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Parenting with Love and Logic: Teaching Children Responsibility

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Need help with your kids? Learn how to parent with love and logic and be amazed at the great results! Now with a new look and updated content, readers will enjoy passing along this best-kept parenting secret to their friends.


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Need help with your kids? Learn how to parent with love and logic and be amazed at the great results! Now with a new look and updated content, readers will enjoy passing along this best-kept parenting secret to their friends.

30 review for Parenting with Love and Logic: Teaching Children Responsibility

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Redmond

    I bought this book, as well as 4 other parenting books, so that I could compare a bunch of different theories and techniques and decide what spoke to me. I found it interesting and there was plenty that was useful, however there was a lot that I didn't agree with. I think that there are a lot of responses to children that they call "Logical consequences" that I call punishment all dressed up in disguise. I don't know how this couldn't come across as inauthentic to children and get more annoying I bought this book, as well as 4 other parenting books, so that I could compare a bunch of different theories and techniques and decide what spoke to me. I found it interesting and there was plenty that was useful, however there was a lot that I didn't agree with. I think that there are a lot of responses to children that they call "Logical consequences" that I call punishment all dressed up in disguise. I don't know how this couldn't come across as inauthentic to children and get more annoying to them as they get older. I was disturbed by the idea of the option that if children aren't behaving than maybe they are "choosing" to be shut in their rooms with a towel between the door and the door jam to keep the door essentially locked shut. This would be very traumatic for my toddler and it isn't at all the message that I want to send. I also don't think that I could send my child to daycare or school without clothes or outside on a cold day without a coat if they weren't ready on time, etc. However, I am sure there will come a time when using such a method will be useful. When I was in HS, I had to pay for a cab to school when I missed the school bus. That was a reasonable and effective logical consequence. I recommend "Positive Discipline", which incorporates logical consequences, but they aren't just punishments in disguise, and it seems to me to be a much more compassionate way to parent.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    This book advocates parenting methods that, if followed, could in some cases amount to child abuse/neglect. For example, the book suggests that if a two-year-old doesn't behave appropriately at dinner, the parents should deny him food until morning. The authors also suggest that if a 6-month-old throws his bottle, the parents should withhold it until the next meal! At least one thing advocated by the authors is actually illegal. They assert that it is the child's problem (not the parents' proble This book advocates parenting methods that, if followed, could in some cases amount to child abuse/neglect. For example, the book suggests that if a two-year-old doesn't behave appropriately at dinner, the parents should deny him food until morning. The authors also suggest that if a 6-month-old throws his bottle, the parents should withhold it until the next meal! At least one thing advocated by the authors is actually illegal. They assert that it is the child's problem (not the parents' problem) if the child flunks because of constantly arriving late to school. Making sure that the kids get to school actually is the parents' legal responsibility; they can be prosecuted when the kids don't go. The authors allege that they intend to respect kids by giving them choices, but the choices suggested in this book and the sample dialogues between parents and children sound contrived and demeaning, never respectful. The suggested dialogues with toddlers are just ridiculous --- these people must not have spent much time with their own kids when they were toddlers or they would know that no toddler would understand the speeches that they suggest. Finally, the tone of this book is that parents must be at constant war with their children, always thinking about how to outsmart them, which I think is a terrible approach to parenting.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    I really wanted to like this book. I strongly agree with the philosophy of giving children logical consequences rather than engaging in power struggles and shouting matches, or just parenting by incessant nagging without follow-through (yes, guilty). But frankly I found a lot of their "practical tips" completely unrealistic and therefore of limited usefulness. For instance: "Bedtime, like many other control issues, can be defused by giving up control. Parents tend to underestimate children's need I really wanted to like this book. I strongly agree with the philosophy of giving children logical consequences rather than engaging in power struggles and shouting matches, or just parenting by incessant nagging without follow-through (yes, guilty). But frankly I found a lot of their "practical tips" completely unrealistic and therefore of limited usefulness. For instance: "Bedtime, like many other control issues, can be defused by giving up control. Parents tend to underestimate children's need for just a tiny bit of control [...] all they want is a little control, not the whole enchilada." So far, so good. Give the child limited control. He has to stay in his room, but he may have the door open or closed, light on or off, music on or off, be in bed or out of bed, sleep or not sleep. You give him the *opportunity* to get as much sleep as he needs, but you can't force him to sleep. Makes sense. But then: "[The child who hasn't had enough sleep] is going to be one obnoxious little dude in the morning. [...] It's the obnoxiousness we consequence, not the number of hours he sleeps. Say to the child, 'You need to spend more time in your room because you're cranky.' The child will probably say, 'Well, I didn't get enough sleep last night.' [emphasis mine] And your reply? 'Good thinking.' The lesson will hit home." Okay ... has any child, anywhere, ever acknowledged that they were emotional, moody, and overreacting because they were tired? Many adults won't even acknowledge this. In my experience, suggesting to a fraught child that they may be getting angry because they're tired just brings an increased frenzy. "I am NOT tired, I'm angry because YOU'RE THE MEANEST MOTHER IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD!" (exact quote) On temper tantrums: "Kids will throw tantrums only as long as they work. Kids never seem to scream and pound the floor when they're alone in their room, but the show goes on when they have a captive audience." This is laughably, demonstrably false. It would be hilarious -- except that it's so widely believed that it creates a pernicious judgmentalism among the relatives of those of us with rage-prone children. I know for a fact that our daughter's grandparents believe she throws tantrums only because we clearly must "give in" and let her have her way when she screams -- though they've never observed us doing this (because we don't). How to keep kids in their rooms: "If I can't change his behavior, I change the location." Send him to his room, of course. But how to enforce that? "[A]void physically carrying the child to his room. [...] When the child is around age two, a statement -- 'I want you go to go your room, and I want you to go now" -- spoken firmly and with index finger pointing toward the room will usually get results." Do these people actually have children? Well, reading on, they do acknowledge that you may need to then shut and lock the door to get the child to stay in the room. Yes, that's way better than physically carrying the child to his room. My kids don't even have doors on their rooms, so yeah, not going to happen. Another helpful tip: if your child frequently wakes you in the night because he is frightened or having trouble sleeping, call a babysitter and go sleep at a hotel for the night! Maybe multiple nights! The babysitter, who has been prepped in advance, is supposed to make helpful conversation with the child, such as implying that if the child continues to get up in the night, the parents may spend every night away from home. If the child wakes the babysitter in the night, she is supposed to say "I don't know what to do with kids who get up in the middle of the night, because I don't know any kids who do that," and go back to sleep. Right, that'll probably work. Many of their solutions, in fact, involve bringing in friends or accomplices who have been "prepped" with lines or roles to play, which always puts me in mind of the one-armed friend from Arrested Development ... "And that's why you always leave a note!"

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    I realize that in some circles this book has a stong following, but I found it to be one of the most bizarre parenting books I've ever read...emphasis on talking sweetly and enforcing natural consequences, but in a twisted eye-for-an-eye way. Some of the examples were outright alarming. ---- Authors advocate a one-size-fits-all parenting approach – I was disappointed to read that they do not consider “why” a child is doing what they’re doing (nor are parents encouraged to figure out why). In brie I realize that in some circles this book has a stong following, but I found it to be one of the most bizarre parenting books I've ever read...emphasis on talking sweetly and enforcing natural consequences, but in a twisted eye-for-an-eye way. Some of the examples were outright alarming. ---- Authors advocate a one-size-fits-all parenting approach – I was disappointed to read that they do not consider “why” a child is doing what they’re doing (nor are parents encouraged to figure out why). In brief, parents should just stop talking and dole out the consequences. For example, if a child is misbehaving in a restaurant, the authors recommend removing the child from the table and giving them a choice of walking or being carried out. On the surface, that may seem fine, but it’s still important to consider WHY the child is misbehaving! Is she overtired? Hungry because the service is slow? Bored because her parents forgot to bring anything to occupy her? All of these possible explanations are the parents’ responsibility if the child is young, and could be avoided with planning and consideration. Removing the child to the car “until they can be sweet again” doesn’t address the root cause of the behavior, nor does it sufficiently explain expectations (e.g. “In a restaurant I expect you to sit still and use a quiet voice.) I could go on & on with examples I found oversimplified – each was heavy on the consequence but light on the teaching. In their six step “Uh-Oh Song” approach, the authors actually go so far as to say, “Parent should not, and need not, talk with the child about the problem.” I’ve read many books that share the same objective as these authors, but others provide more thoughtful, well-reasoned guidance. Recommendations include the “Positive Discipline” series, anything by the authors of “How to Talk So Your Kid will Listen,” Kurchinka’s two great books (1) Spirited Child and 2) Power Struggles). I also recommend Barbara Caruso’s, “Kids are Worth It.” It has several of the same goals as these authors (teaching kids to be responsible, decision-making individuals), but Caruso’s book actually helps parents teach their kids to develop these skills, as opposed to letting external consequences be the only guidance.

