What Is Love and Logic Parenting?
What is love and logic parenting? The Love and Logic approach is a philosophy of child-rearing based on the simple principle that, while children from time to time behave in ways that surprise or disappoint us, they are good. Children’s behavior is motivated by what they want or need. Their schedule may be different from ours, but it isn’t wrong or bad. The Love and Logic® approach help us to keep our children safe while encouraging them to make their own decisions, solve problems themselves and grow up with a sense of confidence in their ability to do things for themselves.
Effective Discipline Focuses on Solving Problems, Not “Punishing” Children or Forcing Them to Behave
It is about helping our children learn how to get their needs met with dignity and confidence, which will make them more successful in the future. Effective discipline means that we guide our children with firmness, fairness, and consistency as they grow into responsible, confident adults.
Discipline Is About Teaching and Guidance, Not Just Consequences
The Love and Logic approach teaches parents that children have a plan of their own for every situation they face and how to finesse a win-win outcome. Instead of focusing on what we don’t want or like about our child’s behavior, the Love and Logic® approach looks at what the child wants or needs. For example, if your child trashes their bedroom, instead of focusing on everything you don’t like about it, Love and Logic focuses on what your child wants. Knowing what our children want or need makes them more likely to listen to us and cooperate. In each situation, there is a logical alternative to punishment and yelling. The Love and Logic approach is about helping parents learn to finesse a win-win solution, get their child’s cooperation and keep the relationship positive. At the same time, they accomplish what needs to be done.”
When We Understand That Children Have Their Schedules, We Can Figure Out What They Are Trying to Do
Then you can find a win-win solution. For example, if the child isn’t doing her homework, she might get attention. If we try to force her to do homework, that will not work because she’ll resist, and it will turn into a battle. So our goal is finding out what the child wants or needs, so everybody wins-we gets the homework done and have no conflict.
The Love and Logic Approach Is Based on Respect, Trust, and Cooperation Between Parents and Children
This gives the child a sense of self-esteem and confidence which we feel will help them be successful in their lives.
The most critical word in the Love and Logic method is “and.” The idea and is that we can get what we want AND keep our relationship positive. We can think creatively and act effectively for good results without resorting to threats, power struggles, or physical or emotional abuse.
Let’s look at an example. If a child has his clothes all over the floor, what is he trying to get? First of all, we ask ourselves, “what does she want?” and then we respond with love logic questions.
- What do you think he wants? This keeps us from guessing or assuming anything…
- What does he want?
- What is it that he wants?
- And what else might he want?
These Questions Keep Us Focused on What the Child Is Trying to Get
Rather than blaming or judging. Our responses also focus on the solution and winning-win outcome:
• “You want your clothes to be clean when you wake up in the morning.”
We Keep Asking Ourselves, What Does He Want and What Else Might He Want?
A child is more likely to listen if we can focus him on listening. Think about this example: If a young child throws her cookie across the room, what does she want?
- What do you think she wants?
- If we get her, what does she want? Will that solve the problem?”
- “You want your cookie back. Where is your cookie?” We can better solve a problem and communicate with one another if our primary focus is what the child wants rather than using a lecture or punishing.
Using These Questions Keeps Us From Getting Sidetracked by Anger or Judging Ourselves as Not Good Parents
This helps keep our thinking clear and focused on the win-win solution and positive relationship. And what else might she want?
- “Maybe you also wanted your mommy to come to get it?”
Using Creative Phrasing
Focusing on what the child wants will keep you from getting sidetracked by anger or judging yourself as not being a good parent. A lot of us are guilty of thinking we aren’t good parents. Using these questions keeps us on track to get what we want and have a positive relationship with our children.
- “What do you think? Maybe I will bring it back?” This, again, focuses the child on his wants rather than assuming what he may or may not want…
- What do you think he might want? This keeps us from guessing or assuming anything…
- What does he want?
- And what else might be necessary to him right now?
Again, These Questions Keep Us Focused on the Win-Win Solution and Positive Relationship
We can’t end until the child has had a chance to tell us what she wants or needs.
- “Do you want to go get your cookie?”
These Questions Help Us Find a Win-Win Solution
The child is more likely to listen if we keep him focused on listening, so we do through love logic questioning. We are not trying to figure the child out but to keep him listening.
- We keep asking ourselves what does she want and what else might be necessary to her right now?
This Keeps Us From Getting Sidetracked by Anger or Judging Ourselves as Not Good Parents
Using these questions keeps us on track to get what we want and have a positive relationship with our children.
- “What do you think? Maybe we can make a game out of finding it?” This is similar to the above responses, but the phrasing directs her thinking toward win-win solutions.
We Focus On What She Wants and Other Things That May Be Important, Like Playing Together and Having Fun
This keeps us from getting sidetracked by anger or judging ourselves as not good parents. Using these questions keeps us on track to get what we want and have a positive relationship with our children.
Next time you are faced with a problem or conflict with your child, try this. Instead of focusing on what you want and getting angry and frustrated, focus on the win-win solution. You might be surprised how quickly the answer becomes clear, and you will have a positive relationship with your child.
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