It was late one evening and it was becoming quite obvious that Russ and I were not going to agree on how to discipline one of the kids. I had entered into a blended family and the discussion of discipline never seemed to land on the same page for us. After many attempts to try this on our own, we turned to our trusted faithful counselor, Dr “Boyd” Whaley with North Georgia Family Counseling Centers.
We sought Boyd out proactively, which helped during times when we needed help coming up with a compromise, like this time. As we sat down with Boyd, he started asking us more specific questions about our own upbringing.
Wait, what about the discipline approach advice we came in for?
Let’s not waste time talking about our family backgrounds again. But it became clear when Boyd pointed out my childhood of growing up in an extremely structured environment and Russ’ childhood being full of chaos, that we were simply modeling our upbringing. For Russ, our blended family situation was more structure than he had experienced growing up and for me initially, the blended family situation was chaotic.
Don’t discount how you were raised. You’ve heard the saying, “I’m starting to sound like my mother!” Those early years are part of your DNA. It’s almost impossible to extract those years from your behavior today.
The counseling was so effective because what seemed obvious to an observer wasn’t clear during our arguments on what to do. Emotions, especially heated emotions, get in the way of having rational conversations about difficult topics. As soon as Boyd pointed out these two simple characteristics, we immediately had an understanding and compassion for each other’s viewpoint.
RUSS: We were better able to understand each other’s perspectives and meet somewhere in the middle, which was better for our children in the long run than being at either end of our spectrums.
It was during this session with Boyd, I was introduced to Love & Logic. I fell in love with this approach because discipline became about cause and effect met with compassion and empathy. No yelling, no threats, etc… It became about their choices matched with calm and loving consequences.
So before you discipline the kids, have an in-depth discussion about your upbringing. Were you repulsed by your parent’s discipline or do you align with it? What types of discipline worked on you, which ones didn’t? How do you use discipline to create a life lesson that teaches instead of criticizes?
Understanding our level of structure vs chaos brought an end to our arguments…well, most of the time! <wink>
To read more about Love & Logic, see below:
Raise happy and well-behaved kids with positive, loving tools
The Love and Logic approach to parenting is built around the science of crafting caring and respectful relationships. An authentic, loving connection between parents and their children is the root of a healthy, thriving relationship built on trust and understanding.
Sounds easy enough but never before in history have parents been faced with so many challenges! Our approach provides a variety of simple and effective strategies for parenting children from birth to adulthood. Whether you’re embarking for the first time with your new baby or navigating the turbulent teens with your youngest, our strategies and techniques will help you create calm and loving solutions.
The “Love” in Love and Logic means that we love our kids so much that we are willing to set and enforce limits. This “Love” also means that we do so with sincere compassion and empathy.
The “Logic” in Love and Logic happens when we allow children to make decisions, affordable mistakes and experience the natural or logical consequences. When we balance this with sincere empathy, they develop the following logic:
The quality of my life depends on the quality of my choices.
With the loving yet powerful tools of Love and Logic, we can help our children learn to make good choices and experience happy lives while maintaining their love and respect.
Specialized solutions for a range of challenges, including:
- Picky Eating
- Potty Training
- Social Media
- Special Needs
- Teen Driving
- Toddler Tantrums
- Much More!