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Love & Logic Magic

Sorry this is late, I’m going to be off on my days this week, I still haven’t gone shopping yet either!

Love and Logic describes three different types of parents! The drill sergeants, helicopter parents and consultants. The goal is to become consultant parents.

Drill sergeant parents are characterized as barking orders that they demand be followed, using punishment to assert their control, having kids who never learn to think for themselves, inspire fear and resentment rather than problem solving, and creating teenagers who can’t think for themselves. I remember reading about a drill sergeant parent. He was mourning the loss of his teenage daughter and realizing that it was his fault. He had always told her what to do, so she never learned how to think for herself. She got herself into a life threatening situation and could not figure out a way to save herself!

Helicopter Parents are characterized by continually hovering over and saving their children, trying too hard to make their children’s lives perfect, creating feelings of “hostile dependency” in their kids, bringing up children who don’t know how to be responsible, and causing kids to feel unhappy and incapable. “Hostile dependency results when we continually rescue our kids, they become dependent on us, which eventually fills them with resentment.” (132). Helicopter parents unconsciously tell their children that they cannot do anything for themselves because they won’t do it right or well. These types of parents drove me crazy when I was a teacher. I had some parents who balked at the idea of me teaching their children to be responsible and accountable for their own actions. They thought it was my job to make sure that their kids didn’t get into situations that would require them to suffer any amount of unhappiness, even if it included teaching them a critical life skill! “Sometimes we have to make our kids really upset in the short term so they can be happy & responsible in the long term.” (137)

Consultant parents are characterized by making their children think for themselves, they never tell a kid what to do, they offer choices, they use enforceable statements, and they let consequences do the teaching.

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Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood: Practical Parenting from Birth to Six Years by Jim and Charles Fay

I LOVE this book; it was very quick and easy to read! This book describes different strategies on how to be more effective while raising responsible children! I LOVE how it gives example scenarios for each concept because sometimes it can be difficult to know when to implement each strategy that they describe. I am planning on taking the next 10 weeks to discuss this book. I hope this book will help you as much as it did me! “With Love and Logic, your children will learn how to live with the consequences of their actions, avoid blaming others for their problems, and make wise decisions. What Love and Logic can promise is to raise the odds of children turning out well, especially when parents start early.” (3)

Jim and Charles Fay said, “Regardless of all our technological advances, parents will always be the most important source of information and values for their growing children.” (5) This reiterates to me that leading by example is crucial! Try not to be a hypocrite; if your room isn’t clean, how can you expect your children to keep their room clean; if you do not treat your children with respect, how can you expect them to reciprocate; etc.? If you want your children to be honest, then you must live it! (This reminds me of a story, I do not remember where I heard this, but a mom realized after she left the store that she was only charged for one pair of jeans, not two. So she went back to the store (with her daughter) and told the store that she was not charged correctly. The store actually did not know how to fix this problem and they ended up sending her to a couple of different locations in the store. They were getting pretty frustrated and tired and when they were finally getting the help they required, they were asked by the clerk, why? The little girl, under her breath said, “Because God would know!” What a message this mother gave to her daughter!

Jim and Charles Fay suggest building a high self-concept in children. Their “Formula for High Self-Concept (is to) offer empathy, understanding and unconditional love, (to) allow children to struggle and solve their own problems, (and to) encourage children to learn to succeed through personal thinking and learning” (8). Even though, giving children the answers is a lot more time efficient, you will rob your children of learning to solve problems on their own! My husband is very good at computers, and I, well, am not. I usually just ask him to fix the problem or how to do it. However, since I have been blogging, I have been trying to learn how to do things on my own, it may take me longer, but if I figure it out myself, I am more likely to remember!

“A goal of Love and Logic is to make the home as similar as possible to the real world” (8); I LOVE this concept and my mom believed the same thing. When my brother and I complained that things were not fair, she would reply, “Well, sorry Hun, but life isn’t fair.” I remember when I was in high school, I tried out for cheer leading, I didn’t make it, but I memorized the list because many of my friends tried out too! When I went back to school, I was walking down the hall and someone said “Congratulations” to one of the girls who did not make the squad. I was a little confused, so I went to go look at the list again, and sure enough, two names had been added. Now I do not know exactly what happened, but I can make a pretty good guess. I went home and asked my mom to call the school and stand up for me! She refused and I was so mad at her at the time, but now I am very grateful, she taught me a valuable lesson: no life isn’t fair (and Mom and Dad won’t be able to make it fair in the real world) and just because you work hard doesn’t mean you will earn it and (the biggest lesson) that Mom or Dad won’t always be able to “rescue” me, I needed to learn how to deal. “Every time we rescue our children, we erode their self-concept.” (10)

To build high self-concept you need to share the control and set limits; “Control is a basic human emotional need” (10). They suggest “…giv(ing) control away when you don’t need it, so you can get some back when you do” (11-12); “Share control by giving the types of choices that do not cause a problem for you” (12). Sharing control means giving your child choices: “Love and Logic parents understand that a child’s ability to make choices, within the safety of limits, is the foundation of responsibility and wisdom” (14). When setting limits, provide a strong dose of empathy before delivering consequences and share the thinking.

Check out Love and Logic’s website!  Check them out on Facebook!

Here is a previous blog post on Choices!

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