Are you feeling like you just don’t have time to be messing with the Logical Consequence Process? LCP involves determining what your children’s stressors are, filling their energy tank, and/or building skills. As parents, we are often very busy and all of these things sound like they’re going to take a tonne of time and effort. We just need our kids to listen to us, and to do it quickly. Unfortunately, that’s much easier said than done.
Let’s try an exercise:
Grab a pen and paper, or pull up a notes app on your phone. Write down a situation where you told your kids to do something, and they didn’t do it. They either did the opposite, or they flat out refused, or they whined that they couldn’t do it.
Now, I want you estimate how much time you spent doing the following:
1. Coercing, cajoling, and demanding that they listen.
2. Enforcing a time-out. Putting them back in time out when they left. Standing there to make sure they stayed in time-out.
3. Dealing with a meltdown or tantrum.
Now, add all that time up.
I generally get numbers in the 20 – 90 minute range.
When I do this exercise with private clients, or even with daycare teachers during professional development workshops, the baseline is from 20 minutes to 1.5 hours
The initial intervention: sending them to timeout or yelling at them to listen or threatening them with revoking a privilege takes seconds. But you aren’t solving your problem in those seconds.
In this calculated time, more times than not, the problem isn’t actually solved.
The thing you needed generally isn’t done and often parents tell me that they got frustrated and did it themselves instead. Usually the child is still upset, and the parent is upset. Sometimes this is done 2-5 times a day! That is a lot of wasted time!
In contrast, the Logical Consequence Process takes about 10 minutes to do at first.
That is still half the time most people take for time-outs! But that’s just how long it generally takes at first! The process is designed to get shorter the more proficient you and your child get at using it. And the same applies to stressors and skills.
At first, there is a significant time investment in observing, discovering stressors and weak skills. No two kids are alike, so it takes some time to figure out exactly what is going on with you child.
Don’t freak out! There is no single strategy that should work for everyone.
There is nothing wrong with your child, and you’re doing it wrong! We’re individuals! Our children are individuals! Everybody has their own quirks, needs and the way they see the world. So while everyone has stressors and weak skills, that’s basically where the similarities end. Customizing strategies to your child, figuring out what works for them, takes time. But unlike these blanket strategies, like time-outs and punishments and reward charts, it is a time investment. Blanket strategies can have you stuck. They keep you reliant on them, and the moment you apply them inconsistently, the whole system breaks down.
The Logical Consequences Process teaches children how to think critically.
LCP will lead to a time where you will barely have to apply it anymore. Your children will be able to think through the process and fix their own problems. Your children will learn how to deal with or eliminate their stressors and how to keep themselves regulated, meaning you don’t have to facilitate it anymore! Their weak skills get stronger so you don’t have to compensate for them.
It takes some time investment on the front end – but even then, it’s less time than time wasted on blanket strategies. Would you rather spend 10 minutes disciplining your kids and having that 10 minutes gradually reduce to nothing, or would you rather spend an hour and continue spending an hour because the moment you stop the behaviour comes back?
It’s not that you don’t have time, you just don’t want to think about it.
Most parents don’t want to have to think about discipline, they want it to be easy and automatic, which is completely understandable and common. We all have so much on our plates and so much on our minds, that having to think about discipline feels kind of daunting. The irony is that they end up spending way more time thinking about it and doing it, than if you just did some of the prep work ahead of time.
Stop in the moment to think about what’s going on and how this behaviour you’re seeing fits into those three pillars. Respond based on that, knowing that in that process, children are learning how to do the process themselves. You have to do it for them now, because they’re young. As they get older, they’re learning to take it on and do it themselves. How awesome would that feel to be able to just prompt your kid to take stock and have them solve their own problems? That doesn’t happen overnight. It doesn’t happen when you apply the same blanket strategy to every kid in every situation. It doesn’t happen without thinking about it.
Is it that you don’t have time? Or that you don’t want to have to think about it?
If it’s that you don’t want to have to think about it, I encourage you to do that audit of how much time you’re actually spending vs how much time you perceive you’re spending on discipline, as I’d bet that it’s way more than you think!
And if you’re spending a lot of time on a strategy that isn’t actually getting you results, you may want to consider if it’s time to try something new.
If you want to learn more about those three pillars I talked about and how they all work together to create good behaviour: I invite you to attend my free workshop: How to Raise Well-Behaved Kids Without Yelling, Shaming, or Time-outs.
It’s about an hour long and in it we go through how the entire Uncommon Sense Parenting system works and how it can get you unstuck and solving your child’s behavioural struggles with just minutes a day. Classes run several times a day, so pick a time that works best for you!