  5. 4 out of 5

    midnightfaerie

    I loved this book, but in the end couldn't give it more than 3 stars, probably closer to a 3.5. First of all, it has some absolutely wonderful tips on parenting children. Giving children choices instead of losing your cool, and putting the ball in their court, making them be the one to have to make a choice, really is a great construct if you can remember to put it into practice. Then there was the whole section on money that I loved, talking about helping your children manage their own finances I loved this book, but in the end couldn't give it more than 3 stars, probably closer to a 3.5. First of all, it has some absolutely wonderful tips on parenting children. Giving children choices instead of losing your cool, and putting the ball in their court, making them be the one to have to make a choice, really is a great construct if you can remember to put it into practice. Then there was the whole section on money that I loved, talking about helping your children manage their own finances from a very young age. It gave great tips and reminded you to not micromanage, letting them spending it how they wanted, even if it was giving the money to a sibling to do their chores. That's their prerogative. But finding instances where they are responsible for their own money management was a little harder for me. I homeschool and so I can't take their suggestion of making my child pay for his own school lunches. Besides "letting them learn their lesson" and go hungry when they forget the money was a little to far fetched for me. Especially at a such a young age - my one son is 5 yrs old and my twins are 2 yrs old. This was another issue I had with the book. I had generally younger kids and it seemed like a lot of the advice was geared toward slightly older kids. Sure they mentioned a few times that their was advice for both, and you had to do some discerning, however I would have liked that they be a little more specific, maybe dividing the book into sections for different age ranges and what was applicable for all age ranges. Then there's the issue of just letting them fail and dealing with the consequences. To a certain extent this is possible, but I'm not sure it's always the best solution. Again a lot depends on the age ranges as well. If we tell a child he should touch a knife, or he'll cut himself and then just sit back and wait, a ten year old might be smart enough to listen, but a two year old could just as easily disregard your advice, not understanding the adult is trying to keep them safe. They kind of insinuate anyone who doesn't agree just wasn't brought up this way and isn't used to it. But I think there's something to be said for parental instinct as well. I can't tell you how many times I went against a doctor's advice when my gut was telling me something else, and every time I felt I ended up doing the right thing. It's the old adage a mom knows best. In the end, I still think this book has some merit. It has come great principles and methods for parents who are struggling with different behavioral problems or are at their wits end. It will give you a new way of looking at things and there's nothing wrong with any parent trying to get better at parenting. But don't ignore that parental voice in your head if it's telling you something else. Often it's coming from a sense only you can see and feel. ClassicsDefined.com

  6. 4 out of 5

    Carmelle

    In all fairness, had I written this review a couple weeks ago immediately after I read it, I probably would have given this book 3 stars. But since then, the points of contention for me have continued to annoy me, therefor Jim and Foster, I bestow only 2 little stars for you. I realize this book has great following and is perhaps the "Child Raising Bible" to many, however, I obviously was not sold. The premise of this book is that children learn from mistakes. The natural consequences that occur In all fairness, had I written this review a couple weeks ago immediately after I read it, I probably would have given this book 3 stars. But since then, the points of contention for me have continued to annoy me, therefor Jim and Foster, I bestow only 2 little stars for you. I realize this book has great following and is perhaps the "Child Raising Bible" to many, however, I obviously was not sold. The premise of this book is that children learn from mistakes. The natural consequences that occur from their actions teach the child to continue or change their behavior. Example: A child touches a hot stove. The painful heat teaches the child not to do that again. No parent involvement was necessary. As parents, we counsel children, assisting them to see the problem at hand and brainstorm solutions for it. Then we stay hands off in the follow through. Owning the problem teaches them responsibility. Some points I agree with: As parents, we need to be "counselors" to our children We should resist controlling our children's every decision Children learn responsibility from mistakes If we do not allow them to fail, they will not learn to succeed Natural consequences are valuable Some points I do not agree with: My first issue came at the beginning of the book, as the authors gave their own testimonials to their theories, telling the readers that if anything in the book seems to ruffle our feathers or that our gut reaction disagrees, it is simply because this is not how we were raised, and because we want to be enlightened to a better way, we need to push aside those feelings of discomfort and believe the book. Ok, does this bring to mind The Emperor's New Clothes to anyone else? ("The only people to question anything must be stupid, now who wants to speak up??" And all the (wise) adults stand by praising the (non) clothes of the Emperor in the parade...) I guess I just have gripes with someone (even a reputable author) telling me that my intuition or gut feelings are wrong and to blindly follow their expert advise. (I have no idea where my stubborn children got it from...) But really, I believe that we are given intuition and "feelings" to guide our lives, including regarding what we read. As parents, our role is solely to be counselors to our children (not said in so many words, but all examples, etc. led me to believe the authors truly end parental responsibility with "counseling" and "advising".) To me, counseling is one of many parental roles. And that role heightens as the child matures. This book seemed to neglect the roles of modeling and training, but instead just threw the kids out into the world to learn from one painful mistake after another. The authors advocate stepping in only at cost of "loss of limb or life." I believe there are also other consequences with a price tag too high to risk. Some mistakes may eventually be learned through natural consequences, but what if that same lesson could have been learned in a much more timely manner without sacrificing years to the lesson. You can't get those years back. Not all correct choices feel good, and not all bad choices feel bad. Sometimes we sacrifice external rewards in making the better choice. If we rely soley on others' reactions, we may "succeed" in some people's eyes in the short run. But really, can anyone please everyone? And should that be our goal? Of course not. So to teach our children to measure their success in such a way is ludicrous.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    I have mixed feelings about this book. Here’s what I liked about this book: * The emphasis on consequences. It makes sense that, in order to learn about the real world, children should be allowed to experience consequences (within reason) so they can alter their behavior. And consequences cannot be given unless choices are also offered, within reason. I agree with that, too. * Also, I loved that they pointed out several times how important it is to model good behavior for your children. I wholehe I have mixed feelings about this book. Here’s what I liked about this book: * The emphasis on consequences. It makes sense that, in order to learn about the real world, children should be allowed to experience consequences (within reason) so they can alter their behavior. And consequences cannot be given unless choices are also offered, within reason. I agree with that, too. * Also, I loved that they pointed out several times how important it is to model good behavior for your children. I wholeheartedly agree! And now, the juicy stuff. Here’s what I didn’t like: * I’m a mom to a two-year-old, not a teenager — but they rarely seem to preface which age bracket would apply to certain scenarios. Obviously, the section titled “Pacifiers” was meant for toddlers (and thank HEAVENS Logan weaned off the pacifier a few months ago, or I probably would have ended up in tears over that chapter), but as for some of the other situations, I wasn’t sure. There is a specific “Love and Logic” book geared especially for toddlers, but it’s not at my public library, and after reading this one I’m not sure I want to hunt it down. * Also, some of the sample dialogue of a parent with a child was hard to read without sarcasm — hardly very “loving.” They did warn against sarcasm in a chapter tucked away in the middle of the book, but to avoid it completely might be hard for parents. Phrases like “gee, son, I’m sorry that you got a D on your report card; that’s a real bummer” or “nice try, son, but you’ll have to think of another solution” could be said with love, but just parroting the book isn’t going to cut it (in fact, it could easily morph into one of the most unloving things you could say). Maybe this says more about me than about the book, but a lot of that sample dialogue made the parents out to be snide and manipulative. * Lastly: I don’t really agree with how they say we should teach our kids about money. I went to a class during BYU Education Week that was a little off-beat on the whole allowance issue, saying that kids need less emphasis on learning money management and more emphasis on learning generosity. I tend to agree with that school of thought (though how exactly I want to implement that, I’m not sure yet). This book, though, took the money management thing to the extreme. Example: kids who wouldn’t eat what was made for dinner are consequently allowed to help themselves to something from the fridge — but ONLY if they paid for the food out of their allowances. I guess the thinking is that that the parents had already paid for one meal as part of their parental duties. There are some good ideas to be taken from this book, but I think the kind of parent who would pick this book up is the parent who’s already doing a lot of the “good stuff” and probably doesn’t need a book to pick up on it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kay

