Friday, April 23, 2010

Love and Logic Quick tips

I've been wanted to put up a post about a class I took a while back.  It was a Love and Logic Basic Class.  I'm just going to put some of my favorite tips I got that night.
1.  Set a good example by stopping yourself before you show anger or frustration, yell, threaten, lecture, use sarcasm, criticize, blame, etc.  These are traps that let the child focus on our emotions rather than their bad decisions.  (I found this is true in our marriage relationships as well.)
2.  When our kids make bad choices let experience and natural consequences do the teaching.  Don't rob or rescue them from these teaching moments.
3.  When toddlers do something you don't like, use the "Uh-oh" Song.  The "Uh-oh" song is actually sung while you take your toddler for a little away time.  This allows you not to get angry and the toddler away from the situation.  Example, The child hits dog with a toy hammer, or toddler is throwing food (or spitting) from high chair, throwing dirt from your potted plants in the house, they are screaming and crying for no apparent reason while you are having dinner, story time, or company is over.  This down time is short, just enough time for them and you to calm down.  This is what I sing, "Uh-oh, time for a little play-pen time" and then I as nicely as I can sing this while I carry them to their play-pen.  And yes I think you can start this as early as 1 year old.  Kids are smart, why let them get away with something now and try to back track latter when they are older.
4.  When kids whine or argue use a "brain dead" statement by saying in a calm voice, "I know" or what did I say?"
Grandparents can use these same strategies when watching their grandchildren.  Grandchildren respect their grandparents when they know where the limits are while visiting.

Examples of situations where you can use love and logic.

Kid is begging for a toy in the store (Empathy and choices you can live with)
"I can see why a kid would love a toy like that."   (wait and stay quiet for a minute)  "Do you have the money to buy that?"   "No?  Some kids put toys like that on a wish list for birthdays or Christmas.  How would that work for you?  and   "No?  Some kids do extra chores to earn the money.  How would that work for you?"

Kids won't eat what you cooked.  (Consequences)
"Dinner is on the table for ten more minutes, get what you need to hold you over until breakfast"

Kid won't pick up the toys he played with.  (Enforceable statement)
"Whoa, I see toys on the floor.  Grandma might trip on those.  Grandpa will tell you a favorite story as soon as those toys are back in the box.  Ready, set, go...!"

Friday, April 9, 2010

Online School Helpers

I've discovered a couple websites that my kids have enjoyed to help them with their Math and Spelling.

Spelling:  We do a word search each week with their spelling words.  If we have time, I have them enter their own words by typing them into the computer.  This really helps them memorize the words.  This is the word search website we like.  I usually just type in word search maker in my Google search to find it.  It even saves your past word searchs.  I like that you can select what directions up, down, backwards, forwards, diagonals to fit the age of your child.

Math:  Are you kids tired of their flash cards?  This is an online math game to test speed and accuracy.  You can make it as easy or as hard as you like.  Click here for the math game.  We have used this during spring break to keep their minds active.

Have you found any websites that are helpful for your kids in reinforcing school concepts?  Please share in comments.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Setting up rules in your home

I've been contemplating an issue I keep running into that I'm going to try to write out.  My thoughts are still developing.
Here is a couple scenario I've had with my own kids lately to preface my thoughts.
A school choir concert is happening where my child will be performing with the rest of his class.  My child doesn't "feel" like going.
My child is playing with his friends at our home and cub scouts is going to start in 15 minutes and all the boys say they don't want to go this one time.

Wouldn't it be so much easier to just stay home, I think to myself.  I'm tired, or I'm in the middle of making dinner we all could just stay home.  But then I awaken and think, he has teachers, leaders and peers waiting on him, counting on him to do his part.  If he doesn't go today how much easier will it be for him to say the same thing next week or next time?

What if the same child says, I don't "feel" like going to church today?  When does his agency come into effect?  Doesn't he get to "choose" to do what he wants to?  This has probably happened or will happen for school as well.

So here is my thoughts in this matter because I think this will only be the beginning of battles that I have to decide if I am going to fight or not.  First of all I have to decide what do I value.  Because what I think is most important and want to instill in my own children is worth fighting for.  If I want to my children to know that church is very important, then I'm going to insist that my children come to church with me.  To me music lessons are important enough that I will insist they keep playing until they reach a certain age or level of playing.  That's what every parent needs to decide for themselves, what is important enough.  Another thing I think is really important is to support each other by attending their activities.  This shows that we care and love each other, even though their part may be small.  My parents were so excellent in teaching this to me.  They still do everything they can to come to any of our performances or activities.

I am developing my mantra that I say, "In our home we, ________________, and you can decide what attitude you will have doing it."   I think when your children live in your home their are certain rules that you can set for them to obey.  After they move out of the house they may choose to live by certain rules and that is their choose but when they are in your home, they abide by your rules.
I wanted to end with a part of an article I found that I really like.

