One way to get things under control in our lives is to use LOVING LIMITS and LOGICAL CONSEQUENCES. When we tell our children what we will do and stick to our guns with loving consequences we can really get great things done.
I LOVE this real story from a couple in my class. It'll give you a feel for how to interweave multiple skills at one time as well. Enjoy!
So it was a weekend evening and my 5-year-old son Danny had been asking us all day to play Monopoly Jr. We finally told him he could start setting it up and we’d play right after dinner.
While he was happily sorting out all the money and pieces, his younger 4-year-old brother, Kevin, came along and started messing up his work. I let Danny try to handle it, but after a few minutes, I could tell there was going to be quite a problem. I told Kevin my LOVING LIMIT that we would only allow boys that were being kind to play out in the living room and that he would need to play somewhere else.
Then my husband came up with the idea that Kevin shouldn’t get to play the game with us. That would be a much bigger and logical consequence for him that would hopefully make a bigger impact than just being sent away.
So we didn’t mention anything during dinner. Afterwards, when we were getting all excited and ready to play, I broke the news to Kevin. I put on my EMPATHETIC face and told him that this was so sad, but he wouldn’t be able to play the game with us since he was messing up the pieces earlier. He was crushed and immediately started crying hysterically. We told him that we’d be happy to have him still hang out in the room with us and watch as long as he was calm. He surprisingly calmed himself down quickly. We thought that if he could watch us play, it would make an even bigger impact on him as he could see what he was missing out on. It was definitely hard for him to watch us playing without him and I’m hoping the lesson really sank in for him.
The whole thing was difficult for me to follow through on because I hate seeing my child being left out and sad. But I know that a small investment now and an affordable mistake on his part can go a long way in the decisions he makes in the future. I’m thankful for my husband’s leadership in this area too, it was his idea and I’m glad we were able to work together to make a big impression on little Kevin.