The first Love & Logic book that I read is Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood: Practical Parenting from Birth to Six Years. As of Sunday, I have outgrown that book. Well, actually, I still have a 4 1/2 year old, but, now I am wandering into uncharted waters. Over the past few months I could sense seven coming on, but didn't want to admit it because that means I have to learn new stuff.
By saying that I could sense seven coming on, what I am really saying is that the kid started back-talking and my mean mom approach stopped working. He calls my bluff. He says, "Yeah, whatever." None of my old approaches are working. He doesn't care about consequences because if he can get me frustrated, he gets the attention and that's all he wants anyway. I've had to stop and take a deep breath and count to 10 more often in the past month than in the kid's entire life.
I'm not alone.
Almost every one of my friends with a 7 year old is scratching their head saying, "What happened to my sweet kid?" My very best bestie texted me last week and said something along the lines of, "Which book will tell me how to stop this kid from being so sassy?"
Somehow it helps to know I am not alone, but that doesn't solve my problem.
So - I am going back to the Love and Logic rules.
#1 - Children learn about relationships by observing how we handle ours. I guess that means I need to stop sassing my mom (no comments, Mom).
#2 - We are not a conflict-free family and we never will be.
#3 - It's okay to have some healthy disagreements with each other and with the kids. They are learning to form their own opinions.
#4 - Problem solving and compromise. I gotta do better with compromising and saying yes to things he wants to do.
#5 - Stop discussing things in front of the kid that he can pick up on and run with. I swear he has selective hearing and listens to what is useful and can be used against me, and ignores the rest.
Any other suggestions will be helpful. I need to put in vinyl letters on my wall:
"I will listen to you when you stop backtalking and whining."
Think he'll read it?