    This book encourages parents to be mean, authoritarian and bordering on abusive. It advises parents run a boot camp for their children to learn to be responsible using trickery and sarcasm. I suspect this book appeals to those with certain values different from mine, and I feel sorry for their children. Much of the language encouraged by the book was disrespectful towards the children. For instance, ina demonstration, without warning the mom gave away a girl's puppy because she wasn't taking car This book encourages parents to be mean, authoritarian and bordering on abusive. It advises parents run a boot camp for their children to learn to be responsible using trickery and sarcasm. I suspect this book appeals to those with certain values different from mine, and I feel sorry for their children. Much of the language encouraged by the book was disrespectful towards the children. For instance, ina demonstration, without warning the mom gave away a girl's puppy because she wasn't taking care of it (according to the parent's standards), when the girl begged the mom to go bring it back, the mother said,"You must be kidding...I just took the dog over there. Now I'm supposed to bring her back? Do you think I'm an idiot?" My jaw dropped! I had made an agreement with myself to finish this book to glean something useful from it, but now I am afraid of absorbing any of its principles. I do not recommend this book, and am saddened it has received such a good review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    La Crosse County Library

    Review originally published September 2010 Years ago, rookie parents took the techniques of child rearing that their parents had used on them and applied them to their own children. Today it’s another story. The impact of single parents raising kids, blended families, rising divorce rates, and other changes in the family has been dramatic. Parents must learn to use different techniques with kids who live in today’s rapidly changing world. Dr. Foster Cline, child and adult psychologist, and Ji Review originally published September 2010 Years ago, rookie parents took the techniques of child rearing that their parents had used on them and applied them to their own children. Today it’s another story. The impact of single parents raising kids, blended families, rising divorce rates, and other changes in the family has been dramatic. Parents must learn to use different techniques with kids who live in today’s rapidly changing world. Dr. Foster Cline, child and adult psychologist, and Jim Fay, one of America’s top educational consultants, have written Parenting with Love and Logic. Why the terms “love” and “logic”? Effective parenting centers around love that is not permissive, love that doesn’t tolerate disrespect, but also love that is powerful enough to allow kids to make mistakes; and permits them to live with the consequences of those mistakes. In Part I of this book, the authors lay out the concepts of parenting, centering on building self-concept, separating problems, neutralizing anger and arguments, and offering choices before our kids face the consequences of their mistakes. Part II offers 48 chapters on everyday strategies for dealing with problems most parents will face during the first twelve years of their children’s lives. Some topics include allowances, bullying, sassing, television viewing, and peer pressure. For example, instead of telling your child to stop arguing with you, you might say you’ll be glad to discuss the issue as soon as he or she stops arguing with you. Come in to any of the five La Crosse County Libraries at Bangor, Campbell, Holmen, Onalaska, or West Salem and check out this and other parenting books. Find this book and other titles within our catalog.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    There are a lot of great techniques in this book, but some that I question. It seems that the object of L&L parenting is to be constantly teaching the child a lesson. I think that sometimes going out of your way to "teach them a lesson" is artificial and even on occasion harsh. I think about the way our Father in Heaven would parent us. He allows us to suffer the consequences of our mistakes but doesn't "rub it in", or set us up for failure. Having listened to a number of L&L cds and read a coupl There are a lot of great techniques in this book, but some that I question. It seems that the object of L&L parenting is to be constantly teaching the child a lesson. I think that sometimes going out of your way to "teach them a lesson" is artificial and even on occasion harsh. I think about the way our Father in Heaven would parent us. He allows us to suffer the consequences of our mistakes but doesn't "rub it in", or set us up for failure. Having listened to a number of L&L cds and read a couple of the books I also feel that the authors have a very limited number of lessons to teach, they just keep repackaging them in order to make more money. I have a limited tolerance for parenting "experts" who are so self-promoting.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    I didn't read the whole book, just the first couple chapters, then I skimmed through the rest. Some things I really liked and am trying to use: *Giving choices. I agree that kids should be able to choose whenever possible rather than me telling them what to do: "What do you want to do first: Go to the bathroom or get your shoes on?". That's easy enough, and then they fight it a little less. *Choosing consequences that fit the mistake. Hard to do, but it makes sense. I like the energy drain: "Your f I didn't read the whole book, just the first couple chapters, then I skimmed through the rest. Some things I really liked and am trying to use: *Giving choices. I agree that kids should be able to choose whenever possible rather than me telling them what to do: "What do you want to do first: Go to the bathroom or get your shoes on?". That's easy enough, and then they fight it a little less. *Choosing consequences that fit the mistake. Hard to do, but it makes sense. I like the energy drain: "Your fighting is giving me an energy drain. What are you going to do to get my energy back? Chores? Okay!" *Letting consequences teach, not the lecture. Adalyn is at that stage when she knows that if she just agrees with us, we'll stop telling her what to do quicker. It's nice to give her that trust that she can make her own decisions, and let her feel the consequences of those decisions. An example would be wearing flip flops or shoes to the park. I can tell her to wear shoes, and every time she'll whine that she wants flip flops. I've been letting them choose, and the other day Connor chose flip flops. He was constantly stopping to get wood chips out of his shoes. Not too fun. Things I really really really did not like: *Some of their scenarios sounded just plain dangerous. I am not going to let my four-year old get beat up to teach him not to bother others. I don't care what he says, you can bet I will do something about it if I see someone hitting him. That's protection, and it's my job to help keep him safe. He can have the consequence of having no friends if he wants to talk unkindly to others, not a beating. *Their whole idea on praise just didn't sit right with me. I understand avoiding insincere praise, but they seem to want to avoid any use of "You did good" or "Great job!". Instead they suggest asking the child what they did and leaving it at that. It's fine to ask them their opinion, I'm sure, but it's not just going to go: "How do you think you did?" "Crappy." "Oh. I'm sorry you feel that way." That seems destructive. *Anytime the child comes to you with a problem, you're supposed to hand it right back to them. "That's your problem, not mine" sort of a thing. I want my kids to be able to come to me when they have issues, and I want them to feel like they can talk to me and that I will be able to help them if they want it, not that I'll just say, "Sucks for you! What are you going to do about it?" Part of my job as a parent is to help guide them- which still isn't telling them what to do, but it's not leaving them to their own devices. We actually did try this for a day or so, and Adalyn was near tears by the end of it. "You always say that, why won't you just help me!" Not the message I want her to get. I think it all comes down to respect. We respect our children as capable of making their own decisions (age appropriate, of course) and help them make safe and correct decisions when they need it. I got a lot more from the talk from April 2011 conference, "What manner of men and women ought ye to be" by Elder Lynn G Robbins. Condemn the sin, not the sinner. Never use phrases like "You always..." or "How many times must I tell you?" (guilty.) Help them to become Christlike by acting Christlike towards them- being a good example. I like when he said that, "We will never have a greater opportunity to teach and show Christlike attributes to our children than in the way we discipline them." That's what I need to be working on. Respect.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lorena

    I hated this book! I thought the authors came across in a condescending, know-it-all voice. I disagreed completely with the way they proposed for parents to "win" the power struggle with their children: Don't tell them to do anything. Just ask them to contemplate doing what you want; so that when they don't comply, they are not actually disobeying you -- therefore you haven't lost. Weird. I am not going to ask my kids to consider doing their schoolwork and then let them suffer the consequences o I hated this book! I thought the authors came across in a condescending, know-it-all voice. I disagreed completely with the way they proposed for parents to "win" the power struggle with their children: Don't tell them to do anything. Just ask them to contemplate doing what you want; so that when they don't comply, they are not actually disobeying you -- therefore you haven't lost. Weird. I am not going to ask my kids to consider doing their schoolwork and then let them suffer the consequences of stupidity if they don't do it. I am just going to tell them to do their homework or face the wrath (you know, like in the good, old days). I know my way isn't the best, and I was hoping for some better ideas actually, but I did not find them here.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey

    Not a fan. I can't endorse any book who highlights locking your 4 year old child in the room (Oh but you should stand right outside!) or asking your 7 year old child if you look like an idiot. I tried to read to extract whatever good was in there, but I pulled out my pencil and started marking the book where I vehemently disagreed, so I set it aside and moved on to other books I find more beneficial. Not a fan. I can't endorse any book who highlights locking your 4 year old child in the room (Oh but you should stand right outside!) or asking your 7 year old child if you look like an idiot. I tried to read to extract whatever good was in there, but I pulled out my pencil and started marking the book where I vehemently disagreed, so I set it aside and moved on to other books I find more beneficial.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Gail

