Archive for ‘books’

September 14, 2010

>terrible twos tuesday: parenting love & logic

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I’m in the midst of joining a local mom’s club here in town and attended their monthly meeting last week. They had a speaker who spoke about the “Love and Logic” parenting concept, specifically referencing a series of books by the same name.

The “Love and Logic” concept is “a common-sense” approach to parenting that helps create good decision making skills, respect of others and promotes responsibility. These values are reached by their four basic principles:

1. Logical consequences delivered with empathy.
2. Collective thinking and problem solving.
3. Shared control.
4. Adult-child relationship that builds mutual respect and self-esteem.

Now, at this point some of you (my other half included) are thinking this might be some new-age crap. But it isn’t. Really, it’s the way a lot of us inherently parent, or at least hope to parent. But find ourselves frustrated when our toddler is poking her sister repeatedly in the eyeball despite you asking her not to. And we yell. And she does it again. Am I the only one who has experienced this? (Please tell me NO!)

“Love and Logic” has two rules:

Rule #1 – Adults set limits sans anger, lectures, threats or repeated warnings. (WOOPS!)
Rule #2 – When children cause problems, adults hand these problems back in loving ways.

Bottom line, it’s a way to help teach our children to problem solve on their own. Learn right and wrong by receiving logical consequences, whether it be by a parent or the consequence that comes with their action. And make good decisions starting at a young age.

For example, little Jimmy was given the job to remember to bring his sweatshirt on an outing. He forgot it and complained to his mom that he was cold. Mom replied “That’s a bummer.” And dropped the subject. She knew it wasn’t cold enough that he would get sick, or frostbitten. And she allowed him to suffer the consequence, but acknowledging his misstep with empathy. Jimmy didn’t forget his sweatshirt the next time.

Now for those of you, like me, with wee ones, you can start this early. I give our toddler choices like “Would you like apple juice or milk with dinner?” And let her dictate things like this. When she misbehaves, I sing “Uh-Oh!” and redirect her behavior, removing the offending object or, if need be, giving her some bedroom time to calm down. When she whines, I have started going deaf after telling her that I will listen when she speaks calmly and nicely. When she is doing something that is seemingly the “wrong way,” I tell her that I would do it the other way and let her choose to change her behavior.

She’s two. It doesn’t always work, but I can see when she is given options she makes decisions. And I think with time I will see these principals take shape. It’s logical to me! I can see it being logical to her. And it seems to be logical to her dad, too.

The folks at “Love and Logic” have all sorts of statistics of how kids who are given choices as kids versus those who have helicopter parents (parents who hover) or drill sergeant parents (do I need to describe this?).  How they do in college. How well they enter into adulthood. Who gets in trouble and who doesn’t. You can visit their website here for that info. It’s not that I don’t care about those statistics, it just makes good sense to me to give my children all the tools they need to make decisions, even if that means letting them make bad ones sometimes.

“Love and Logic” parenting is something that we are exploring. I am certainly not going to suggest that this is the only way. We all have our own styles and we all produce wonderful kids. I just encourage parents, especially as you embark into toddlerhood and start exploring disciplining philosophies to take a gander at this book series. Below are links to the books on Amazon (it uses my associates ID). Let me know your thoughts on the topic, or tell me about a strategy that works for you.