I'm not a yeller. Sometimes, I'm a yeller. I wasn't ever really a yeller until my kids turned into demons tweens, but now, I have to consciously make sure I don't yell. I heard about Love and Logic through a local counselor. It's a free 10-week parenting class that teaches positive parenting, with love and logic. In this series, I'm going to cover what I learn each week – and what I think about the Love and Logic class.
If you're trying to learn how to stop yelling at your kids, this class can help. If you're wanting to connect with your teenagers (or kids of any age), this class can help.
At this point, I 100% recommend taking a free Love and Logic class in your area. I'm writing about my experience and opinions with the course, but it's important to take the class or at least read the book in order to get the most out of positive parenting with Love and Logic.
How to Stop Yelling (With Love and Logic)
There were about 20 folks in my Love and Logic class. At least half were court ordered to be there, though I'm not sure how many exactly because not everyone said so. There were young parents, older parents, and even grandparents that now have custody of their grandkids. One woman just got out of prison, one couple had five adopted children that they were struggling with as far as yelling and back talking go.
When we introduced ourselves and said why we were taking the class, mine went like this:
Hi. I'm Sadie. I'm a newly single mom to three daughters; they are 11, 12, and 16. I'm taking Love and Logic to learn how to stop yelling so much.
When I did my intro, I got a few head nods from the other moms in the class. Sigh. I'm not the only one who yells? Relief.
Love and Logic Session 1: Putting an End to Arguing, Back Talk, and Begging
When I was a kid, I knew if I argued and begged enough, my Mom would give in. Every. Single. Time. I'm a master negotiator, so she didn't stand much of a chance, to be fair. :) She was a single mom working two and three jobs most of the time, so bless her overworked soul, but she wasn't able to stick with much of anything when it came to parenting and discipline. My brother and I rarely had boundaries enforced, and ended up walking all over her. I knew when I became a parent that I never wanted my kids to take advantage of me or run all over me like that, so I have always been a fairly strict parent.
With Love and Logic, I'm learning how to avoid negotiations, arguing, and backtalk. Avoiding un-winnable power struggles is going to save you approximately 200% energy each day. Okay, so 200% might be a bit overstated but seriously, think about how much energy you spend going back and forth with your kids each day. Whether it's about what to wear, what to eat, them fighting with their siblings, or whatever else… it seems like it's never-ending, at least at our house.
Wise parents are prepared to neutralize arguing before they experiment with any other new skill.
The first step to neutralizing arguing is to “go brain dead”. The less our lips move, the more effective we become. Going brain dead means you're going to stop thinking about the argument emotionally. While we can't let our kids run all over us, arguing doesn't do any good.
Lectures have never worked for any parent, ever.
I'm a lecturer more than a yeller. I will give you a ten minute lecture, even though you probably tuned me out about 3 seconds in. I want to say my piece!
Love and Logic One-Liners
Once you remove the emotion from the situation and “go brain dead”, you're going to use a Love and Logic one-liner. There are a few “rules” to using these one-liners, so make sure you keep reading below.
What did I say?
Thanks for sharing.
I love you too much to argue.
The most important part about using one-liners is to remember to say it with love. Do not use these one-liners to be sarcastic, mean, or argumentative. If you have a tough time keeping your cool, literally go “brain dead” and simply repeat the words out loud rather than using emotion while speaking them.
As cheesy as the last statement sounds, there's no way I could say it without being sarcastic. However, I'm sticking with “I know” and “I understand”. So far, so good.
What I'm Learning from Love and Logic
I have to find ways to meet my child's needs and give them attention without giving into arguments. Sometimes, kids argue just to get attention. If we give them attention by arguing with them, we are reinforcing that arguing is how they should get attention! That's the last thing we need.
One-liners are not designed to “win” an argument. They are designed to prevent us (parents!) from arguing with your children They're to stop power struggles.
Parents who get pulled into endless arguments rarely have the time or energy to enjoy loving relationships with their kids. Learning to calmly repeat Love and Logic One-Liners gives us the ability to take care of ourselves while preserving more time and energy for having fun with our kids.
Kids who view their parents as both powerful and loving are more likely to grow into respectful, responsible adults. That's my goal, to raise respectful, responsible adults. If it's as simple as giving them love while using logic, I'm in.
What you're saying when you use a one-liner is I love you enough to set limits. It'd be easier, in the moment, to argue and prove how “right” you are. You know, to show the kids who's boss because you're Mom! But the long-term goal is to raise respectful, loving children. To do that, we need to use love… and logic.