    “Parenting with Love & Logic” hardly sounds like a controversial strategy, but the brand created by two fairly old-school men has plenty of detractors. Though I wish the book had been more engagingly written (and could have done without the religious overtones), I must recommend it to parents as my top pick to date for practical childrearing suggestions (e.g., tell your kids that sweets are for people who brush their teeth). If you approach the plethora of advice in a take-it-or-leave-it fashion “Parenting with Love & Logic” hardly sounds like a controversial strategy, but the brand created by two fairly old-school men has plenty of detractors. Though I wish the book had been more engagingly written (and could have done without the religious overtones), I must recommend it to parents as my top pick to date for practical childrearing suggestions (e.g., tell your kids that sweets are for people who brush their teeth). If you approach the plethora of advice in a take-it-or-leave-it fashion, I’m fairly certain you’ll find a strategy or two worth the reading time. Starting with an explanation of “Love & Logic” principles, Foster Cline and Jim Fay let drop that they actually coined the term “helicopter parent” in an early edition of this book in order to reject hovering and meddlesome parents along with “drill sergeants” in favor of a “consultant parenting style.” The heralded “consultant” separates issues into those problems that affect only the child and those with externalities, and then provides “thoughtful guidance and firm, enforceable limits . . . based on . . . safety . . . and how the child’s behavior affects others,” while allowing the child “to fail, sometimes grandiosely” at a young age when the consequences (and price of learning to choose success) are small. “When a child causes a problem, the adult shows empathy through sadness and sorrow and then lovingly hands the problem and its consequences back to the child.” This wisdom is all pretty standard fare these days; for me, the value added of “Love & Logic” lies in the details. In order to set limits, Cline and Fay recommend parents first ensure they are taking the minimum amount of control necessary away from their children and then use “[t]hinking words . . . in question form and expressed in enforceable statements [without showing anger, lecturing, or using threats to] . . . place the responsibility for thinking and decision making on the children.” In other words, instead of ordering, “Put on your coat,” ask, “Would you rather carry a coat or wear one?” (After all, who has the best information on whether the kid is cold, and what’s the harm in letting him shiver a bit before he decides to put on a coat he’s carrying?) This “choices” strategy is nothing new, but clarification of the requirement that both choices be enforceable (i.e., don’t say, “Would you rather put on your coat or get left at home?”) and non-punitive (i.e., don’t say, “Would you rather put on your coat or go to timeout?”), helped me stem my backslide into authoritarianism. I got another huge helping hand dealing with my “passive-resistive” toddler from the recommendation that parents give a time period for compliance (such as, “by the time of your next meal”) rather than expecting immediate obedience, whenever possible. “Love & Logic” also seconded advice on letting go a little that I’ve picked up elsewhere, like minimizing use of the word “no” by giving a qualified “yes” and offering nonjudgmental encouragement in the form of questions rather than praise. Additional tidbits of value to me include (1) a trick for delaying discussions to make them more productive (“‘[w]hen your voice sounds [calm] like mine, I’ll be glad to talk with you’”); (2) a new justification for parental sanity measures (“[the only way to] model responsible, healthy adult behavior . . . [is by] taking good care of ourselves”); (3) the advice to refrain from tying a child’s allowance to her chores; and (4) a strategy for responding to negative looks and body language (either ignore it or engage your child in a conversation about the underlying feelings by asking something like “what are you trying to say with your face right now?”). This is not to say that I plan to treat “Love & Logic” like the Sermon on the Mount. Plenty of Cline and Fay’s recommendations rub my maternal intuition the wrong way. For example, the authors advise against letting kids see parental anger or frustration. I happen to think it’s important for parents to model the ways in which one successfully grapples with and controls emotions, not to make restraint appear effortless for others. I’ll leave that one. But Lord knows there’s plenty of take homes to be had.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Why must all of the examples make me cringe??

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mehrsa

    I learned a lot from this book and have been practicing some of the strategies (giving lots of choices, singing the uh oh song, etc.). I liked the general concepts of the book, but I disagreed with some of the points. I think that kids can detect when you are insincere. The authors mention that you cannot be sarcastic when you talk about certain choices and consequences, but some of the role-play scenarious seemed impossible to do without sarcasm. I also think that there was very little focus on I learned a lot from this book and have been practicing some of the strategies (giving lots of choices, singing the uh oh song, etc.). I liked the general concepts of the book, but I disagreed with some of the points. I think that kids can detect when you are insincere. The authors mention that you cannot be sarcastic when you talk about certain choices and consequences, but some of the role-play scenarious seemed impossible to do without sarcasm. I also think that there was very little focus on parent/child interaction and rewarding positive behavior. It mainly focused on punishment, which maybe was the only focus of the book. I think that in order for this theory to work, you have to develop a good relationship with your kids in which the choices you give them are sincere. It seems that some of the situations were manipulative: do you want to get in the car on your feet or in the air? Not a real choice. That's fine if you just want to force the kid in the car, but by pretending that they are choosing, it's a little patronizing. The book has some very valuable insights however: letting your kids experience the consequences of their poor choices (though I think some of the examples were far-fetched--what parent would allow their child to flunk out of school to learn a lesson?); giving a child choices and being OK with what they choose; giving consequences that are meaningful and going through with it; removing whining kids and tantrums from the room instead of engaging the children). Lots of great insights. I think if you could use this book hand in hand with positive parenting, you could devise a good strategy. And every child is different so I think it's nice to have an arsenal of different strategies when you are waging a control war with a toddler.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jacqueline Wheeler

    I do not want to rate this book because I do not have children yet, and I feel like that's an unfair opinion. I read this book in preparation for becoming a foster parent, and I've just been reading all the parenting books that have been recommended to me, in order to see what style fits best with my husband and I. I can totally see a lot of situations in this book problematic, especially if I were to use the situations for foster care. I did love the concept of having the child focus on fixing I do not want to rate this book because I do not have children yet, and I feel like that's an unfair opinion. I read this book in preparation for becoming a foster parent, and I've just been reading all the parenting books that have been recommended to me, in order to see what style fits best with my husband and I. I can totally see a lot of situations in this book problematic, especially if I were to use the situations for foster care. I did love the concept of having the child focus on fixing the problem, instead of just relying on punishment, but some of the examples were a bit too strict (for example, I wouldn't be able to let my foster kid go without food, if they didn't like what was cooked for dinner). I can see myself using this more on my future bio kids, with some changes. I love that this book focuses on the children learning responsibility at an early age. I was taught some of the same concepts, and I loved that I was responsible before most of my peers. All in all, I'm not totally writing this book off - I think its good to read all different parenting styles, and pluck out the good information to build a style that works for you and your family.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Aspidistra

    I am not a fan of this book although I see that there are many useful concepts therein. The book is frequently recommended for parents adopting older children, but the whole tone of the book put me off. The authors seem to take pleasure in the ways they've invented to show children the natural consequences of misbehaviors. It's very meanspirited. For post-institutionalized kids in particular, the whole concept of "natural consequences" may not even make sense to them at an age-appropriate level. I am not a fan of this book although I see that there are many useful concepts therein. The book is frequently recommended for parents adopting older children, but the whole tone of the book put me off. The authors seem to take pleasure in the ways they've invented to show children the natural consequences of misbehaviors. It's very meanspirited. For post-institutionalized kids in particular, the whole concept of "natural consequences" may not even make sense to them at an age-appropriate level. They need to build trust in their new families and a better understanding of how the world beyond their orphanage walls functions before they can fully grasp the consequences of their actions.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Richey

    Mixed feelings. I think there are some good foundational principles and techniques, but lacking grace.

