“Mom, I’m Stupid!”

I am a big fan of the “Love and Logic” program because their advice matches my child-rearing philosophy. What is “Love and Logic”? I’m glad you asked! The “Love and Logic” approach teaches kids that there are logical consequences for their poor choices. Parents are instructed to lay out consequences in a loving and empathetic way that, in my opinion, does a better job of connecting actions to the consequences than other ways of disciplining.

Here’s the “Love and Logic” technique in action:

    Dad: “Oh, no. You left your bike unlocked and it was stolen. What a bummer. I bet you feel awful. Well, I understand how easy it is to make a mistake like that.” (Notice that the parent is not leading with anger, intimidation, or threats.)

    Dad then adds, “And you’ll have another bike as soon as you can earn enough money to pay for it. I paid for the first one. You can pay for the additional ones.”

I plan to post their newsletters but I urge you to sign up and search their site for advice because the “Love and Logic” approach is a great tool especially when you find yourself stumped.

“I’m stupid”

I know a lot of parents feel stumped when their little one’s express their frustrations at some difficult task by saying, “I’m stupid”. Could there by anything worse than hearing your baby verbally beat themselves up? Seriously, it’s ugly crying time.

Well, the people at the “Love and Logic” organization have some great advice which feels counter-intuitive at first but hear them out. As mommies our instinct is use our kisses and words to make our little ones feel better but “Love and Logic” suggests otherwise:

    There are few things that tear at our hearts more than hearing our kids say, “I’m stupid.”

    At first glance the following parent seems to be right on track:

    No you are not stupid. Honey, think of all of the things you are good at. How about reading? You’re good at that! And, remember how much you improved in baseball last summer. Stupid kids don’t learn how to hit curve balls like you did. And your art is wonderful. If you were dumb, would you have been able to learn how to create those drawings with such wonderful three-dimensional perspectives? I don’t think so.

    At second glance, we realize that this well-meaning parent is actually lending credibility to their child’s “I’m stupid” remark… by spending so much time and energy addressing it.

    Consider employing a much simpler approach… one that avoids unintentionally reinforcing your youngster’s self-deprecating remarks:

    Honey, aren’t you glad I don’t believe that!

    The most effective parents, smile, pat their child on the back, and give this sweet and simple response.

Please let me know what you think about using the “Love and Logic” technique in the comments.

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