Parenting I

So many different styles of parenting exist out there from one extreme (hovercraft) to the other (neglect) and so many different theories on how to parent successfully bombard us daily.  Bill and I have read some of the books and of course have plenty of offers to attend training both through our Foster Care connections and through school.   We pretty much chuckle and snort when those invites come because we have developed our own style of parenting: Pieper Style Love and Logic, complete with sarcasm and use of banned words and there is NO COURSE that will teach you these skills.

An example:

The triplets are now 13.  Thirteen-year-olds sometimes need reminders (hello, who doesn’t?) but I don’t DO things for them anymore.  Every morning during the school year, I give them a “FIVE MINUTES TILL THE BUS!” and “Do you have what you need for school today and did you brush your teeth?”  Not once has a child answered back, “I decided I am not brushing my teeth this morning,”  so I assume it is being done on a semi-regular basis.

This morning, I mustered up my best Pieper Style Love and Logic Parenting moves, threw open the girls’ bedroom doors, lifted my fake trumpet and blasted out the GET OUT OF BED song.  One girl moaned, the other shot me the teenage look of death.  I continued, “You both have a dentist appointment at 10:20 which gives you 45 minutes until we leave.  Shower, eat, and brush your teeth.”

Curly replies, “What kind of dentist appointment?”

Me, “Remember your cavity that needs a filling?  That kind of appointment.”

Curly pitches a two-year-old hissy fit.

Me, “Don’t like cavities?  Brush your feakin’ teeth!”  And I walked away victorious, seriously laughing.   Seems that she decided to come clean in the dentist chair a couple weeks back and told them she doesn’t brush her teeth.  Love and Logic.  I love that because she doesn’t brush her teeth, a logical consequence followed.

My job is not to do things for my kids but to teach them to do the right things for themselves and others.  When a decision they make turns into a teaching moment like this, I step back and let the learning happen. 

Tomorrow, more on the Love piece of our parenting style.

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