  20. 4 out of 5

    C

    This parenting guide tells how to be a consultant, guiding your child, rather than commanding or rescuing from trouble. It advocates setting firm loving limits, using enforceable statements, and giving children reasonable choices. These replace anger and lecturing. When a child causes a problem, you show empathy and lovingly hand the problem and its consequences back to the child. I like this parenting approach in theory. My wife and I have only just started to try it in practice, so I can't say This parenting guide tells how to be a consultant, guiding your child, rather than commanding or rescuing from trouble. It advocates setting firm loving limits, using enforceable statements, and giving children reasonable choices. These replace anger and lecturing. When a child causes a problem, you show empathy and lovingly hand the problem and its consequences back to the child. I like this parenting approach in theory. My wife and I have only just started to try it in practice, so I can't say yet whether it works for our kids. How to be a Love and Logic (Consultant) Parent (Appendix A) Provide messages of personal worth and strength. Demonstrate how to take care of self and responsibilities. Share personal feelings about own performances and responsibilities. Provide and help explore alternatives that allow child to make their own decision. Provide time frames in which child may complete responsibilities. Model doing a good job, finishing, cleaning up, feeling good about it. Make sure child owns problem; help explore solutions. Allow child to experience life's natural consequences. Responsible Children Feel Good About Themselves Don't point out what the children are doing poorly or what they can't do. Build on the child's strengths and they'll grow in responsibility. A simple question such as, “What are you doing that for?” packs a double meaning. The child hears, “You're not very competent." When we give children orders, we are saying, "You can't figure out the answer for yourself.” "Kids can't get better until we prove to them, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they’re good enough the way they are." “Habitual discouragement will lead to a poor self-concept in the child. He'll stop trying to imitate responsible adult behavior because he sees himself as incapable." Focus on the learning, not the end result. Don't tell children when they are hot, cold, hungry, thirsty, or tired, have to go to the bathroom, etc. This tells them they can't think for themselves. Allowing young children to practice decision making on simple issues teaches them to think and control their own lives. In adolescence, they'll be less susceptible to peer pressure. Children's Mistakes Are Their Opportunities Step in when there's a definite danger of losing life or limb, or of making a decision that could affect child for a lifetime. Also when our children know they are in a situation they can't handle by themselves. Let child own the problem if there's more than a 20% chance child might be able to work it out. Even when a kid doesn't seem concerned about his or her problems, we should stay out of them. If the problem is how our children relate to us, the problem has drifted out of their domain and directly into ours. Example: If child’s slowness in getting ready for school makes her late, we stay clear of the problem. But if it makes us late, we deal with it. Give choices that are within your firm, loving limits. Give 2 choices, both of which are acceptable to you and can be enforced if the child doesn't respond. Make sure child knows the implied 3rd choice: if they don't choose, you will. For example, "Would you like to go to your room walking, or would you like me to carry you?” If child doesn't respond, say, “Uh-oh! It looks as if you chose being carried." Don't tell the child how to act, such as "Stop that right now!" That's not enforceable. If child has tantrum in room, wait a minute until it ends, then open door. Say, "I missed you! I'm glad you are feeling sweeter! I'll set the timer for 5 minutes, and you can come out if you stay sweet that whole time." If you reach the blowing-up point, use these one-liners: "I love you too much to argue with you," "I know," and "Nice try!" Consequences can, and often should, be delayed. Forcing a child to do something your way makes them resist even harder. Setting Limits Through Thinking Words Children learn better from what they tell themselves than from what we tell them. The rule with "no" is that we use it as seldom as possible. Avoid a fight by replacing "no" with a "yes" to something else. Example: instead of saying, "No, you can't go to play until you practice your lessons," say, "Yes, you may go out to play as soon as you practice your lessons." Gaining Control Through Choices Don't fight battles you can't win with commands (those about what the child learns, thinks, eats, when they go to bathroom or bed, etc.). Influence child by modeling. Talk about how good you feel to eat vegetables, clean your plate, etc. Pick areas you can control child, and offer choices. Example: You can't make child eat, but you can control whether they're at the table. Don't say, "I told you so," since it just antagonizes child and builds resistance. Administer consequences with compassionate sadness. Empathy with Consequences If you can't think of a consequence on the spot, say, "I'm not sure what to do about this right now, but I'll let you know. Try not to worry about it." They'll think about their actions anyway. Be empathetic but let child know they retain responsibility. Say, "Oh, no, I'm glad that's not my problem. You must feel awful. What can you do?" Parenting Tools Allowances/Money Don't pay children for chores. That robs them of the dignity of holding their fair share of the family workload. Only pay them if they do your chores. Don't insist that children save their allowance, or they won't learn to do it on their own. Allow children to spend or save their allowance as they please (barring illegal activities). Anger Anger is appropriate when the child's behavior directly affects you and you make a rational decision to use it. Say, "I'm very angry. Now I have to deal with this. Be prepared to tell me what you're going to do about this before bed." Bedtime Don't tell the child they must sleep. Say, "This is how much sleep you have an opportunity to get at night because you're in your room." Give them control by asking if they'd like bedtime story, door opened or closed, etc. Bossiness Telling a child to not be bossy only bosses them, and makes them mad. Smile and say, "Nice try. What do you think happens in this family when people get bossy? Does it help or not? Think about it." Then walk away. When child bosses other kids around, say, "I notice that you're bossy with those kids. Do you worry that might make them not like you? Then they wouldn't be your friends anymore. Have you figured out any ways you can boss them around and still keep them as friends? I hope it works out for you. If you ever want some ideas for playing without bossing, let me know." Bullies Encourage child by saying, "Kids who are awful now often grow up to be good. This is just a stage in their lives. I'm proud of how you handle it." This tells child they're not the problem; the bullies are. Misbehaving in Car A great learning experience is to make the child walk home while you watch from a distance. Take precautions to ensure child's safety. Chores Show that you have fun doing chores with children to instill a good attitude in them. Say, "I like getting my jobs done around the house." Church Make genuine, well-placed statements like, "I'm glad I have church. I enjoy my friends there and feel so encouraged." Find out why child doesn't like church. Talking it over may help them see the value. Discipline 101 Rules for controlling an out-of-control kindergartner or 1st grader: Tell child what you wish he or she would do, rather than ordering. Use "I messages" that tell why you feel the way you do, such as, "I would appreciate your going to your room now so I can feel better about you and me." When making a request, thank the child in advance, anticipating compliance. Change child's location, rather than trying to stop the problem. When things are done right, be emotional. When things are done poorly, be nonemotional and consequential. If you can't deal with a situation immediately, delay consequences. Discipline in Public When child misbehaves in public, have someone take child to car or home. Eating and Table Manners Instead of telling child they must eat, say, "Have you had enough to make it to the next meal? I hope so, but you decide." When child won't eat what you give them, let them play. If they help themselves to snack, ask them if they want to pay you cash or have it taken from their allowance. Entitlement Expect child to do fair share of work required to maintain household. Let child struggle for, and earn, goods and services they want. Offer to match funds child saves. Fears and Monsters Don't check under bed for monsters; it makes kids more afraid. Instead, reassure child that they have a "monster-chasing" stuffed animal, or that some perfume on the bedsheet will help child sleep. Fighting Say, "If I hit my boss when I got frustrated, I wouldn't be as happy as if I handled my frustration another way." Tell child that their fighting drains your energy, and to replenish it, they need to do chores. Friends Offer child a choice: pick friends you approve of and play with them at your house, or pick friends you don't approve of and not be allowed to have them over. Or say, "Would you like friends who test your decision-making and thinking skills, or friends who don't pressure you so much?" Getting Ready for School Decide which jobs belong to the parent and which belong to the child. Explain that getting ready in the morning is their responsibility. Don't remind child to get ready, or rescue them. Your responsibility is to back up the school's consequences for lateness. Giving Gifts If child shows little appreciation for gifts, give less. Being equally generous to kids doesn't mean giving equal-value gifts on every occasion. Help child not fall for marketing pitches. Say, "Wow, they make that toy look like more fun than it really is. I'll bet you already figured that out." Decline to buy an item by saying, "Buying stuff like that doesn't fit my value system. But I can understand your wanting it. You can buy it if you want." When they say they don't have the money, say, "Sorry about that. It's like that a lot for me too. I guess then you won't buy it." Grades, Report Cards Enthuse over the positive and be non-emotionally insistent about the negative. Talk in a non-emotional but caring way: "Do you have any plans about the math grade?" Write a letter to child so they can get your complete thoughts before trying to argue. Write, "Your grades are far below your ability level. Please give it some serious thought and be ready to share your plans for solving this. We'll be available to discuss this with you Friday night. Be prepared to tell us what you plan to do and what support you'll need from us." Grandparents Say to a meddling grandparent, "Before you comment on how I raise my children, I hope you will first ask me why I handle things the way I do. Does that sound reasonable?" Homework The parent's responsibility is to provide the child with the opportunity to do their homework. They must do the rest. Be a positive model by talking about the importance of doing our own office work or homework. Boredom When children say they're bored, it usually means "I want you to spend more time with me." You may spend time with them, but the goal is to teach them to entertain themselves. When child says they're bored, say, "A lot of people do things they like so they won't be bored. Are you saying there's nothing you like? If so, there may not be any option except to be bored. Is that a possibility?" Internet Filter home computers, but don't rely on filters alone. Children must rely on internal checks. Explain filtering by saying, "It's not a matter of trust. My office filters content - not because they don't trust us, but to prevent bad content from sneaking into the computers. Let's explore the filtering options together so we both feel good about what we decide." Tell child to be careful what they share online. Say, "If I were you, I'd sleep better knowing I never sent any info about myself to anyone whom I hadn't met face-to-face, because strangers can be dangerous." Lying and Dishonesty When talking to child about a suspected lie, ask, "Do you think I believe you?" You're not calling them a liar; you're just making them think about what they said. If you think child is lying, say, "If it's the truth and I don't believe you, then it's sad for both of us. But if it's a lie and I don't believe you, then it's doubly sad for you." Negative Body Language Ask child about negative body language. Say, "I've noticed that when I say something, you give me a certain look that I don't understand. Some kids do that because they don't feel it's safe to say that they're hurt or disappointed. Do you have any thoughts on that? I'll be a good listener." Pouting is a sign of displeasure. Kids do it to beg their parents to talk to them. Say, "It looks like things aren't going well for you. When you can put your thoughts into words, come talk to me, and I'll listen." Disarm negative body language by anticipating it. Say, "When I finish, you may want to give me that look you're so good at." They're less likely to do it. Peer Pressure Help kids be less likely to be negatively influenced by peers later on by letting them make decisions, asking them questions instead of telling them what to do, and discussing issues using thinking words. At age 11 or 12, prepare child to cope with peer pressure by having discussions about the pressures of adolescent life. Say, "Let's talk about your plan for learning how not to be your friends, and become yourself." Teach kids to say no to peers in the same way we say no to them: by saying yes to something else. Example: "I want to do something with you, but I'd like it to be something other than drugs." Tell child they can say, "No, my parents would kill me if I did that." Picking up Belongings Model how to pick up, and talk to yourself or spouse, saying how good you feel when you know your things are neatly put away. Help kids pick up toys until kindergarten. After that, toys are their responsibility. Say, "Do you want to pick your toys up, or should I? If you pick up, you get to see them again. If I pick up, I'll keep them." If you end up picking up toys, tell child, "Every time you pick up all your things by yourself without being told, you earn back one toy." Say, "I'm worried about the way you're taking care of that toy. I think you may need to be older before you have the responsibility. I'm going to take the toy away for now." Professional Help If a situation gets progressively worse over a 3-month period and no improvement is in sight, seek professional counseling. Keeping Room Clean Toddlers and preschoolers can be taught the joy of having a clean room by parental example. Help the child clean the room, saying, "Doesn't it feel good to line up your toys?" By third grade, give control of room to child. Don't tell child when to clean their room. Instead, set a certain time by which it must be done. Say, "Would it be reasonable for you to clean your room by Saturday morning? You don't have to. You can hire me or a sibling." If they say they don't have money, say, "When adults don't have money, they sell something. If you don't decide, I'll choose what to sell." Keeping the Kid in their Room Ask, "Do you want to stay in your room with the door open or shut?" If that fails, ask, "Door unlocked or locked?" When child has calmed, offer a chance to stay in room with door unlocked for 5 more minutes to practice. When time's up, hug them and let them out. Disrespect Ask, "Would you like to go to your room or to the basement? Come back when you can talk as calmly as I'm talking now." When tempers cool, try to discover the child's reason for disrespect. Say, "I'm confused about what you're trying to tell me. Are you trying to say you're embarrassed, or you feel put down, or you want to be boss, or you hate me, or you don't know a better way to answer?" Spanking Spankings give kids a quick escape from the responsibility of living with a bad choice. Instead of having to live with consequences and think about solutions, they have a brief moment of pain, then they're off the hook. Stealing If you make a scene when you catch child stealing, it makes it exciting for the child, which encourages them. Say, "I don't like it when you take my things. Put it back. … Thank you for putting it back! What a good kid." This gives them good feelings for putting the item in the right place, not emotion that the item was taken. Bad Language Say, "I'll be happy to talk to you when you can use clean and mature language." Tell child, "Some people who use that language have a limited vocabulary. They don't know many words, so they use those boring swear words." Teeth Brushing Say, "I just finished eating, and I better protect my teeth by brushing so I don't get cavities." After brushing, say, "I'm glad I did that. It only took a couple minutes, and I feel much better." Before handing out goodies, say, "I give things with sugar in them to people who protect their teeth by brushing." Interruptions Say, "I can only do one thing at a time. When I'm talking to someone else, I can't give you much attention. But when I'm not, I can give you a lot of attention. Which do you think would be better?" TV If you're more interesting than TV, child will prefer being with you. Emphasize the alternatives, including friends, family, hobbies, and sports. Temper Tantrums Let tantrums happen. You can't stop them. But, change the location. Ask, "Where would you like to have that tantrum so you don't hurt my ears? In the basement or your room?" Toilet Training Keep the atmosphere around toilet training fun and exciting - even gleeful. Video and Computer Games Make sure children have opportunity to practice setting their own limits, ideally with video games rather than substance abuse or sex. Point out specifically how video games limit child's creativity and freedom (must play within programmed rules, etc.). Tell child, "The more time you spend in real life, the more you gain skills to create a world of your own making, not someone else's." Whining and Complaining Say, "When your voice sounds like mine, I'll be glad to talk with you," or, "I won't listen to you while you're whining."

