Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Love & Logic!

Even though I have this blog and I decide what to write I try not to make my life sound all rosy. Life is life and it's messy sometimes. This is my online scrapbook and I want it to be real. I've been very open about my struggle with depression and I think it's helpful for me to get my feelings out and if it might be helpful to someone else that's great too! 

A couple weeks ago it was tough...for some reason my emotions were thin and I was wearing them on my sleeve. The kids were being kids and were on my every last nerve. I felt like I was spirally out of control and drowning all at the same time. Come Friday night I had yelled at the kids...and used some choice words and I knew I was at the breaking point. I came down and told Michael that I needed to get out of here. Now I'm not one to run away from my problems, but when it gets to the point where you think you are ruining your kids it might be a good time to take a step back. I texted my mom and talked with her and we made plans for me to come down the next day and spend the night. I could probably haven't gotten in the car that minute and gone down, but I didn't want to leave the kids on a negative note. 

The next morning was's always better when I know Michael isn't going anywhere...he's my anchor. We had a good morning and it felt nice leaving the kids that's way. I told them that I was going to spend sometime with my mommy. 

Mom and I had good talks and we went shopping. Don't you love shopping therapy? Not that I got anything exciting...a plastic planting barrel, toothpaste for the kids and beads for a MOPS craft don't really count as exciting, but still shopping without kids is always a dream! 

Right before I headed out the door to go to my parents house I stumbled across our Kindle...Ella had put it in one of her purses. I decided to take it along in case I wanted to read. My friend Natalie had talk about the Love & Logic book on Wednesday and I got it on my Kindle from the library that very day. On Sunday after sleeping in I decided I should try to read it. 

Front Cover

I sat down on the couch and in about 3 hours had finished the book....all the while makes notes about what to tell Michael when I got home. I was sure this was going to help out at home with a lot of issues that were happening. 

I stayed at my parents until around 3pm and then headed home. At first I wasn't going to put into practice any of the things I learned until I talked with Michael first, but a situation arose and I just handled it. Zeke threw a marble at the neighbors car....Owen said it chipped the paint, but I don't think he threw it that hard. I just went over to him and said...."Uh oh, that's so sad....looks like you need a little room time" Then I scooped him up and took him to his room. I asked him if he wanted the door open or shut...he wanted it open and then I told him he could come down when he was ready to play nice. That was it! He stayed up there and in fact he fell asleep since he didn't take a nap. 

Then I started using more of the techniques and telling Michael about them as I went. I started making "deposits" into my kids by giving them choices. Do you want to put the kids plates at the table or the adult plates? Do you want milk or juice? Do you want me to pour your milk in your cup or in your mouth? Being silly is always an added bonus. They loved it! The big thing is to give choices and neither of those choices should bother anyone. Later that night I made a "withdrawl" was bedtime and I asked if they had been getting to make a lot of choices and they said yes. So I told them it was my turn to make a choice and my choice was it's bedtime. I did have to go up once and tell them that it wasn't fair that they were interrupted my time and it wasn't nice that I was having to come up and tell them to be quiet so every time I had to come up after that I would be charging them .50 for my time. That night I didn't have to go up again. Since starting this we have had to charge them .50 twice. 

Another part was making sure you use enforceable statements. So instead of saying, "Hurry up and eat your breakfast", you say, "breakfast is served until 7:20". When it's 7:20 no matter how much food is on their plates breakfast is over. This has worked really well. We also say, "Out the door at 7:40" this one has been harder for Owen especially. Instead of getting everything done so he's ready he gets halfway there, breakfast, teeth brushed and dressed, but he doesn't put his shoes or his coat on or zip up his backpack. So when my alarm goes off at 7:40 I grab his backpack and shoes and put them out the door. I loving say..."That's so sad that you chose to play around instead of get ready....I love you have a great day". He still thinks that I'm going to let him come back for his coat and it really upsets him, but he'll figure it out soon enough. 

We have also been making the kids work to get things back. For instance Jackson is constantly leaving his backpack on the floor. I've told him I will tell him once when he gets home to put his stuff away. He knows exactly what this means and he usually does it fine the first time. Then later on he has to come back and get something out of his backpack and then he leaves it sitting right there in the middle of the floor. So it gets taken away and he has to take a bag to school...the first time it was a grocery bag, but that ripped so the second time it was reusable Wal-Mart bag. Later the next day he can work to get it back. The first time he had to vacuum the whole upstairs to get it back. The thing is our kids are smarter than we give them credit for. He knows where his backpack goes...he says he forgets, but that's not true. He gets busy is what happens, but this is going to help him be more responsible in the long run. Plus it keeps me from getting angry and that's the key. You should never let your kids see you sweat! They should never see that your blood pressure is rising...if they do then they've gotten the power. 

Another example of Love & Logic that I used the other day was with Zeke. He was in the shower and I gave him a choice about getting out and when it was time he didn't want to get out. So I had to remove him from the shower. Of course he is wet as can be and is flailing around like a fish out of water. I wrapped him up in two towels and took him to his room. At first I tried to hold him and tell him that I would talk to him when he was calm, but we were so passed that so I remembered something I read in the book. I started egging him on...."Oh come on scream louder than that....stomp your feet harder you've got it in you" Immediately I gave him permission to throw a fit and therefore he didn't have the power anymore. He crossed his arms and said, "NO". He wasn't going to throw a fit anymore! Genius! 

The most recent tip I used was the Energy Drain. This was the only thing I hadn't used so far and wasn't sure how it was going to go, but I thought I'd give it a shot. It was after school on a Monday and I was trying to help Jack with homework, Owen was doing his job of emptying the garbage and he needed help since the garbage bag was stuck and Ella was trying to make a bead necklace and needed my help also. They were all talking at once and I felt myself getting a headache. That's when I said...."Oh I'm having such an energy drain"....I acted all exhausted too...which wasn't far from the truth. "How are you guys going to charge me up". Jack said I should eat and I informed him that wasn't it....I needed them to do some work for me since I didn't have the energy to do it. So Owen moved all the toys from his room into the playroom upstairs, Ella brought up all the stuff in the backyard that didn't belong there and I can't remember what Jack did. It worked like a charm! There was no yelling about me not being able to talk to 3 people at once and work got! 

I still haven't read the Parenting With Love & Logic book...I've only read the one in the picture above, but I'm hoping there are even more tips. Right now it's been a great success and the kids have noticed a change too. They have even told me they love that they are getting to make choices and they feel like they are learning more and they like that mommy isn't raising her do I!!!! 

Have you read Love & Logic? What are some of your favorite techniques?