Earnest Parenting.com logo

Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

I’ve been pondering deeply my routine failures lately at being loving and logical when the boys disobey or are otherwise annoying. A hallmark of the Love and Logic approach is for parents to shut. up. and let kids learn from their mistakes. Shutting up? Not a strength. I like to explain things waaaaay too much and as a result the boys tune me out.

One thing I’ve learned about me is that drastic change usually results in failure. I do better attacking problems in small steps. So rather than try to change my whole approach with the boys, I need to find one issue and work on that.

But what issue? I just couldn’t figure out where to start. A lot of prayer and pondering has gone on, and today a solution presented itself.

It happened when I called Captain Earthquake and The Manager over to stand by the table. My intent was to play the Left/Right game as part of math. They adore the game and we haven’t played it in a while. The Captain headed my way quickly, but The Manager started pouting and-get this-crawling on the floor. All because I had asked him to come over to the table. He didn’t even wait to find out why I was asking.

I got annoyed because he was wasting time trying to avoid what was going to be a really fun game.
The phrase “Disobedience wastes time” popped into my head. So I said it out loud and put him in time out. No other comments or discussion, just said “disobedience wastes time….nose to the wall”. Then I engaged Captain Earthquake in a rip-roarin’ game of Left/Right. The Manager was obviously disappointed at being left out but I stood my ground and didn’t release him until his time was up. Then we played the game. 🙂

Afterwards I got to thinking, hey! That was loving and logical. I kept my mouth shut, established a boundary and let him deal with the consequences. And it makes sense. Disobedience does waste time. I’m not accusing him of anything, just stating a fact.

I’m going to try it again tomorrow.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents of disobedient children.