I’m a huge fan of Love and Logic. I believe kids should have appropriate consequences (and rewards) to their actions. Case in point? Thursday morning before school started.

The girls were dressed and ready to go, breakfast had just finished baking in the oven and it was time for breakfast. I sent Clare upstairs to get her big brothers and let them know it was time to eat. I hear a sweet voice say, “Boyzzz, it’s time for bweakfast.” The boys responded, “Get OUT Clare. We’re COMING!”

{insert slamming door here} and {insert a scream from Luke here}

Not exactly the response I had hoped.

So, I ordered the girls downstairs and told them to sit at the table. They reached for the breakfast glasses and plates – nope. I had a better idea. I fetched the boys from upstairs – still in their underwear and pjs – and explained how the morning was going to work. The boys were to serve the girls breakfast, put up their plates, load their backpacks and take everything to the car. Then, when they finished that they got Luke up, changed his diaper, dressed him and got him started on breakfast. And? They were to do it JOYFULLY.

THEN, and only then, could they start getting ready for school.

We’ve been drilling two words into the kids’ heads this year: kindness and respect. I was so frustrated with how they acted, but I also knew that unless I gave them a practical consequence the behavior wouldn’t change. I could’ve taken away Wii or made them sit in timeout, but those just weren’t enough.

Sometimes we’re inspired by the Holy Spirit, aren’t we?

I suppose my head was on the love and logic bandwagon because of what happened earlier in the week. A friend of ours was diagnosed with lung cancer a few months ago. Cancer sucks, by the way. He passed away this week and the hole he left will be huge. Dan was a welcome minister at our former parish and school. I’m telling you, NO ONE made people feel welcome like he did. In fact, our first visit to the parish, I turned to Scott and said, “That man could be Protestant!” Meaning, he knew everybody’s name, your latest news and you were always excited and happy to see Dan holding open the door for you each week.

His wife, Kate, was the volunteer school nurse and was there when Will broke his arm at school. She was also the first one to reach out to us when Luke was hospitalized. In fact, during my toughest day at the hospital, Kate called. Her words brought me tremendous peace. I will never forget that act of kindness. They are a blessing to all who know them. As Christians, we trust and believe that the people we love will be in heaven. No doubt, Dan is there. But, for those left here, our hearts are never quite the same. Loss just cuts at all that we are, in whatever form it comes. This weekend we’ll celebrate his life at the rosary and funeral Mass.

I pray your weekend is full of family, joy and thanksgiving for all the blessings in your life. That’s the way I’m choosing to spend mine.

5 Comments

  1. Audrey Chandlee on August 18, 2012 at 11:33 am

    I just might have to try out your plan the next time my boys are speaking disrespectfully to each other (it’s been a long summer). I’m hoping when the routine of school starts for us after Labor day, that we’ll be able to get back into a better mindset of patience and helpfulness- myself included! Hope your school year is off to a good start!

    • Kathryn on August 19, 2012 at 11:26 am

      So far, so good. I hope your years goes great, too!

  2. Sue S. on August 19, 2012 at 11:24 am

    Kathryn, I stumbled across your blog from one of the other Catholic blogs I follow. I’ve really enjoyed reading your stories! I also love the Love and Logic philosophy…..and your story is an awesome example! Thanks for sharing 🙂 So sorry, too, for the loss of your friend – times like these definitely put life into perspective.

    Blessings to you and your family.

    • Kathryn on August 19, 2012 at 11:26 am

      Thanks for stumbling over 😉 Happy to have you join the party.

  3. K on August 21, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Hi,

    Does Love and Logic address defiance? How do you deal with this issue? Or maybe you have not had to deal with this? I’m thinking mostly of the situation of doling out a consequence and a child refusing to comply with the consquence. I have not explored Love and Logic yet, but I do need to find a mode of discipline that can help me address this. Thanks!

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