Sunday, July 17, 2016

Parenting with Love and Logic: Read it Because You Want To Try a Systematic Approach that Builds Self-Esteem and Teaches Good Decision-Making

Parenting with Love and Logic

READ IT BECAUSE: You want to come up with a systematic approach to raise your kids into adults with healthy self-esteem who have the skills to make wise decisions for themselves.  I will caveat this review by saying that I acknowledge that there's no perfect way to parent and that every child is different.  I haven't tried this method but I have friends who recommend it so I decided to give it a read.  Please note that this is the 2006 updated version of the book.

The fundamental goal of this method is to develop children into adults who have understand consequences and have the skills to make wise decisions.  A secondary goal is to develop parents who can maintain their own sanity/happiness, keep their cool, and model wise behavior for their children.  But who really cares about all that right--what you want to know is the 'how.'

The authors divide your conflict interactions with kids into two broad categories--ones that affect you in some way and those that affect your kids.  Conflict that affects you requires more intervention and that firmer limits be set.  Conflict that affects your children only--that requires a more deft touch where you allow your kids to experience the consequences of a poor decision--WITH EMPATHY.  Those last words are capitalized for a reason--letting a child work through the consequences does not mean that you don't come along side your child in their misery or their discomfort.  Ultimately, these consequences develop an ability in your children to pause and better think through decisions.  As they grow older, the limits that you set for them grow wider and wider.

I am working on a Love and Logic Cheat Sheet but I think what most parents of young toddlers want to know is: how do I deal with temper tantrums?  The author's central thesis is that you can't really control something like a temper tantrum (after all kids are illogical balls of insanity n'est-ce pas) but you can control WHERE they throw a temper tantrum.  They recommend an 'uh-oh song' that is sung in a nice and sincere way as you give your toddler a choice to either walk to their room or be carried.  Then they stay there (with the door opened or closed--their choice) for five minutes (or an age appropriate amount of time) until they can emerge and 'be sweet.'  They note that a child should never be locked or shut in their room unless you are right outside the room listening to them (and there shouldn't be anything they can hurt themselves with in their room).  Anyway, there's  a lot more nuance to this within the wider context of the book

One note that really struck me personally was getting away from being a "drill sergeant parent"--that's a parent that tells and orders instead of modeling and teaching one's kids to make good choices.  Regardless of what I end of thinking of this approach at large, this is a point on which I can work.  Especially as a military service member, my default approach is too often an order: i.e., clean your room, don't touch that, eat your food etc.  Instead of orders, Love and Logic advocate giving child choices that you both can handle and asking them questions instead of orders.  I do this sometimes but not as often as I should/could.

I may write an update in the future on our experience with this method.  There's no one method that's perfect or the total package of course...

My 20162015 and 2014 Reading Lists.

My notes:
p. 23 parenting can manifest itself with the 'wrong' kind of love
p. 23-25 there are 4 types of parenting that can prove problematic for your kids:
  1. Helicopter parents--I hurt so I bail you out
  2. Turbo helicopter parents--I sweep your mistakes under the rug so you can succeed
  3. Drill Sergeant--kids are told everything and never learn to make decisions
  4. Laissez-faire--hands-off parenting
p. 27 L and L strives to develop 'consultant parents' who ask questions, offer choices--options with limits
p. 28 without failure there can be no success
p. 30 enforceable choices
p. 31 Book forcuses on SLOs: Significant Learning Opportunities
p. 32 protection does not always equal caring
p. 33 Let SLOs build your childnre
p. 37 Drill Sgt orders erode a child's self-worth
p. 39 Self-concept (esteem)
  1. I am loved without condition
  2. I have the skills to make decisions
  3. I can take control and be the master of my own destiny
p. 41 Make learning skills fun by focusing on the process--not the end result
p. 45-6 dangers of false praise: instead ask self-evaluation questions
p. 47 Process of building self-esteem
p. 49 Parenting modeling: i.e., The parent must value their own happiness and demonstrate that to the child--the child should not believe they are the center of the universe--this is especially dangerous as they get older
p. 52 You want to develop a child who asks: Can I fix this myself?
p. 54 20% rule for when to let kids try to solve their own problem
p. 54-55 There's a difference problems that just affect the child and those that affect parents
p. 56 The 'uh-oh song' technique for bad behavior/tantrums
p. 57 The 2 central rules of the book:
  1. Set firm limits using enforceable standards without anger, lecturing or threats
  2. when child causes problems, respond with empathy through sadness/sorrow--then hand problem and consequences back to child
p. 58-9 Examples of enforceable standards
p. 60 Delayed consequences are better than arguing: "I love you too much to argue with you about this."
p. 65 Be slow to lecture, don't tell kids what they just learned--let them learn their lesson through the consequences
p. 68 Firm limits build self-esteem
p. 69 Limits are established by the choices offered
p. 74 "fighting" words tell, whereas 'thinking' words do:
  1. what we will allow
  2. what we will do
  3. what we will provide
p. 76 It's important for your kids to test limits because by doing so they can discover that they limits are indeed firm
p. 80 Give away as much control as you can
p. 81 The "V" of love--the base of the V is childhood and the top is adulthood.  The sides of represents the limits which gradually widen with age
p. 83 learning, thinking, eating, bedtime--with these things we can win by giving commands--we do it by modeling
p. 84 There are three rules of control battles
p. 86-7 how to create a 'no-lose' battle
p. 91 once a time limit is established, don't remind them
p. 91-2 don't get/show frustration--kids crave this emotion--immediate reaction phrase is "no problem"
p. 94 no lessons should be given during the child's experiencing of consequences
p. 96 the rule for giving choices
p. 99 you must show empathy when they make the bad choices
p. 103 Imposed consequences must:
  1. enforceable
  2. fit the crime
  3. be laid down firmly in love
p. 110 how to practice love and logic
p. 111 the three E's
  1. Empathy
  2. Experience
  3. Example
p. 112 7 common mistakes
p. 116 If we want kids to have self-control we must model it for them first
p. 123 situations when anger is ok
p. 125-7 Bedtimes
p. 131 Teasing
p. 134 Solving backseat fights
p. 141 Encourage creativity in 2 to 6 year olds--focus more on doing things than watching things
p. 147 only try to control what you can control: for example, you can't make them stop crying, but you can control WHERE they are crying
p. 148-9 9 Discipline rules
p. 170 don't get involved in the kids' fights
p. 179 guidelines for gifts
p. 198 dealing with lies
p. 211 until kindergarter do family cleanups--helping them
p. 221-2 no longer recommend spankings
p. 242 let tantrums happen...control where they happen

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