Practicing any new skill can feel awkward and scary especially when we don’t see results immediately. I want to encourage you to have fun (just like learning to play a sport, an instrument, or how to snow ski), stick with it and most importantly take care of your needs so that you have the energy to model appropriate behavior.
Here is a funny story and a note from Charles Fay:
“I loved my garage door. Well…not so much the door itself but how I could make it go up and down without getting out of my car.
Last night I pushed the remote and nothing happened. I pushed it again…still stuck. Being a mature, middle-aged guy, I did what seemed the most reasonable: I whined and complained. It stayed stuck.
Figuring that a good night’s sleep would fix its obstinance, I tried again this morning. My once golden-retriever-like door was now a cat…a Siamese cat. It ignored me again. Desperate times call for desperate measures: I yelled at it some more. Then I stomped into the house and whined to my wife.
One of the greatest benefits of applying Love and Logic is that it helps us learn how to keep a tighter leash on our emotions and on our tongues. When kids see that pushing buttons no longer raises and lowers our doors, it’s not uncommon for them to push even harder.
When we do the right things, they often feel like the wrong things in the short term. This is doubly true when parenting strong-willed children!
Wise parents stick to the plan, remembering that the most effective response to button pushing is to get stuck…kinda like my garage door. Instead of giving in or arguing, they keep repeating the same loving yet dull thing: “I love you too much to argue.”
I’ve pretty much decided that arguing with my garage door remote is useless. It never gives in. If I were only as consistent with my kids as this door has been with me!”
Fear not, you are more powerful than you think! Love is the most powerful force in the Universe! Using Love (encouragement and empathy) and Logic (natural and practical consequences) you can build a relationship with your children to last a life time.