I'm just now responding to the parenting article Julia posted about. I went to a Love and Logic seminar for school once--all expense paid--but Miriam was only a year old so I didn't get out of it as much as I could have.
I really enjoyed this article. Kami--read it immediately and then call me.
The things I liked best: be consistent. My SIL Lindsay Ann is INCREDIBLY consistent and her girls are so well-behaved (and spastic). I know that is the bottom line of parenting, but it doesn't make it much easier.
I liked her four step approach, especially the don't reteach. I find that the more I lecture the more worked up I get and then the more likely I am to fly off the handle and beat the child. I think her "less is more" philosophy is a good one. No reteaching. No explaining.
I also like that she doesn't give extra chores until her kids are 8. I have been trying the extra chore approach because I have a good friend that does it and it works really well for her. So well that I was impressed and decided to do it myself. It doesn't work at my house. Emeline loves extra chores because it means I have to be right with her helping her (attention), plus she likes to do chores. Cowen doesn't mind chores but HATES getting sent away from me, so he thought the new system was peachy. Miriam would get 16 extra chores a day just for dawdling. She'd dawdle, get an extra chore, dawdle through that and yes, you guessed it, I'd end up a yelling freaky monster by the end of the day.
I think the quick, separate them from what they want to be doing right then is much simpler and doable with 5 small children.
I also love the "tap when dawdling" approach and the report in when done idea. Lately I told my children that I wasn't going to put so much effort in to create fun for them. For example, they love swim lessons but getting them to lessons was a nightmare the first day. The second day I explained to them that getting to lessons was their responsibility and when I said it was time to go, they had to come ask me what they could do to help, do it, return to ask if there was anything else they could do, and so forth until I said everything was ready and get buckled in the van.
It has worked a miracle. Today Cowen was already in the van and buckled before he remembered, but he came back out, found me and asked if there was anything he needed to do. I almost cried.
Basically I just really loved this article.
Now, to IMPLEMENT the ideas in the article. Always the harder part. :) At least now I know what I'm going to do the next time Emeline sticks out her tongue at me or calls me stupid. The child has attitude.