Friday, October 22, 2010

A Win for the (Parenting) Troops

*Frankly, if I could teach Casanova to pour and mix the perfect cup of coffee, I'd really be ahead here.*

Today, I'm retreating to the *Maaaagical World in Mah Head* because really, reality DOES bite, and I'm a wee bit tired of this business.

(Also, on an unrelated note, if I were on Jersey Shore, my name would be Da Business, because *that* is my catch phrase, yo.)

But before I lie on the floor and fantasize about how hella-sweet my life will be once Song Editor becomes a paying job and I can head off on the tour bus, I'll regale you with a win/win from the World of Parenting. (And no, it's not daiquris, which really, don't seem to be recommended in any of the books I read. Weird.)

I just got a new parenting book from the Love and Logic series. No, they're not paying me, but dammit, someone should. For something. Whatever. Aaanywhichadoodle, I've been using the tactics and although I annoy EVERYONE in sight, I feel like an adult and not a raging lunatic! Win!

The concept is thus: Kid breaks a rule. I say "Uh oh!" and that's a cue. Then, if Kid throws a fit when consequences are imposed, or if I say, "I'll let you know later what we'll do to fix that," THEN I tell them it's an "energy drain" and we come up with a way to repay my energy. If Kid says "you don't love me" or gets all wallowing in victim hood, then it's "sad you feel that way."

Sure, it took awhile to become habit, and I had to fake it with a smile because I *didn't* feel empathy (I DID feel the need for some duct tape and a length of rubber hose) but I DID it until it WAS easier. And now, it's habit. Now, I don't find myself going 12 rounds with a sassy almost-6-year old or a grumpy almost-4-yer old. I can walk away. I can clear my head. Why?

"Because I love you TOO much to argue with you."

And that's what I tell them. When I was trying the "count to ten" tactic of parenting, or the feeling empathy parenting, or the lecture them like they're a fourth year lit class style of parenting, I was *failing* the same way I would fail advanced calculus. This has been awesome because it gives me an automatic positive response and gives THEM a consistent reaction to behavior.

And although they're still kids and they still act crazy or punch each other or try to build nuclear weapons in the garage, it's been easier. For all of us. Because there has to be at least ONE adult in the house, and looks like it's me.

Win. Win.

Comments, questions, how are YOU today?