What Is Parenting with Love and Logic?

by Jim Fay  

Self-confidence is achieved through struggle and achievement

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.

This program is known as Parenting with Love and Logic, a philosophy founded by Jim Fay and Foster W. Cline, M.D., and based on the
experience of a combined total of over 75 years working with
and raising kids.

• • • Love and Logic • • •

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 kids accountable for poor decisions because they are afraid the kids will see their parents as being mean. The result is they often excuse bad behavior, finding it easier to hold others, including themselves, accountable for their children’s irresponsibility.

Jim Fay teaches us that we should “lock in our empathy, love, and understanding” prior to telling kids what the consequences of their actions will be. The parenting course Becoming a Love and Logic Parent teaches parents how to hold their kids accountable in this special way. This 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 cause for 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.

The Love and Logic technique 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.)

• • • Love and Logic • • •

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 how to use these techniques completely change, for the better, their relationships with kids and take control of the home in loving ways.

Guidelines for Helping With Homework
• Set aside a time each day for family learning.
Set aside at least 30 minutes, devoted to “family brain cell development.” During this time, there should be no TV, video games, computer games, etc.
Model your own excitement for learning by reading a book, writing letters, etc.
Your child may learn by doing their homework, reading about something they love, writing stories, etc.
• Help only when your child truly wants it.
Some parents make the mistake of forcing help upon their kids. This only creates frustration, anger, and kids who believe they can’t learn without their parents’ help.
• Help only when there’s an absence of anger or frustration.
When either you or your child gets frustrated or angry, learning becomes associated with frustration and anger.
• Help only when your child can describe what the teacher said.
This ensures that your child continues to believe that it’s important to pay attention to teachers. Unfortunately, some kids learn that it’s best to “tune-out” at school and let their parents do all of the teaching at home.
• Move away from your child before he/she “gets it.”
Some children believe they can only learn something, or “get it,” when an adult is in the same room…or is guiding them every inch of the way. To prevent this dependency, avoid falling into the habit of sitting at the table as
your child does their homework, especially when they are on the brink of learning something new.

Never Work Harder Than Your Child.

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Camas School District #117

This website was made possible by a grant from the Camas Educational Foundation.

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