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    I had mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, I liked the basic principle: give your children choices within limits and let them experience natural consequences for their actions rather than imposing arbitrary punishments on them. We've actually gotten some good results with Zoe when she's refusing to do something using the choices idea. For instance, by asking her if she wants to walk to the car or get carried, she usually chooses walking rather than choosing not to go to the car at al I had mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, I liked the basic principle: give your children choices within limits and let them experience natural consequences for their actions rather than imposing arbitrary punishments on them. We've actually gotten some good results with Zoe when she's refusing to do something using the choices idea. For instance, by asking her if she wants to walk to the car or get carried, she usually chooses walking rather than choosing not to go to the car at all. I also like the idea that parents should control the things they can and let go of the other stuff. For instance, you can't make a child eat something or fall asleep. But you can control where a child eats (or doesn't eat), when a child is in her or his room at night, etc. Finally, the book had lots of good reminders about praising the good stuff and not even reacting to the negative stuff your child does. However, that's so much easier said than done and the philosophy didn't seem to offer any room for mistakes in that department. And the mock conversations it provides are so hard to read without hearing sarcasm, let alone deliver that way when you're feeling angry. My major problem with the book was that the application of these principles was often convoluted and sometimes downright cruel (I thought)--like letting a toddler (under two, I think, even) choose between sitting and eating nicely in a high chair or playing on the floor, then denying them any more food for the rest of the night if they choose the floor. Or making a kid who has slept in and missed the school bus not only stay home for the day but stay in his room for 7-some hours because his mother is used to having him gone during the day. And the organization was utterly atrocious. The editor in me wanted to rip the whole second half of the book apart and put it back together in a way that made more sense. Each chapter was on a different scenario and there would be one on teenagers toddlers, then allowance, then high-chair eating, divorce, and back to money-management. Think stream of consciousness from someone with an unorganized mind. Also, what is with the hokey openings to each chapter in books like this? I can't even think of an example, but the exaggerated trying-to-be-funny cliched sentences of each chapter almost made me stop reading. Talk to me like an adult, please. And again, get an editor! Anyway, any suggestions for other parenting books out there?? I was really hoping to like this one more than I did.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Charlene

    I will start my review with two caveats: I'm probably not going to finish this, and while it contains some good ideas, I stopped reading when it hit total WTFery. The basic concept here is that children learn from experience, i.e. from making choices and seeing how those pan out for good or bad, and that this process is more effective as a teaching tool than punishment. Makes sense as far as it goes, although discipline is not the same as punishment and taking the responsibility for discipline of I will start my review with two caveats: I'm probably not going to finish this, and while it contains some good ideas, I stopped reading when it hit total WTFery. The basic concept here is that children learn from experience, i.e. from making choices and seeing how those pan out for good or bad, and that this process is more effective as a teaching tool than punishment. Makes sense as far as it goes, although discipline is not the same as punishment and taking the responsibility for discipline off the parent and putting it onto the child is a bad, bad idea. This book unlike Nurtureshock is anecdotal instead of based on research and since it isn't science-based it makes some serious omissions. There is no mention of neurotypical children at all, which given the rise in autism and the fact that children on the spectrum can go a long ways without being diagnosed, worries me a lot. I picture a neurotypical child being treated to "the Uh Oh Song" and think it's the parent who is in for the Uh Oh. But leaving that aside, since neurotypical children while on the rise are still not the majority, the biggest issue in this approach is not recognizing that biologically and neurologically children are not small adults. They have still-developing brains that are not capable of the train of logic expected of one anecdotal seven year old; a nine year old, probably, but all children develop at different rates. Bottom line: there are good ideas here but do not throw science or common sense out the window pursuing them. And if you happen to see your child punching another child, I don't think the best response is to do nothing as another anecdotal mother/son moment is describes. In fact, no, no, hell no. Parents have responsibilities to teach their children what is and isn't acceptable, that other people matter and have rights, too, and that problem-solving isn't accomplished with punching. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't leave that up to the parent of the offended party to communicate to my kid.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Becca

