Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Parenting with Love and Logic: A review

Awhile back, when I was having some problems with my little Peanut throwing some major fits, a mommy friend (hi, Mindy!) recommended this book to me.

Parenting with Love and Logic is written with the assumption that we all want to raise responsible, caring children who will be well equipped to make smart choices when they enter the world as an adult. The secret? Letting them make choices (good and bad!) as a child so that they learn first hand the consequences that their choices have on their life. It's naive of us to assume that if we never allow a child to arrive at a decision on their own, that they will be capable of making smart choices as an adult.

I can't recommend it enough. Regardless of your parenting style, or the age of your children, you can find something in this book to help your hone your parenting skills.

It would be impossible for me to summarize or share all that this book has taught me (You need to go buy it or borrow it - pronto!), so instead I'll just share a one specific thing that I've been able to implement with terrific results.

Enforceable statements. This section of the book was a big "lightbulb" moment for me. In short, don't make statements to your children that you can not enforce. For example, "Stop crying right now!", "Stop screaming!", "Stop whining!" News flash! Short of duct taping your child's mouth shut, you are not capable of making your child stop this type of unacceptable behavior. And unenforceable statement like that does absolutely nothing to help the situation and in many cases, just escalates it. An alternative would be to say, "If you are going to continue to whine, you need to go in the other room. If you want to stay here with Mommy, you'll need to put on your happy face." The ball is in the child's court. Even a not-quite two year old like Peanut can understand that the choice is hers. Stay here and be happy, or go there and cry. I tried this method (very skeptically!) on Peanut a couple months ago and to my utter amazement, she walked herself (still whining) to her room and stood in the doorway crying. I popped my head around the corner a couple times to remind her that I'd love to have her come back in the kitchen with me when she was ready to be happy. A couple minutes later she rejoined me with her happy face on. No struggle, no empty threats, no rising blood pressure. Ahhhh. Sweet victory. The book goes into much greater detail on how to implement this type of system, but for me, it worked on the first try.

The authors of this book also have a website with tons of parenting resources. They even have a section for educators!

What is your favorite parenting book?


  1. *cough* So did you read my post yesterday? I don't suppose "Butt. Glue. Chair. *Now.*" is an enforceable it? *Rats.*

  2. I am reading this book right now! I like it very much, and also Dr. Kevin Leman's books - "Have a New Child by Friday" and "Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours."

  3. I've really been struggling to find a workable system, mainly for my 4.5yr. My almost 2yo is still pretty good until he sees big bro start acting up. I took A. to his Parents as Teachers playgroup this morning and the parent educator there gave me a slew of handouts. She says she used to teach a class based on The Incredible Years. You can type that into a search engine and it will bring up the website. A nurse developed this program. I think it's along the lines of L&L but more "hands on" she says.

  4. I have read several of the Love and Logic books and they are great! Very practical.

  5. Hi..thank you for allowing me to comment. I found your blog by searching "parenting" from Google. My name is Andika, I'm from Indonesia. I've just make a blog about parenting. Most of the contents are about my little family, especially my daughter. I put many of my daughter's photos and videos and stories of how I enjoy my life as a parent. I hope you'll enjoy it...

    Thanks again and have a nice day! :-)

  6. Very nice blog! I will visit often. Following from MBC. Please stop by sometime!

  7. Thanks for the book review!! There is something in the air I think as I have been inspired to blog about parenting books as well!!

    loving your blog as usual!

  8. This book sounds great and very similar to the way I believe in parenting.

  9. Don't you think sending your kid away while crying is worse than telling them to stop crying? I think its really important that a child feels accepted regardless of whether they are upset or not - by telling them they can't be upset around you, i feel like that is telling them that they aren't loved when they are unhappy so should hide it if they want their mother to love them.

    I think a much better book is Naomi Aldort's Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves.

    I haven't read the one you described - but your review has put me off. I find it upsetting that a child is unable to express their feelings without being sent away.