Disobedience Wastes Time

digital clock showing 9:13

I’ve been pondering deeply my routine failures lately at being loving and logical when the boys disobey or are otherwise annoying. A hallmark of the Love and Logic approach is for parents to shut. up. and let kids learn from their mistakes. Shutting up? Not a strength. I like to explain things waaaaay too much and as a result the boys tune me out.

One thing I’ve learned about me is that drastic change usually results in failure. I do better attacking problems in small steps. So rather than try to change my whole approach with the boys, I need to find one issue and work on that.

But what issue? I just couldn’t figure out where to start. A lot of prayer and pondering has gone on, and today a solution presented itself.

It happened when I called Captain Earthquake and The Manager over to stand by the table. My intent was to play the Left/Right game as part of math. They adore the game and we haven’t played it in a while. The Captain headed my way quickly, but The Manager started pouting and-get this-crawling on the floor. All because I had asked him to come over to the table. He didn’t even wait to find out why I was asking.

I got annoyed because he was wasting time trying to avoid what was going to be a really fun game.
The phrase “Disobedience wastes time” popped into my head. So I said it out loud and put him in time out. No other comments or discussion, just said “disobedience wastes time….nose to the wall”. Then I engaged Captain Earthquake in a rip-roarin’ game of Left/Right. The Manager was obviously disappointed at being left out but I stood my ground and didn’t release him until his time was up. Then we played the game. 🙂

Afterwards I got to thinking, hey! That was loving and logical. I kept my mouth shut, established a boundary and let him deal with the consequences. And it makes sense. Disobedience does waste time. I’m not accusing him of anything, just stating a fact.

I’m going to try it again tomorrow.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents of disobedient children.

The editor-in-chief of Earnest Parenting, Amy is the mother of two sets of twin boys. Yes, they drive her crazy, but they also make her laugh occasionally. Amy enjoys writing, quilting, reading, and working on her burgeoning cyber empire.

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  • dan January 12, 2009, 12:21 am

    That is a good post. I have been reading you blog for a while now and this is my first comment. I follow because I have 2 teens and I work for a teen jobs site called Teen Job Scene.

    keep up the good posts, I will be be here to read them. i bookmarked you as well,

    Reply
  • selena January 12, 2009, 7:05 am

    I think it is good hallmark of love and logic that let the kids set free to learn somehing from the mistake. Nice posting you’ve made and I really very love this blog..

    Reply
  • Goacom January 13, 2009, 1:23 am

    This post captures much attention. You must know that you are not alone facing this predicament with children at an early age. Time and again one has to innovate to deal with them in meaningfully fruitful ways so that the love remains and the firmness resonates.

    However by the time you discover that you have the perfect recipe of “responding” to a particular situation they have already run out that time and are into another time zone, posing another challenge of a new response.

    And that I think is the beauty of parenting. One needs to update one’s heart to the changing times of kids.

    You are a mother with a great heart. And that surely is keeping you abreast. Good luck.

    Reply
  • Amy January 13, 2009, 2:46 am

    Dan, glad you commented! Your site has an interesting concept. I notice that there are no Michigan jobs available. No surprise there, sadly. 2 teens? Wow. I’m not quite up to teens yet, but it’s coming fast.

    Selena, thank you so much. I’m glad to have so many new friends.

    Goacom, you are so right. Can’t we just fast forward to when they’re adults, download all that knowledge and wisdom into our brains, and then rewind back to birth? I’d get so much more right if I just had the wisdom in advance. And thank you for the compliment. I do my best, but I know there’s much improvement to be made.

    Reply
  • Steph @ Diapers and Divinity January 14, 2009, 8:38 pm

    Just happened here today, and I love this post and this phrase you coined. Makes me wonder how much more productive I could be if I made my own obedience a priority… thanks.

    Reply
  • Amy January 19, 2009, 2:51 am

    Hi Steph, glad you stopped by! You make an excellent point. My own obedience certainly sets the example for my children. I appreciate the reminder.

    Reply
  • Val Garner January 24, 2009, 11:32 pm

    Great tip and SO true! I’ll bet he thinks again when he missed out on the fun. You are so creative in your parenting style. I also struggle alot with explaining too much.

    Reply
  • Manila Office Space January 26, 2009, 11:20 pm

    Yeah right, disobedience is a waste of time.You’ve always got a good idea about parenting.^_^_

    Reply
  • amosis January 27, 2009, 4:41 am

    well said,disobedience is a waste of time.

    Reply
  • Amy February 3, 2009, 11:24 pm

    Val, if only I could remember to shut up every time! I’m working on it.

    Manila Office Space, I do tend to think obsessively about things. 😀

    amosis nice to meet you. 🙂

    Reply
  • Law Firm Makati May 25, 2009, 9:52 pm

    This is a very nice post. I was enlightened and I really agree that disobedience really wastes time. I hope your boys learn their lesson well. thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  • Law Firm Makati May 25, 2009, 9:53 pm

    This is a very interesting and informative post. It is very hard to know if a person is lying or not and the basic rule is that we should trust our instinct.

    Reply
  • gifts for her December 1, 2009, 1:55 am

    since I'm a minority in following this disobedience challenge, can I take advantage of another silly law, affirmative action, and get free schooling???

    Reply