Wednesday, July 3, 2013

logical parenting #fail number 2

Awhile ago, I watched my cousin ask her toddler son if he wanted to leave now or in two minutes. I was a bit skeptical because I doubted he really understood how long two minutes was. He said, "two minutes." And, then a few minutes later she told him it was time to go, and there was relatively little drama about leaving. I now use this strategy with my toddler twins, and it works like a charm. "Gabe, do you want to get out of the shower now or in two minutes?" He sticks his thumb and finger up (the European two) and mumbles something that only Brian, Cece, and I would recognize as two minutes. Then, when it's time to get out, there's relatively little drama about it.

I found out that my cousin got her brilliant technique from a Love and Logic Parenting seminar. Let me qualify this by saying that I have not attended such a seminar, and I've never read a Love and Logic parenting book. I have only looked over their website and gleaned a few ideas from my cousin. I'm not a good test-case! However, what I liked about what I heard is that you are trying to instill responsibility in your child and teach them how to make choices. Learning that good choices reap good consequences and bad choices reap bad consequences.

Well, the first time I attempted to be a logical parent, the twins were six months old, and Cece was almost three. Let me qualify this next part by saying that my brain had not fully recovered from the delivery of twins. (I'm sure there is solid scientific research out there about loosing brain cells while pregnant with twins, delivering them, and keeping them alive the first year of their lives!) Cece had been cutting and gluing on the table and her craft basket was still on top of the table with papers strewn about. I said so brilliantly, "Cece, you have a problem. I need to feed the boys, and your stuff is all over the table. What are you going to do about it?" Cece responded, "I'll clean it up later." I tried again, "Cece, you have a problem. Your stuff is all over the table, and I need to feed the boys RIGHT NOW. What are you going to do about it?" Cece shrugged, "I'll clean it up in a little bit; I'm busy right now." My next response, "Cece, if you don't clean this up right now, I will . . . ." She got up right away and cleaned off the table. Brian later explained to me so brilliantly that it was my problem not hers! (logical parenting #fail number 1)

Flash forward a few years, and I am still trying to be a logical parent. Cece has been potty trained for quite some time, but she still wets the bed at night and during her naps sometimes. I am beyond tired of a cry that comes in the middle of the night, "Mommy, I peed". I stumble out of bed, pull wet clothes off of a groggy child, push her in the direction of the bathroom, whip off her sheets, open her closet, get some blankets out, throw them on the bed, help the groggy child put on clean pjs, maybe give her a kiss, and stumble back to bed. I'm not a fan.

We have tried a lot of incentives to prevent the middle of the night peeing of the bed, even chocolate milk for breakfast. Well. I don't feel good about that--chocolate milk for breakfast?! I mean, really! And, it's not a logical consequence. And, it wasn't working very consistently.

So, I came up with a brilliant plan. Brian and I sat Cece down and said, "Okay, Cece, you are a big girl, so if you do wet the bed, then you need to handle it like a big girl. That means, you don't yell for Mommy. Just get up, take your wet pjs off, pull your wet sheets off your bed, get the blankets out of your closet, go to the bathroom, and go back to bed. Then, the next day, you'll need to wash your sheets and put them back on your bed." He response was, "I don't know how to put the sheets on my bed." I so logically responded with, "I'll teach you." And, we did; Brian and I showed her twice how to put her sheets on.

About a week ago, I heard some stirring in her room. I heard the tugging of linen, and then, I saw her putting the wet sheets outside her door. A few minutes later, I saw her with clean pjs on dragging her wet sheets to laundry room. She tip-towed into my room and said quietly, "Mommy, just so you know, I wet the bed; the sheets are in the laundry room." I was SHOCKED! She handled it so well. I was so proud--of her and of myself. Well, pride cometh before the fall.

A few nights ago, Brian was tucking her into bed, and he said, "Now remember, if you wet the bed, you are going to have to take your sheets off all by yourself, put the blankets on your bed, wash your sheets, and put them back on your bed. It will be such a pain." Cece goes, "But, Daddy, I like doing all that stuff!" (logical parenting #fail number 2)

The truth is though, she's wetting the bed less, and we don't have to deal with it. I guess it's not a complete #fail! Look at her waving at me, it's like she's saying, "Momma, you're going to have to get your game on because I'm a smart girl!" And, I love her for that!


  1. One of my close friends is a love & logic parent. She went out one night and came home to find her son asleep on a camping mat in the hallway.. Her husband said after a long time of the son refusing to sleep he gave him the choice of sleeping in the bed or in the hallway. I think it worked though - he was much better at falling asleep in his own room after that!

  2. Great blog post!!! Loved it! We heard the author of Love and Logic speak years ago when we lived in Germany, and implemented some of the principles into our parenting...I think it worked! :)

  3. One of my all time favorite teaching books was Teaching With Love and Logic! Great stuff! But man, these kids keep us on our toes!! :-)