Black Hills Christian Academy

Parents' Page

Balancing Busy Families from Love and Logic by Dr. Chalres Fay (Dec. 2016)


Many parents ask, “Is it really possible to raise well-adjusted kids while at the same time trying to manage an incredibly hectic and stressful work and family life?” One mom described their situation:
 

 We try to live a simple, frugal lifestyle. Even with keeping our spending as low as possible, both of us still have to work full schedules just to provide for the basics. With three young children things get crazy. The house almost always feels like a mess, and we have very little time and energy left over to spend with the kids. Both of us feel horribly guilty about this much of the time.

 
Some parents spend almost no time with their kids because they are addicted to work, addicted to buying extra stuff, addicted to selfish activities or all three. Many others, however, find themselves having to work their fingers to the bone because they simply don’t have a choice. Here are some words of encouragement… and some tips… for this second type:
 

• Many well-adjusted adults grew up with exceptionally busy parents.
 The key seems to be this: As children, they were not shielded from their family’s economic struggles. Their parents were honest about the challenges and consistently modeled hopeful, positive attitudes. As such, they internalized the truth that they were deeply loved even though their parents weren’t able to spend as much time with them as they wanted.
 

•  Remember that guilt often interferes with good parenting.
 When we allow guilt to interfere with our ability to set and enforce loving limits and expectations, our kids suffer.
 

• Don’t be afraid to ask for help with supervision.
 Kids of all ages need good supervision. Without it, even very good kids often get involved in drugs, alcohol, early sex, and other high-risk behaviors.
 

• You are doing a good and noble thing by taking care of the needs of your family.
 This is wonderful modeling, and it sends a powerful message of love to your kids.

 
Busy parents often find it helpful to listen to our audios as they travel to and from work. Without having to spend large amounts of time reading, they can learn ideas for making the very best of the limited time they have with their kids.
 
Thanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend.
 Dr. Charles Fay

 

 

Hey, Mom. Don't Lie to Me! from Love & Logic by Jim Fay (Jan. 2017)

 

The game was over and I saw one mom put her arm around her son, saying, “Don’t feel bad, Hunter. You played really well.”
 
“Don’t say that, Mom! We lost! I struck out three times. Don’t tell me I played well when I didn’t! It doesn’t do any good. It’s a big fat lie and I hate it! All the parents do that and we all hate it. Why do you do stuff like that? It’s stupid!”
 
Hunter pulled away and stalked off.
 
I almost wanted to yell, “Hey, everybody. Listen to that wise little kid. He’s going to be a great psychologist some day.” But I knew if I did that I would be permanently banned from the ball field, never again to have the joy of watching youth baseball.
 
Overhearing this exchange caused me to remember my days playing Old Timers Youth Baseball. There were no parents lying to us about how well we played. At the end of a losing game, it was common for kids to hear, “I’m sorry that didn’t go well. There will be other days, and with some practice, maybe things will go better.”
 
This kind of talk was based on the belief that self-confidence comes when we overcome challenges and become successful, not from being told that we are a success even when we aren’t.
 
In those days we didn’t all get trophies for participation. There were no awards for showing up and for breathing on our own. At the end of the season there was one trophy for the team that won, and we all worked hard to earn it, because if we did, we’d be the only ones to take it home, and it would really mean something.
 
We love our kids and it is tempting to try to salve their disappointments just as Hunter’s mother did, but, as Hunter so eloquently advised us, it’s counterproductive

Jim Fay, Love & Logic

 

Don't Set Too Many Limits from Love & Logic by Dr. Charles Fay (Jan.)

 

Kids yearn for limits. Limits say, “I love you enough to show you how to have a responsible and happy life.” Limits also say, “I love you enough to keep you safe.”
 
Limits also help us take good care of ourselves so we can remain loving. They keep us from feeling like doormats; therefore, they prevent us from developing resentment.
 
So… if limits are so important… why did I title this tip, “Don’t Set Too Many Limits”?
 
When we try to set too many limits over too many things, we spread ourselves thin and lack the time and energy to enforce them.
 

Every limit we set, yet fail to enforce,

erodes our relationship with our children.

 

Every limit set, yet not enforced,

reduces our credibility in the eyes of our kids.

 
Yes! The stakes are very high.
 
This is why Love and Logic teaches three essential rules for setting limits:
 
Rule One: Keep your limits simple and general.
 
Many parents and educators have enjoyed great success by using just one generic limit in most situations: “I allow_____________ as long as it doesn’t cause a problem.”
 
Rule Two: Describe what you will do… rather than what your kids must do.
 
When we tell someone what they must or must not do, we are trying to control something we cannot.
 
When we describe what we will do or allow, we are remaining focused on what we can control.
 
Rule Three: Never set a limit you aren’t willing and able to enforce 200% of the time.
 
It only takes a slight bit of inconsistency on our part for our children to begin viewing us like slot machines. If their limit testing pays off even to the slightest degree, they begin to think, “Our parents enforce limits most of the time, but there is hope that if we just keep playing them, they’ll slip up and we’ll hit the jackpot.”
 
Thanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend.
 
Dr. Charles Fay, Love & Logic