FUN in handling kids’ mistakes with questions rather than recrimination

June 20th, 2012

by Katrina Brooke

There is everlasting JOY and downright FUN in handling kids’ mistakes with questions rather than recrimination. We never know whether those little souls are really listening to us while we’re talking. But when we ask questions in a non-witness-stand and curious manner, we lead them to think. Let’s look at a recent enjoyable example:
Two brothers, ages 8 and 6, were playing with bows and arrows and scooters here at our house the other day. Before leaving for home, their dad asked, “Did you boys put the arrows and bows and scooters away?” And they answered, “Yes.” However, when I looked in the barn after they left, they had thrown everything just out of sight, inside the door. What a mess! There was the target, still with arrows sticking out; there were the bows, still strung; there were the arrows, scattered all across the floor and the scooters were buried beneath the arrows and bows.
 
When something like this happens, so many parents could lecture, show frustration, punish, thereby encouraging resentment in the kids, and raising their own blood pressure in the process.
 
Instead, I sent the picture below via email, to their Love and Logic dad.
bows and arrows
 
That evening he called the boys over to his office computer. “Hey, guys, I want to show you a picture. What do you think this is a picture of?”
 
He reported that both boys looked like stunned deer in the headlights! After a stuttering admission of the origin of the picture, the dad had fun asking other questions:
  • Can you tell me seven things that are wrong with this picture?
  • Do you think you’ll ever be able to use that equipment again, or do you think you might have shot your last arrow?
  • If Dr. Cline cleans up your mess, do you think he’ll charge you for his time?
  • Do you think a phone call of apology might save you some money, or increase your odds of ever shooting another arrow at his place?
  • Etc.
Love and Logic parenting can be so much fun!
 
Thanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend.
 
Dr. Foster Cline

©2012 Love and Logic Institute, Inc.

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