Parenting Strategies: Love and Logic
By Jane Moulton
Would you like to learn strategies that put the fun back into parenting? Would you like to learn practical techniques for enhancing communication between you and your children? Well, I have a program for you that will do just that. It is called Love And Logic.
Principles of Love And Logic:
- Uses strategies that will maintain your child’s self esteem.
- Shares the control with your kids by giving choices. This allows kids to share the thinking.
- Offers empathy and understanding. Allows kids to have the gift of struggle and with time, solve their own problems.
- Provides a strong dose of empathy.
How do we do this?
Give your kids lots of choices about things that don’t matter to you. The more we give, the more we get. Give 99% of choices when things are going well. Provide choices that are not dangerous or cause a problem for someone else. Always give choices that make you, the parents, happy. Show the child that you will choose for them if he/ she doesn’t choose in ten seconds.
Here are examples of choices:
- Do you want to wear your red shirt today or your blue one?
- Do you want juice or milk for breakfast?
- Do you want to put on your p.j. tops or bottoms first?
- Would you like to go to the bathroom first or brush your teeth?
- Would you like to read this or the other book before bedtime?
Choices become a deposit in your child’s account. The more choices we give the more appreciative and cooperative they become.
Using Enforceable Statements: These statements describe limits that we can actually enforce 100% of the time. They become meaningful words that can back up an action.
Here are a few statements that might make your morning hassle free:
- Breakfast is served at __ o’clock. Then 15 minutes after breakfast is served, the bowl or plate gets put up and breakfast is over. This keeps your kid from dawdling at mealtime.
- I give treats to kids who protect their teeth by brushing.
- The car is leaving in four minutes … then set your timer. They may have to go with clothes in a bag, but this will only happen once!
Thoughts on Bedtime:
Your toddler loves sleeping in your bed. Dad and Mom are tired of this and want their bed back. Wean your kid to a sleeping bag and each night move the bag out a little farther until it is in the hallway or maybe in the child’s room. One suggestion I have heard comes from one of my daughters-in-law: Buy your child a pet, such as a fish and tell your child he has to be big and stay in his room to take care of the pet.
Much more on bedtime in the Love and Logic books.
Power struggles and/ or temper tantrums:
Children have tantrums to get attention and sometimes are willing to act up with bad behavior for any type of attention at all.
First remove yourself from the tantrum somewhere you can see the child but he cannot see you. Usually this is all it takes because temper tantrums need an audience. Set limits in a loving way. Use empathy when giving a logical consequence. It could mean bedroom time – a minute per year – or so many minutes AFTER the child calms down
The reason we give choices is to provide some of the control to our kids. This way when they are in the middle of a power struggle you can say, ”Don’t I give you lots of choices? Well, this time it’s my choice.” Finally, with EMPATHY you say, “This is my choice for you.”
These are just a few examples of the Love and Logic Parenting program. There are many helpful books and DVD’s to help parents.
For more information on books and programs you can go to the Love and Logic web site:
Jane Moulton’s bio:
Jane has taught in public elementary schools for thirty years. She created a parent/educator early childhood program for her district using the Parents as Teachers Curriculum. Jane has been a facilitator for the Love and Logic Parenting program for nineteen years. She is the Mother of four grown sons, four daughter-in-laws and Grandmother to eleven amazing grandkids, ages 4 – 18.