"Parenting the Love and Logic Way" is a six week parenting course open to all parents, held at Dulwich College Beijing (DCB). While it can be adopted by parents with kids of all ages, it’s just what my husband and I need right now to take on the challenges of parenting a teenager.
We were in desperate need of a new approach to parenting our younger daughter. At 13 going on 14, she is your average teenager, displaying all the cliched behavioral changes. Our ‘Rant, rave and rescue’ approach, which worked for the older one, is somehow completely failing us now. Not to mention the guilt we feel after having come down hard on her, and then fearing it will sever our relationship with our daughter in the long run.
Each child is different, we are told time and again. Our ultimate goal is to raise a respectful, responsible and confident human being, capable of pulling her weight in society, so we jumped at the opportunity to learn and try a different strategy in the hopes of being better ourselves. Two sessions in today, and we are already feeling better equipped to deal with what she throws at us. The approach was devised from results of extensive research and years of experience, by Charles Fay, PhD, and Jim Fay.
Lesson 1: Creative ways to put an end to arguing and talking back, which is typical teenage behavior. How do we do it? Simple! Just refuse to engage and don’t take the bait to dive into a lecture. Sentences such as… "I love you too much to argue…", "I know!" or "Thanks for sharing!" can help us go figuratively ‘brain dead’ and essentially be unreactive when they push our buttons. Reacting was not working out for us at all! Delaying the consequences with this newly adopted approach is working, much to our delight. She is unsure as to why we are not responding with angst anymore, which in turn is forcing her to think about what she’s saying or asking of us.
Lesson 2: Teaching responsibility without losing their love, by being empathetic. I can’t wait to try this out as it ties in with the first lesson. The book says, "Empathy allows us to remain the good guy, while allowing our child’s poor decision to be the bad guy." Some sentences to show empathy and yet hold them accountable for an action… "That’s never good!", "What a bummer!" or "This is so sad… what are you going to do?" Only time will tell how well this works, but our initial results have been very encouraging.
Four more sessions to go, Fridays 8.30-10.00am at DCB. Feel free to attend if you’re curious, or even just looking for a few ideas to incorporate into your already effective parenting style.