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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

I still haven’t written my mega post on the Love and Logic approach.  I will, I promise.  I have tons to say about it.   I think it will be easier to discuss if I have some examples already posted, so this is my next one.

A big issue for me is getting impatient when the boys make a mess out of carelessness.  It’s funny.  When there’s an honest accident that couldn’t be helped, I’m calm and cool as an ice cube.  If they were being crazy and knew better, I start getting all riled up.   The problem with that is, if I’m going on and on about their shortcomings in life then I’m putting garbage in their heads that isn’t easily removed.

I think it was the Bucket incident that helped me the most in changing my response when faced with difficult situations.   I don’t remember to do this all the time, but I’m trying.

Here’s what I do:  When I discover a mess that was caused by carelessness, first I find out who made it.  Then I say in my most cheerful yet not sarcastic voice something like “Well!  You’ve just won the (insert cleaning job here) prize!!”

For example, today The Mercenary cut up some strawberries on the counter.  He didn’t bother to use a cutting board (grrrr) and he left bits of strawberry on my pale colored counter to work their staining magic.   So.  I asked the masses who already had had strawberries.  The Mercenary raised his hand.  I swung into action.  “Well!  YOU’VE just won the clean the strawberries off the counter prize!!!”

He knew better than to waste time and win any more prizes, so he cleaned up the mess and was on his way.

Just now he got out a project to do on the counter that is usually messy and (gasp) got out a cutting board to catch the mess.

Today’s score: Adults 1 – Kids 0

Earnest Parenting: tips on using the Love and Logic technique.

Image courtesy of visual.dichotomy via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.