The “Strategic Planning Session”
The “Strategic Planning Session” is an effective Love and Logic technique that can be used with children and teenagers who misbehave in public situations. It can take many forms, but the following example is a classic.
When Veronica came to the fourth session of her Parenting the Love and Logic Way® class, she was very anxious to get some help with a festering problem involving her twelve-year-old son, Jake. A recent growth spurt had left him taller than his mother, and now he believed that she no longer deserved his respect.
She told the class about a recent event that left her baffled and described what happened: “I was so embarrassed! I had saved money to take him and his little brother to the movies. You should have been there. Jake would not take his feet off the back of the seats in front of us, and he kept making loud and nasty remarks during the movie. Strangers were even telling him to settle down! I just didn’t know what to do.” Two members of her Love and Logic class offered to help her develop a very special strategic plan for Jake.
On the next movie day for Jake and his little brother, sixteen-year-old Preston appeared at their door just before they were ready to leave for the theater. He was the extremely large son of one of the Love and Logic class members, and he did a masterful job describing his role to the rather bewildered Jake: “I’m here to watch you while your mom and your brother go to the movies. I heard that you wouldn’t listen to her last time. That’s not cool. How are you planning to pay me? I charge fifteen bucks.”
“Hey,” yelled Jake. “I’m not staying with you and I’m not paying you. I’m leaving!” Preston calmly replied, “That’s okay. I get paid whether you stay or leave, and your Mom said that she could also give me your allowance over the next month as payment.”
Jake freaked and protested, “Hey, that’s way more than fifteen bucks!” Shrugging his shoulders, Preston agreed with empathy, “I know. That’s because when you pay later you have to include interest.”
Jake had no idea that this plan had been hatched at Mom’s parenting class. As a result of this little intervention, do you think he was at least a bit more mannerly at the movies?
Love and Logic has many techniques that help parents whenever their kids do unexpected things at the most inappropriate times! For more ideas on how to handle these baffling situations, at home or in public, listen to our audio, Oh Great! What Do I Do Now?.
Thanks for reading!