Sunday, February 28, 2010

Love and Logic and Time Outs

The most basic of the Love and Logic consequences for a toddler is the "uh oh" statement followed by the time out. We started using "uh oh" when Lauren was 6 months old just to see if she would catch on. Whether it was coincidence or not, it worked.

At 6 months old, Lauren was rolling around exploring her environment. She came upon the VCR and receiver and began to turn the dials. As new parents learning Love and Logic we jumped at the chance to put our new skills to use. We picked her up and said, "Uh oh, " in an empathetic tone. Then carried her upstairs to her crib and left the room. She sat for a few moments in her crib and made a few noises. Then we went back in to her room and greeted her with open arms. We brought her back downstairs and set her next to the VCR. Guess what, she ignored it and went in the opposite direction.

Really? Did it actually work?  Well, she hasn't gone back to the VCR or receiver yet and she's 2 1/2 now. Either way, it did boost our confidence in this Love and Logic consequences thing. :)

We are still using "Uh oh" followed by a time out. It definitely has become more challenging to maintain and empathetic tone with her especially when she has a down right tantrum. However, the need for time outs has become less and less. Now, her reaction to uh oh is "NO, NO, NO."  Most of the time she stops what she is doing, but she does have the human desire to push the limits. At that point its up to her room for a time out.

1 comment:

Chris Peterson said...

The key with the "Uh Oh" song is to follow it with action. When I talk with people that say the Uh Oh song doesn't work, it is usually because they use it as a warning; saying Uh Oh 2,3,4 times before any consequence ensues. Using Uh Oh as a warning is as effective in teaching discipline and character as counting to 3.
Many parents struggle with not giving some type of warning first. Therefore, I like to suggest that they use the line "This looks like a problem". Then, if the child doesn't fix it they can move into the "Uh Oh" routine. "Uh Oh" becomes such a strong trigger for changing behavior. My mother inlaw incessantly says "Uh Oh" when things fall, or the baby bumps her head, or whenever something minor happens. It took Grace to realize that there are different meanings to "uh oh".