsibility chart with Deacon... he's at an age where he's asking for things like visits to McDonalds, the movies, etc... and I think that instead of just giving in to those things he should start earning them- same with money. So we chose 5 responsibilities for him to do daily- the key is to keep them simple and manageable for a 3 year old. The goal is for him to feel accomplished while also helping out around the house a bit- it should be EASY for him to get a star in each category. Each day he has multiple chances to do these jobs, though none of them are EVER forced. It is his choice to do a job and earn his quarter at the end of the day and weekly reward- I am not going to fight him on this.

Here's where the L&L comes in... the other day he had no desire to brush his teeth - fine with me. I encouraged him a number of times but he kept pushing back- eventually I said ok, because I wasn't going to hold him down and stick a toothbrush down his throat. So I let him know that it was time to pick out one book and get in bed to snuggle... he said "no, I get 3 books at bedtime"- to which I said, "yes, that's when you brush your teeth and go potty... you get 1 book when you choose not to do your bedtime routine." He agreed with that and still didn't want to brush his teeth... after stories he got up to take a loop off his countdown to Christmas star- and I let him know that doing that was also a privilege of completing bedtime routine... so until bedtime routine was complete he wasn't going to get to do that- that's when he decided to brush his teeth, LOL. After he brushed his teeth he got a HUGE hug, a "great job," and got to do his loop, get his quarter and read two more stories. The key was to stay calm, not getting mad at the choices he was making and continue to encourage good behavior.

Whew... this is long. I hope a few of you have lasted this entire time with me. Anyways- he LOVES his resonsibility chart and is so proud of himself and the stickers he sees. His responsibilities are:
1. Pick up toys
2. Help w/Milo
3. Help w/ dishses
4. Bedtime routine
5. Turn off t.v.
6. Be happy

4 comments:

Adrianne said...

I read the whole thing and am inspired... Maybe we should try this with Cole!

T- said...

Awesome job Momma!

Martha said...

WOW!!!

Hi. I'm, Maddy. And you are? said...

EXCELLENT!!!! I think you guys are doing a great job with consistency (which is key!) Way to go!!! I might have to start a responsibility chart.