Over the years I’ve read a stack of parenting books, from Parent Power! A Common-Sense Approach to Parenting in the ‘90s and Beyond and How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk to Get Out of My Life, But First Could You Drive Me and Cheryl to the Mall? This usually happens when my now 14-year-old enters a new developmental stage.
I’ve underlined, taken notes and highlighted passages in all of those books. I’ve prayed, read more books, prayed and talked to friends and family. Yes, these books are great and helped, but it wasn’t until I came across the Love and Logic philosophy of raising and teaching children that I started repeating to friends what I was learning.
There’s something about this philosophy that is sinking in, and I think it’s this simple approach: “Love allows children to grow through their mistakes, and logic allows children to live with the consequences of their choices.”
I’ve heard “don’t take up the gauntlet” with your child or “don’t go down the rabbit hole,” but have a hard time resisting the urge to argue and replacing that with something more constructive.
Thanks to Parenting the Love and Logic Way™, I’ve got a new one-liner: I love you too much to argue.
I’ve also learned empathy is key when holding kids accountable for their actions. But it has to be sincere and come before doling out consequences. And it’s OK for those consequences to come later, even way later. Now I’m ready with, “Oh no, I’m so sorry that happened. I’m going to have to do something about it. Don’t worry, I’ll get back to you.”
I just read Parenting Teens with Love and Logic: Preparing Adolescents for Responsible Adulthood by Dr. Foster Cline and Jim Fay. I’ve also listened to funny parenting stories on their Hormones & Wheels CD. I know I will revisit these as I try to avoid un-winnable power-struggles, stay calm, set enforceable limits and prepare my teen for life in the real world.
A six-session parenting class designed by the Love and Logic Institute is being offered at Saratoga Presbyterian Church on the following Sundays: January 13 and 27, February 10 and 24, March 3 and 10. All classes are from 7:00-9:00 p.m.
For more information or to register, e-mail class facilitator Mary Eschen: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the Love and Logic Institute, go to http://www.loveandlogic.com.