How Long Do You Do BCLC?

Written in May 2012.

Somebody asked, “How long do you have to do BCLC, before you can parent “Normally”?
That is a VERY good question!

I think what this person is asking is, “When can I show displeasure or anger at my child’s behavior as I have done with my biological children and not have a back lash effect?”

I think the answer to this question is two fold…..
In question form:

1. Can you talk to your child about WRONG behavior WITHOUT the anger?
2. Have you established a trusting RELATIONSHIP and CONNECTION with your child?

I had to talk to one of our sweeties this morning about a behavior that was bothering me. Instead of showing her anger or disappointment, I simply was able to spell out the facts. “The behavior you are showing is not what I see as productive. You need to make some changes. I KNOW you can do it, because you are great kid!”
At first, she didn’t want to hear it. But she listened as I encouraged her to hear my heart. And when our talk was over, she was empowered to do better and consider dropping the behavior in question.

I didn’t HAVE to show anger to get my point across. I was serious and to the point, minus the “guilt trip anger”.

Now, I could talk FRANKLY, BECAUSE we have established a trusting connection.

One of the points about BCLC parenting is that a RELATIONSHIP has to be WORKING in order to be able to parent. This is VERY TRUE!
It does not matter how LONG our children have been home! If we have not established RELATIONSHIP, then everything else is FUTILE! RELATIONSHIP IS THE ALL IMPORTANT FIRST STEP!
IF relationships are established and trust is there, we have much more freedom in how we handle any given situation.
I think BCLC is not much different than “Grace Based Parenting”….. It is respectful, kind and gentle. It tells the TRUTH in LOVE!
But in order for our kids to HEAR the TRUTH, they need to trust us first.
BCLC looks past the behaviors to the FEAR that drives the behaviors. Those behaviors diminish GREATLY as trust is established. The fears disappear and many unwanted behaviors go away.

Once TRUST is established, you can work on the specific lingering behaviors; fear driven or formed from bad habit. When our children trust our love and know we accept them, they are very willing to work on hard issues. πŸ™‚
And it is a JOY to see them progress!
There is no anger needed to point out that some behaviors are wrong or immoral. Those things can be spoken of with great tenderness.
It helps to remember that our children are STILL CHILDREN and even as young teens have a LONG ways to go before adulthood. Our own fears should not be what cause us to over react or implement destructive consequences that get in the way of true progress.

I am ALL FOR NATURAL consequences, but not IMPOSED consequences that are more like punishment.

There have been many times where my own girls have felt like I was “punishing” them because I didn’t allow a certain freedom or privilege. I am very quick to let them know that I would LOVE for them to be able to do X….. but until they are ready, it would not be right for me to give that privilege.
It is amazing how they respond to that. Usually it is a very positive response, because they are made to feel safe and secure.

So how LONG do we do BCLC? Always! πŸ™‚ Of course we have to be VERY CAREFUL with our own attitudes and tones of voice when a child is learning to trust. But things do relax and when we do not do things perfectly, as we are NOT perfect…. the kids are relaxed and forgiving of us, just as we are of them. πŸ™‚

I think that there is a great misunderstanding that when using BCLC, you have to walk on egg shells for eternity and your kids never get past being treated with kit gloves. I believe the word is “coddled”. This is a MYTH. The point is, that LOVE WORKS! We all want to be LOVED and CONNECTED because we are social beings. Tenderness and gentle parenting is a GOOD THING for ALL children!
Learning to be an effective parent without blowing our tempers is also a good thing! The scripture says, “Be angry and sin not!” and “A soft answer turns away wrath!” That means, we can be angry and tender at the same time. We can disapprove of wrong doing and correct behaviors in our children without overwhelming them with shame and guilt.

Effective parenting doesn’t just “happen”. It is well thought out, planned, orchestrated, plotted, outside the box type parenting. πŸ™‚ And it is ALWAYS LOVING. “Savior, like a gentle shepherd lead us…..” We need to be GENTLE shepherds for our children.
No sledgehammers needed. πŸ™‚

Comments warmly welcomed!


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