What is Love and Logic?
“I don’t understand it. The techniques my parents used so effectively just don’t seem to work with kids today.”- Does this statement sound familiar to you? A lot of parents today are wondering what to do with their kids and are frustrated because the old techniques just don’t seem to get the job done.
Parents want to enjoy their kids, have fun with them, and enjoy a less stressful family life. But even if their kids are trouble-free right now, they fear what the coming teenager years will bring. A lot of conflicting philosophies have been presented over the last 30 years.
Many of these sound good, but don’t seem to do the job of helping children become respectful, responsible, and a joy to be around. Many ideas, offered with the best of intentions, center around making sure that kids are comfortable and feeling good about themselves in order to have a good self-concept. However, we have discovered that self-confidence is achieved through struggle and achievement, not through someone telling you that you are number one. Self- confidence is not developed when kids are robbed of the opportunity to discover that they can indeed solve their own problems with caring adult guidance.
There is, however, an approach to raising kids that provides loving, support from parents while at the same time expecting kids to be respectful and responsible.
Many parents want their kids to be well prepared for life, and they know this means kids will make mistakes and must be held accountable for those mistakes. But these parents often fail to hold the kid accountable for poor decisons because they are afraid the kids will see their parents as mean. The result is they often excuse bad behavior, finding it easier to hold others, including themselves, accountable for their children’s irresponsiblity.
The Love and Logic method causes the child to see their parent as the “good guy” and the child’s poor decision as the “bad guy”. When done on a regular basis, kids develop an internal voice that says, “I wonder how much pain I’m going to to cause to myself with my next decision?” Kids who develop this internal voice become more capable of standing up to peer pressure.
What more could a parent want? Isn’t that a great gift to give your child? Parent child relationships are enhanced, family life becomes less strained, and we have time to enjoy our kids instead of either feeling used by them or being transformed from parent to policeman.
Love and Logic is a philosophy founded by Jim Fay and Foster W. Cline, M.D. it is based on the experience of a combined total of over 75 years working with and raising kids. It provides simple and practical techniques to help teachers and parents have less stress and more fun while raising responsible kids. Love and Logic offers many useful techniques that teachers and parents can begin experimenting with immediately. Here are some samples:
- Locking-in sadness or empathy before delivering consequences.
– Setting limits with enforceable statements.
– Sharing control through lot of small choices.
The Love and Logic techniques in action sounds like this:
Dad: “Oh, no. You left your bike unlocked and it was stolen. What a bummer. I bet you feel awful. Well, I understand how easy it is to make a mistake like that.” ( Notice that the parent is not leading with anger, intimidation, or threats.) Dad then adds, ” And you’ll have another bike as soon as you can earn enough money to pay for it. I paid for the first one. You can pay for the additional ones. “
Love and Logic parents know that no child is going to accept this without an argument, but Love and Logic parents can handle arguments. Jim Fay advises “just go brain dead.” This means that parents don’t try to argue or match wits with the child. They simply repeat, as many times as necessary. “I love you too much to argue.” No matter what argument the child uses, the parent responds “I love you too much to argue.” Parents who learn these techniques completely change, for the better, their relationship with kids and take control of the home in loving ways.
copyrighted 1999 Jim Fay, Love and Logic Institute
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Check out the Love and Logic website at www.loveandlogic.com
A mom and her daughter’s boots
A single mom met the Parent Place Director, at the Thrive booth in the Women’s Expo this past Fall. Kathy informed her about our many Parent Place events and programs, such as playgroup and gym day, which she soon began attending. With more exposure to what the Parent Place has to offer, the parent became interested in our Love and Logic parenting class. Struggling with her oldest daughter’s strong-willed personality, she decided to attend the class.
In the second week of the class, this mom expressed great frustration with the family’s morning routines. She went on to say that each morning she tells her daughter to put her boots and coat on, which is followed by a crying, temper tantrums and anger between the parent and child. This is an ongoing power struggle with this child. She reported feeling miserable and overwhelmed. The Parent Place instructor discussed the idea of gaining some control through by encouraging mom to offer choices to her daughter, using examples such as: “would you like to carry your coat or wear it?” and “would you like to wear your boots or walk to the car in your socks?” Mom said she would give it a try.
The third week, mom returned to the group and said, “I want you all to know that you would not even recognize my 4 year old.” She went on to tell how the first day she offered a choice to her daughter, the child loaded up her coat, boots, and hat into her arms. The daughter took one step outside in her socks into the snow and quickly scurried back into the house to put on her boots. For the next three days mom again offered the choice and her daughter put on her coats, boots and hat without incident. Mom then reported that yesterday, her daughter put all of her winter clothes on before mom even addressed the issue, and actually beat her to the car. “I have a daughter who has been putting her shoes on in the morning without any struggle.”
Their morning routine has changed from a stressful, tearful, frustrating start that negatively framed the whole day for the whole family to a smooth and happy start to the day. The mom is now feeling much more fulfilled and empowered as a parent. She is enjoying her daughters more, their behavior and confidence has improved noticeably.