    This book is my dad: the calm and sometimes slightly sadistic way he let us experience the consequences of our choices, the kind of detached but sympathetic stance ("Gee, I hope you work that out! Good luck!")even the unsubtle brainwashing-by-intentional-overhearing, i.e. "Gee, washing dishes is sure fun! La-dee-da! I bet YOU wish you were washing some dishes right now!" It is an interesting read, if a teensy bit 50's father-knows-bestish, and a smidge alarmist about "raising a Christian family This book is my dad: the calm and sometimes slightly sadistic way he let us experience the consequences of our choices, the kind of detached but sympathetic stance ("Gee, I hope you work that out! Good luck!")even the unsubtle brainwashing-by-intentional-overhearing, i.e. "Gee, washing dishes is sure fun! La-dee-da! I bet YOU wish you were washing some dishes right now!" It is an interesting read, if a teensy bit 50's father-knows-bestish, and a smidge alarmist about "raising a Christian family in this world of shifting values." Sometimes the "natural" consequences seem unnatural and mean, and like it takes plenty of parental plotting to create situations where kids can suffer memorable, annoying, but non-dangerous consequences-- like putting kids out of the car and driving off, letting them walk home, under the watchful eye of a friend you've planted in the neighborhood in advance. I like it generally, though. I like that it's a plan for approaching discipline in a positive, loving and emotionally easy way: rather than getting all wrapped up in your kid's problems, allow her to own her own problems, and then support and love her as she suffers the natural consequences and comes up with solutions. Most of all nurture her ability to hear and follow her own true voice, and maintain a supportive and loving relationship...

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kayleigh

    “Parenting with Love and Logic” sounds great, but some of the suggestions in this book are borderline abusive. Leaving your 12-year-old foster child (who knows what background he came from or what trauma he already has) alone in town until 10 o’clock at night, and telling him you’ll potentially leave him overnight? Sending your kids to bed without dinner as the *first* resort? And all of the times where the writers advocate telling your children you’ll leave them alone, leave without them, the c “Parenting with Love and Logic” sounds great, but some of the suggestions in this book are borderline abusive. Leaving your 12-year-old foster child (who knows what background he came from or what trauma he already has) alone in town until 10 o’clock at night, and telling him you’ll potentially leave him overnight? Sending your kids to bed without dinner as the *first* resort? And all of the times where the writers advocate telling your children you’ll leave them alone, leave without them, the cops will get them...? I had a further issue with the assertion that responsible parents must want their children to be Christian, as well as all of the other religious stuff in this book. I guess I’m an irresponsible parent, then. I must be, because a good 75% of this book made me cringe, gasp, or at least frown. A few good suggestions that could be found elsewhere. Avoid this book if you’re parenting in the 21st century and want to raise responsible kids who don’t have a ton of trauma from the way you’ve raised them.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    My favorite comprehensive, practical parenting book. I do think it's helpful to have a philosophical and theological framework with which to interpet this system, and to know when to veer off the course. They are a bit heavy handed and also go a bit farther than I think most would / should in application. However, I think the practical examples are helpful to shift parents towards giving their children more responsibility. My favorite comprehensive, practical parenting book. I do think it's helpful to have a philosophical and theological framework with which to interpet this system, and to know when to veer off the course. They are a bit heavy handed and also go a bit farther than I think most would / should in application. However, I think the practical examples are helpful to shift parents towards giving their children more responsibility.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Gideon Yutzy

    Cline and Fay's big idea is that using purely punitive measures to correct your children is seldom effective, for it removes the possibility of the child growing and learning from the experience. Really like it also how they promote framing a command in a choice ([PARENT] "Your choice: You can do your homework in the living room or the kitchen table"). My wife and I have had the chance to implement this and certainly find it to be effective as it gives children buy-in in what they do, and they d Cline and Fay's big idea is that using purely punitive measures to correct your children is seldom effective, for it removes the possibility of the child growing and learning from the experience. Really like it also how they promote framing a command in a choice ([PARENT] "Your choice: You can do your homework in the living room or the kitchen table"). My wife and I have had the chance to implement this and certainly find it to be effective as it gives children buy-in in what they do, and they don't have to feel like robots who are always told what to do, no-questions-asked. The authors don't always qualify how age appropriate a given piece parental counseling is but I suppose you are able to adapt it reasonably well if you have half a brain, which as a parent I honestly don't always feel that I do. Good book, and one of the best parenting books I've ever read (though I have to confess it's also one of the few I've read, unless Cheaper by the Dozen counts:-, which it does--sort of at least).

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lucy

    I have heard so much about Love and Logic style parenting that I thought I might already know all there is to know about it and didn't even need to read the book. On the off chance I was wrong, I checked it out. Turns out, I knew very little. I had heard about the "give choices" aspect, but there were plenty of ideas that were brand new to me. Written by a child psychologist and physician, Love and Logic is a parenting philosophy that seems to use Zen techniques to avoid angry confrontations with I have heard so much about Love and Logic style parenting that I thought I might already know all there is to know about it and didn't even need to read the book. On the off chance I was wrong, I checked it out. Turns out, I knew very little. I had heard about the "give choices" aspect, but there were plenty of ideas that were brand new to me. Written by a child psychologist and physician, Love and Logic is a parenting philosophy that seems to use Zen techniques to avoid angry confrontations with children and teach them personal responsibility through natural consequences. To teach them, a parent must never dictate what that child must do but rather manipulate, er...help, that child to decide between two acceptable outcomes. If a young child has a tempter tantrum when you tell them it's time to leave, instead of physically taking over or allowing your child to turn the situation into a never-ending negotiation, you ask, "Would you like to leave here with your feet on the floor or your feet in the air?" Supposedly, the freedom to choose solves all problems. I don't disagree. I think there is much to be said about the dignity and responsibility of choice. I don't doubt that when run to perfection, the Love and Logic technique produces lovely, independent, resourceful children and more. The trouble I have is that it requires parents....me....to do our jobs flawlessly. I'd love to implement Love and Logic techniques into our home. Sadly, as one of the adults that is required to make this work, I am also equipped with emotions that do not always bring out the most mature responses. Sometimes, when my children are being unreasonable, I lose my patience. No where, and I mean no where, did I see a situation in where a parent was allowed to do that. Our emotions and subsequent response to each and every situation needs to be calm, neutral and delivered with a robot matter-of-factness. The line the authors give if unable to think of an appropriate response is, "I love you too much to argue." Huh. Another complaint I have with Love and Logic is that there doesn't seems to be a situation where the authors feel that the natural consequence wasn't the best consequence. If your child sleeps in, then they miss school. They can't bother you because that's not part of your day and if you need to leave then they have to pay for the sitter and they have to face the consequences at school for having an unexcused absence. In the very next chapter, the consequence for staying up late was being tired because you wake them up at 6:00 - no matter what. Wait. I agree that a consequence of staying up late is being tired the next day but what was that whole chapter about missing school? The authors explain these consequences as paying a price. They argue that the price for learning these things is small and affordable when our children are young and much more costly if they are forced to learn these things as teenagers or, worse, adults themselves. I agree, and would even let my children stay up late or "pay" for an unexcused absence, but when one of the authors (I can't remember which one) wrote about teaching his 12 year old foster son about being on time and telling him, "I'll pick you up at 5:00 and will stay until 5:03. If you're not there then I'll come again at 10:00 and stay until 10:03. If you're not there then I'll come again at 7:00 in the morning." The boy missed the 5:00 pick up and only came out from behind a wall as he was about to drive off at 10:03. Was he seriously going to leave a 12 year old out all night long? To teach him about being late? Yikes. That sounds like a call to CPS to me, not good parenting. While we have to teach and train, we also must keep them safe and a 12 year old is not equipped to stay out all night. Reading the book is just the tip of the ice berg. I find it ironic that the authors of Love and Logic bill this philosophy as "effective and easy to learn" but have also marketed the book into dozens of other, more detailed books, classes, movies, programs, websites and pamphlets. And, I don't think they are money wasted because as I have tried to apply what I learned from reading the book, I have found myself hitting all sorts of walls. It didn't answer all my questions and I need more information. That doesn't seem exactly "easy to learn." As far as reading goes, the book is well organized. The first half takes you through the step by step reasoning behind the theory. The second half is separated into dozens of "pearls" which address specific "what if" situations. Even with those dozens available, my own particular, "what if" wasn't included. I'd love to know how to effectively help my oldest son stop being so hard on himself. But there was no pearl on what to do when your child says, "I'm an idiot." when I point out something he misspelled on his spelling homework. Somehow, saying, "I love you too much to argue" doesn't seem like the best response. A great book club choice. This is a book that could be discussed all night. Probably even all year.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mihya Weber

