Are mornings at your house crazy like ours? Do you run around getting the kids dressed, fed, lunches made and try to get out the door on time? Do you wish there was a way to make this entire process run more smoothly and efficiently so you don’t feel like you are running a marathon each morning? This session is called, “Taking the Mayhem Out of Mornings.”
This is the second part of the article, “How to Practice ‘Love and Logic’ Parenting, Session 4 (a): Limits Create Happier Parents, Happier Kids and Happier Families.” If you did not read the first part of this article, I suggest reading that one first and then come on back to this one!
The information presented here is from the Love and Logic (www.loveandlogic.com) “Early Childhood Parenting Made Fun!” class and workbook. It in no way takes the place of the actual class, which I highly recommend, but just gives you some great pointers on how to “create happy families and responsible kids.”
Taking the Mayhem Out of Mornings
1. Have some fun practice sessions when you are not in a hurry.
This is such a smart statement, isn’t it? I tend to forget that kids need to be taught how to get ready in the morning, that it isn’t just something they already know how to do. Smart parents don’t assume that their youngsters know how to get ready in the morning. Instead they spend time teaching and practicing these skills:
“Hey guys! Let’s do something really silly. Let’s pretend it’s morning time and see who can get ready the speediest. Then we’ll read a book afterwards! “
As you are playing the game, take pictures of your kids doing each of these things. Put these pictures in order and display them where your kids can see them each morning.
2. Be prepared to handle any arguing without breaking a sweat.
Successful parents are prepared to go “brain dead” and apply their favorite Love and Logic “one-liner.” One that seems to work well with young kids is, “I love you too much to argue.”
(Photo courtesy of ihaverun.blogspot.com)
3. Don’t do anything… until you’re completely prepared.
Plug the holes before you launch the boat. In other words, consider what might go wrong with your plan, find some solutions and be prepared to use them. Is it possible that your kids might refuse to get dressed? What might you do? Is it possible that they will throw fits and refuse to get ready? What would you do then?
One mom plugged the holes by having a babysitter ready and waiting, just in case. She also called her son’s daycare and warned them he’d arrive the next day half dressed and pretty unhappy.
(Photo courtesy of www.tia-ministries.com)
4. Pick a few simple choices to prevent power struggles.
It’s wise to anticipate common power struggles and to prevent them by having a few choices on the tips of our tongues. Some examples are:
- Do you want water or milk with breakfast?
- Would you like oatmeal or fruit?
- Do you want to wear the blue or red shirt?
(Photo courtesy of eszapiro.blogspot.com )
5. Be prepared to set limits with just two or three enforceable statements.
It’s also smart to be ready with the following enforceable statements:
- Breakfast will be on the table until the timer goes off.
- I read stories to kids before bedtime who brush their teeth.
- My car is leaving when the timer goes off. Will you be going with your clothes on your body or your clothes in a bag?
(Photo courtesy of softspoken.softsurroundings.com)
6. Pray that they WON’T be ready on time and follow through with your plan.
The road to wisdom is paved with mistakes and by experiencing the discomfort associated with making them. Don’t rob your kids of wisdom by nagging and reminding them to get ready. Don’t cripple them by giving in. Don’t destroy your relationship by using anger or sarcasm.
Instead, pray that they will make plenty of small mistakes when they are young so that they won’t make more dangerous ones when they are older. Then be there to provide a loving does of empathy as they learn.
(Photo courtesy of www.scrappyland.com )
It’s all about the journey…