I started a Love & Logic parenting class last week. Parenting With Love & Logic is an approach where the goal is that “children experience firm limits and accountability within the context of incredibly loving and encouraging relationship.”
One of my greatest fears as a parent is that someday my children won't respect me, or that our relationship with be a superficial one. I know they won't always like me but I desire so much to have a respectful, loving relationship in the long term.
Love & Logic is one way to get at creating this ideal, at least for me. I am excited to share a few highlights from the first session.
Love & Logic Parenting
It isn't easy to allow your child to have these difficult experiences, ones when they makes mistakes and are in pain because of it.
For example, watching your young child empty every last penny from his piggy bank with gentle tears streaming down his cheeks to pay for a mistake he must fix (e.g. a window broken because he kicked a ball through it) is heart wrenching for any parent.
Allowing him to have this experience will benefit not only him but you and your family for a lifetime.
How do we begin our way to setting limits and accountability with love and empathy?
Love & Logic Recommendations
Here are a few suggested ways:
#1 – Eye contact and meaningful interactions at transition periods
Connect with your child as soon as they wake up, or walk through the door after school. Make those moments special ones. Let him know you're happy to see him.
#2 – Acknowledge one thing your child did that was special that day without including: ‘That was great.'
For example in our home I could say to my older son, ‘I noticed that you helped your brother get his coat on.' That's it. According to Love & Logic ‘the simple act of noticing without evaluation is powerful beyond comprehension.'
#3 – Avoid Sarcasm
I struggle with this one. I am sarcastic by nature. Young children don't get it though. What they experience is confusion and bad feelings that they are not only not supported but not loved by the most important people in their lives.
#4 – Love them at all moments good and bad.
This one is tough but so powerful. Think about it for your significant other too. Let him know how much you love him even when the behavior isn't the most loveable.
#5 – Find a way to mitigate arguing with your child.
You waste energy arguing with a child who developmentally won't see your rationale. Love and Logic suggests a monotone one liner like “I know” or “I love you too much to argue”. I am working on this one.
Resources for Love & Logic
- Love & Logic parenting class
- Parenting With Love & Logic Book
- Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood: Practical Parenting from Birth to Six Years
- Teaching with Love & Logic: Taking Control of the Classroom
This process is long term and the approach takes practice.