I think I’m ready to change horses. Discipline method horses that is. For the last year and a half or so we’ve been using the methods found in the book 1-2-3 Magic. The method was an easy one to grasp and Nick and I both saw good results with it… when we used it correctly. If we strayed from the narrow path of no talking other than counting, or not counting consistently enough then things went down hill in a hurry. This summer we took a little refresher course when I brought home the 1,2,3 Magic DVD from the library. We got things back under control for the most part and then the boys turned 3, became more defiant and “independent” and things quickly took a turn for the worse. Again.
For the last couple of years, I’ve heard moms rave about a certain discipline method. I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention though for two reasons: 1, we had already agreed on 1,2,3 Magic and 2, this other program (from what I’d heard) seemed like soft parenting to me and that the kids would still run all over us. This fall, after hearing about this program some more both from other moms and then from a couple of speakers at our mom’s group, I decided it was time to bite the bullet and actually read the book that talks about the program. What a novel idea – actually reading up about something instead of just assuming you understand the program based on what others have said!
I found the book, Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood at my local library and checked it out. While I haven’t finished reading it yet (but I’m oh-so-close), I’m liking what I’m seeing so far. A couple of weeks ago (when I had finished the first couple of chapters) I decided to try to implement some of the things I had read.
As the weeks have passed, I’ve added more of the principles to my daily routine and interactions with the boys. You know what? Not only am I seeing improvement with the boys, but I virtually never yell anymore! There’s no “reason” for me to (not that there’s ever a reason unless your child is about to run into traffic or touch a hot stove). I don’t engage in their tantrums. I don’t warn them that if they keep up their behavior there will be a consequence (either natural or a little time alone in their bedroom), because the consequence is dished out immediately. I’m a more relaxed parent, and I don’t feel as emotionally exhausted at the end of the day like I was before.
Love and Logic has been a perfect partner with the Kid of the Day program, because now instead of asking a zillion questions to 3 kids, I just defer all (well, most) questions to the Kid of the Day.
I have been fascinated to watch the difference in the boys when I give them simple choices. For example, when getting ready to leave the house Nick might tell Tyler “Tyler, go use the potty and then get your socks and shoes”. Tyler will either ignore Nick or start in on the whining that he doesn’t want to go potty. However, if I say to Tyler (just 5 minutes later even) “Tyler, do you want to use the potty first or get your socks and shoes first?” he will instantly pick one (usually socks and shoes first) and do it and then do the other item without an argument! Wow!
From the above example, you can tell Nick and I have not discussed whether or not to officially change discipline programs, but I’m pretty sure I need to ask for that to happen. A relaxed, non-yelling mom is a happy mom in my book! I believe, given the chance, that Nick will enjoy this as well, and I have dozens of examples (like the one above) of how well this is working with the boys, so really how can he say “no”?