Love and Logic

What is Love and Logic?

Photo by Natalie Ross

Photo by Natalie Ross

It is a philosophy used by teachers and parents to teach children about responsibility. This means providing consistent firm loving guidance without yelling, threatening or needing to resort to corporal punishment. When I first came across Love and Logic I didn’t believe it either! The more I learned though and the more I applied it with my own child and the children I treated in therapy I was amazed. That was in 1998 and I’ve been using it ever since and teaching it since 1999 to parents all over the Triangle and beyond.

Dr. Foster Cline and Jim Fay, developed and ways of responding to children to minimize on power struggles and cause children to think about the consequences of their own choices on themselves. The basic premises are that adults take good care of themselves, set firm loving limits with children, allow kids to make lots of mistakes while they are young and the stakes are low, and apply big doses of empathy before imposing consequences. We share the control that we don’t need by giving children age appropriate choices. Then we pray they will mess up enough to learn from the consequences their choices (or behavior) generate.

People often tell me this will never work with my child, she is too stubborn and won’t listen to me unless I yell or spank her. On the contrary, these strategies were designed to use with some of the most defiant and behavior disordered children because of their propensity for power struggles. So using them with our everyday bundles of energy is a sure win/win. Remember it is not about changing the children; it is about changing how we respond so that we get a totally different response from them. Then the whole dynamic is turned on its head. We learn how to send the unspoken message to our kids, ”No problem, I can handle you without breaking a sweat.” We do this by learning the Love and Logic strategies and when to employ them: choices, enforceable statements, one-liners to avoid arguing and the empathy to let them feel the consequences of their own actions.

In Love and Logic the Logic is designed to make children think about what will happen to them if they do something. The Love helps to deliver that message right into their little hearts not to be forgotten. Since all children either are, or will be teenagers, it is never too soon to have them wondering, “What will happen to me if I do this?” This philosophy is very respectful of children and adults alike by affording us the opportunity to be responsible for both our messes and our successes. We learn how to determine whether a problem belongs to the child, or the adult in charge, and how to proceed accordingly with strategies that teach thinking and problem solving skills from an early age. It puts the fun back into parenting because we wind up having energy to spare at the end of the day to enjoy our families. It also teaches how to share the right types and amounts of control with children so that they have some say over the things that affect only them while we remain in charge of the decisions affecting the household! Love and Logic teaches us how to be consultant parents that provide appropriate guidance to kids without rescuing them or domineering over them, both of which deprive children of valuable opportunities to use their thinking caps. And when they just want to argue for the entertainment value we have solutions for that too!

Another area where Love and Logic provides guidance is in co-parenting, blended family parenting and when grandparents are doing the bulk of the parenting.

You can peruse the  Love and Logic Website for catalogues of books, CD’s, DVD’s. They have oodles of great resources. A few of my favorites are “From Innocence to Entitlement”, “Hormones and Wheels”, “Rebuilding Trust”, “Parenting with Love and Logic”, “Shaping Self Concept” and “Grandparenting with Love and Logic”.

The Love and Logic Institute often gives my name to folks in this area as one of their approved trainers so feel free to check my reference with them. I can coach you individually, or you can join a scheduled class. I can always put together a class for you at your worksite, or your neighborhood, church or club. Let me know your interests and questions. I’d love to be able to help you put the fun back into your parenting. Please check the calendar for ongoing classes or call me at 919 304-5754. I’ll be happy to return your call as soon as I can!

Love and Logic Phone Consultations  with Miriam Lieberman, MA, LPCS  $75.00 per hour