Establishing yourself as loving yet powerful authority figure.
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Wes Conrad was a B-17 pilot in WWII. He told many stories of his bombing missions over Germany and catching “flak” from Hitler’s anti-aircraft guns. (Flak is an abbreviation for the German word Fliegerabwehrkanonen, which is translated as anti-aircraft guns and literally means “flyer defense cannons.”) On one particular mission, the battle was raging and Wes’s bomber was taking a lot of flak. One of the flight crew, a very young man who was understandably scared to death, begged Wes to let him jettison their load of bombs so they could abandon their mission and return safely to base. Wes said that he looked at the young man and responded, “Get back to your position soldier– if we ain’t takin’ flak – we ain’t over the target!”
What in the world does this have to do with parenting and teaching?
When adults begin using Love and Logic skills, such as empathy, choices, delaying consequences, setting limits, etc., they often catch a lot of flak from their kids. The kids start to feel off balance because what they are accustomed to is giving way to a healthier approach. The adults are now establishing themselves as loving yet powerful authority figures. This is great in the long-term but upsetting for kids in the short-term.
If kids are showing some pushback because you are adopting Love and Logic skills, don’t panic. You are on the right track. I regularly tell classes and clients that things will often “go south before they go north,” and to firmly and lovingly hold the line. Adults will start catching flak because they are “over the target” of providing loving limits and accountability.
Change can be hard!
What does catching flak from kid sound like?
   “This new stuff you’re learning doesn’t work.”
   “This is dumb.”
   “I want my old mom/dad/teacher back.”
   “You don’t love me.”
   “You just had kids to make them do all your jobs.”
   “If I get an “F” on this, it’s your fault.”
Catching flak can also look like tantrums, defiance, sibling bickering, or other negative behaviors.
Keep in mind that flak is temporary, as long as we don’t back down. Do yourself and your kids a favor. Hold the line with lots of love… and logic!
Kate Turner LPCThanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend.
Kate Turner LPC

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