Family Rules

Firm and unwavering family rules help these youth stay on course. A group of teenagers from the Atlanta Georgia Stake admit that they appreciate the rules their parents set. “I’d never tell my parents this,” one young man says, “but I don’t mind the rules we have at our home. Sometimes I’ll ask my parents to let me do something I know I shouldn’t, and I complain when they say no, but I’d be really disappointed if they gave in to me.”
Jennie Busker appreciates rules because they provide an excuse to give her friends when they want to do something she feels uncomfortable about. “Once my friend wanted me to go with her to her boyfriend’s house after work,” she relates. “I didn’t want to go and said I didn’t think my mom would let me. She kept pushing me to go, and I’m afraid I would have if my parents hadn’t said no.” Other youth agree. “Sometimes it’s hard to tell your friends no. You don’t want to hurt their feelings, so you need to have your parents as a backup.”
In order for rules to be really effective, they should be fair and consistent. Some family rules, many Atlanta teens say, are non-negotiable—no dating before sixteen, and church attendance, for example. Others are more open. Families often use family councils or family home evenings to discuss such rules. After hearing the input of their teens, some families have established a curfew. Others have a variable curfew and ask only that their children let them know where they are at all times. Within these broad guidelines, the youth are generally allowed to plan their own activities.
Consistency is another must in establishing rules. Once a rule is set and a consequence decided upon, both parents need to follow through. “Next times” do not always work. “If I hear ‘next time you do this’ too often,” one girl says, “I know nothing will ever happen. I know I can go out and break the rule.” When parents do not remain firm (unless circumstances suggest otherwise), their children feel the rules and the values they represent are really not very important.
Sometimes following through on the consequences may seem harsh. Laura Busker tells of one experience she had. “My mother had told me that I could not go out one Saturday night until I finished my seminary homework. (My mother is the teacher.) Well, I put it off and put it off and when my date came, I had not started. I wanted to leave, but Mom stood firm. I had to do my work while my date waited. That may seem silly or mean to some people, and I wasn’t too excited about it at the time, but that experience taught me how important seminary and learning the gospel were to my mother. And you can be sure I never put it off again. I learned my lesson.”
Although follow-through is important, circumstances also need to be considered. In some situations, consequences might be more effective if they are a little more lenient. Kim Kotter of the Tucker Georgia Stake had gone to a stake dance with some friends from her ward. When it was time to come home, they could not find one of their group. By the time they found her and arrived home, Kim was much later than she should have been. Kim’s father recognized the difficulty of her situation and, instead of becoming angry, picked up the phone and said, “Phone, may I introduce you to Kim. Kim, this is the phone.” In this humorous and calm response, he let Kim know that her curfew was still important and that he would have liked a phone call telling him of the problem, but that he also understood what had happened.
When parents remain firm in their standards and guidelines, children also learn to stand firm. Jane Danneman, a counselor in the Young Women presidency of the Marietta Georgia Stake, says that teens do not bend to peer pressure unless their parents do. If parents give in to the repeated requests of their children, their children are more likely to give in to the repeated requests of their peers. Teenagers are quick to notice any form of hypocrisy. If they see that their parents are not truly committed to the gospel and to living its standards, they feel no need to be committed themselves. But when parents are unwavering in the rules they set and the lives they live, their children are more likely to stand firm, too.
Guidelines and rules are important in the lives of these Atlanta youth, but most who are doing well do not think of their parents primarily as law-givers. A common feeling among these teenagers is that their parents are friends—people they can talk to about anything.
Friendly Rules by Anesen, Ensign Jan. 1985

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Conference Games

I'm looking forward to conference this weekend.  There are things we can do before conference to help make this special weekend a good experience for the whole family.  Here is some ideas:

  • Have some quiet activities ready that will help keep interested.  

Some I thought of...Puzzles, play dough, coloring, The Friend Magazine,
Just keeping your kids quiet while you try to hear conference can be a chore.  My mom just told me the website has a resource for parents for conference games and activities. Visit this website at:  I think this is new.  I really like the conference bingo because it has seven different bingo sheets so everyone doesn't get bingo at the same time.  There is also some online matching games to familiar your children to the prophets and apostles.

  • One thing our extended family has done for years that helps everyone is to share with each other our favorite talk, or thought that you got out of conference.  Many tears has been shed as we share with each other our testimonies and things that touched us.  
  • Taking a break in between conference to help get wiggles out is really important.  Go for a walk, stretch, anything that helps change the scenery will help.  In Logan we might be shoveling snow in between conference, who knows.  

I would love some more ideas.  What do you do to help make conference special in your homes?