    I read this book because several of my client’s parents listed this as a resource used to address their child's behavioral concerns. Each reported that it did not help or made things worse, so I felt it was important to familiarize myself with the approaches recommended. I am glad I took the time to do this, as I now understand clearly why these parents did not get the results they were hoping to see. While the theories, ideas, and underlying assumptions are fantastic (e.g., showing love and emp I read this book because several of my client’s parents listed this as a resource used to address their child's behavioral concerns. Each reported that it did not help or made things worse, so I felt it was important to familiarize myself with the approaches recommended. I am glad I took the time to do this, as I now understand clearly why these parents did not get the results they were hoping to see. While the theories, ideas, and underlying assumptions are fantastic (e.g., showing love and empathy when responding to problematic behavior, using logical and natural consequences, avoiding anger, threats, punishments), some strategies could accomplish this, many of the strategies recommended are not natural and logical, and they do not convey empathetic, loving responses. Instead, they often encourage using rather severe consequences unrelated to the behavior, encourage isolation strategies, and communicate to the child that the parent cannot handle the problem. This book claims that the strategies are backed by research. The theories and ideals most definitely are. However, multiple instances go directly against decades of research on addressing child behavior. For instance, allowing your child to be retained in school is not a logical or fair consequence for inconsistent schoolwork, and the often detrimental outcomes associated with grade retention (e.g., high rates of high school dropout) do not outweigh the potential of momentary benefit. Grade retention is not an evidence-based strategy to address schoolwork problems and should not be encouraged. In cases of tantrums or other disruptive behavioral incidents, this book recommends parents sing to the child while removing them from the parent’s presence to a room by themselves. Singing to your child during a tantrum gives them reinforcing attention, providing multiple choices to a dysregulated child can be reinforcing and overwhelming, placing them in a room alone for several minutes, and telling them “You can join us again when you’re sweet” communicates to the child that you cannot handle being around them when they are dysregulated, and you only welcome their presence when they have positive emotions. Another problematic example of behavioral management states that “consequences can, and often should be delayed.” Sure, there are times when you cannot respond to the situation promptly, but this is in direct opposition to evidence-based strategies to address problem behavior in children in which consequences should be as immediate as possible. Another concerning incident used as a model for parenting presented included a case of animal abuse whereby the dog became malnourished. It could be interpreted that the parents were not helping the 7-year-old child take care of the pet to teach the child responsibility. It is not developmentally appropriate to expect a 7-year-old to take care of an animal independently without parental support, and it is cruel and unfair to the animal to be subjected to this treatment because of the parent’s approach to teaching responsibility. Further, adults should not deny meals to children to address behaviors, a frequently recommended strategy in this book, starting as young as children with bottles. Finally, it is noted that sometimes professional help is needed if your child’s behavior has worsened, or the strategies used have not helped. While I appreciate this disclaimer, the authors also state that “Oftentimes, one session with a trained counselor who knows what he or she is talking about is enough to straighten out the problem.” This statement is grossly misleading and incorrect. Numerous factors contribute to unwanted behavior in children and take time to resolve. If you find yourself with a professional who claims they can fix your child’s behaviors in one session, I highly suggest you find more reputable help. Even the most effective behavioral interventions can take several months. Finding your approach to parenting is challenging. Identifying effective strategies and learning how to implement them with consistency is difficult. If you feel overwhelmed by your child’s behavior, numerous credible therapists can teach you evidence-based strategies to build a strong positive relationship with your child and create lasting benefits in behavior and the relationship. This book is unlikely to help you accomplish that.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Megan Alton

    2.5 stars. I like the logic behind this book. The two principles are "adults must set firm, loving limits using enforceable statements without showing anger, lecturing, or using threats" and "when a child causes a problem, the adult shows empathy through sadness and sorrow and then lovingly hands the problem and it's consequences back to the child." I am all for children making their own choices and learning from consequences but much of this book did not sit well with me. The examples of conver 2.5 stars. I like the logic behind this book. The two principles are "adults must set firm, loving limits using enforceable statements without showing anger, lecturing, or using threats" and "when a child causes a problem, the adult shows empathy through sadness and sorrow and then lovingly hands the problem and it's consequences back to the child." I am all for children making their own choices and learning from consequences but much of this book did not sit well with me. The examples of conversations between parents and children were laughable and unrealistic. I kept wondering if the authors had ever really had a conversation with a stubborn toddler or teenager. Many of the learning opportunities went too far in my opinion. In one the parent takes the dog to live somewhere else because the child is not feeding it and they are tired of seeing the poor thing's ribs. I think you should be able to teach your child about consequences without letting the dog suffer, maybe try some "if then" scenarios. It might take longer and require follow up but at least you are not starving a dog. The book at one point talks about children hitting/bullying and says if that is happening to let the kids deal with it, if the neighbor mom has a problem with your child's behavior then she should take her issues to your child. Later the book says it is okay to get angry with your child if they break your scissors because that affects you. This seems so messed up to me. Scissors that were accidentally broken are not that big of a deal, my child bullying is a huge deal. Another thing that bothered me was an example where the parent tells the child they can't help them with something because doing things for them "has put a darkening cloud over my haze of happiness lately." I want to be happy but I certainly don't want to send the message to my children that my happiness is more important than their happiness. I might tell my child they are requiring too much or they need to find another way to get something taken care of but I don't think my "haze of happiness" needs to be a part of the conversation. The author's say you are not supposed to use threats in the love and logic approach but then give examples of veiled threats. They give kids so much credit for being smart which I agree with so I definitely think kids will see the the threats for what they are. The logic behind the book makes sense to me but I think the authors have gone overboard. I will try to apply the techniques to an extent but I won't be leaving my child out all night or allowing them to fail classes in school in order for them to learn. I hope I can offer guidance and support to my children as they grow and allow them to deal with some consequences in life without using the "throw them to the wolves" attitude this book seems to take. I think there should be a balance. I'm hoping I can have a more calm attitude when dealing with my children and that I can give them lots of practice with making choices so that they are prepared to make harder choices as they get older but mostly I am just happy to be done with this silly book.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Dalaina May

    Initially, my impression of Parenting with Love and Logic was positive. Give your children responsibilities and choices from early on so that they will grow up knowing how to make them just seems like common sense to me. In our home, we've already taken to using several of the big techniques in Love & Logic - offering reasonable choices instead of telling our kids what to do all the time, trying to use logical consequences for bad choices, and making our kids think through situations - and we've Initially, my impression of Parenting with Love and Logic was positive. Give your children responsibilities and choices from early on so that they will grow up knowing how to make them just seems like common sense to me. In our home, we've already taken to using several of the big techniques in Love & Logic - offering reasonable choices instead of telling our kids what to do all the time, trying to use logical consequences for bad choices, and making our kids think through situations - and we've seen big benefits as we've had fewer battles with our boys and seen them more able to own their choices and mistakes. However, I realized not even halfway through the book that it is fundamentally flawed. The writers assert that a parent's job is to raise self-confident responsible children, capable of navigating the adult world. While I agree that this is an important part of parenting not to be ignored, I do not believe that it is the foundational goal of parenthood. The goal of parenthood is to raise children in an environment where Christ is so much a part of their reality that to choose to do anything but follow Him would go against everything that they have ever known. Love & Logic leaves very little room for discussions about morality as it pertains to faith. Handling chronic lying, bullying, and disobedience is done in the same way as handling bad report cards - empathize, tell the child that you are sure he can handle it, and put the ball back in his court, offering advice only if it is asked for. This technique does work fantastically in a-moral situations like choosing friends or doing chores, however, the authors are bypassing the very moments that give parents an opportunity to share their faith. We don't bully, not because someone might hit us back or because we won't have any friends, but because followers of Christ are held to the standard of loving others before ourselves. Obviously, one cannot force a child to abide by these beliefs or hold to the, but a child will never be able to articulate his own faith if a parent has not done so himself through actions AND words. I do recommend Logic & Love to parents who already have a pretty good handle on what they are trying to accomplish as parents. There are certainly some good ideas for how to handle different situations in a way that keeps volatile emotions from taking over and interfering in the parent/child relationship. Yet, parents should also read with the understanding that this book is not the end-all solution in a Christian home. It lacks a great deal in grace, in helping a child understand from a moral perspective why things are wrong (not just because they reap bad consequences), and in transmitting faith to the next generation.

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