Parenting with Love and Logic – Part 2

Cline and Fay continue with their Love-and-Logic Tips as we finish looking at the first half of their book, Parenting with Love and Logic.


Love-and-Logic Tip # 13 Eat Nicely Here, or Play on the Floor – Instead of making demands; parents can give choices that tell the child what kind of behavior is necessary for sitting at the table with the family. Natural consequences for choosing the floor include being hungry before breakfast. Children react to commands either with Passive-Aggressive Behavior or Passive-Resistive Behavior, sabotaging the process.

Love-and-Logic Tip #14 Let Your Yes be Yes, and Your No Be Yes, Too – Two year olds use “No” and equivalents 77% of the time.

  • Fighting Words: “No, you can’t go out to play until you practice your lessons.” “No, you can’t watch television until your chores are done.”
  • Thinking Words: “Yes, you may go out to play as soon as you practice your lessons.” “Yes, you may watch television as soon as your chores are done.” P. 66

Gaining Control Through Choices

Hear, my child, and accept my words, that the years of your life may be many.

Proverbs 4:10

Love-and-Logic Tip # 15 You’ll Do What I Tell You to Do – Instead of issuing commands that are often ignored a child who is glued to the computer should hear whispered in his ear, “We’ll be serving dinner for the next twenty minutes, and we’d love to have you join us because we love eating with you. We hope you make it. But if not, just catch us at breakfast.” P. 72, 73

Love-and-Logic Tip # 16 The “V” of Love – Preferably a parent offers fewer choices to the toddler and as the child grows, he gets ever expanding choices. The arms of the “V” provide the limits needed – fewer as the child matures. All too often it is more like an inverted “V” with the choices being too many for the toddler and limits too many for the young adult.  P. 75

Love-and-Logic Tip # 17 Three rules for Control Battles

  1. “Avoid a control battle at all costs.
  2. If you’re going to get into one, win at all costs.
  3. Pick the issue carefully. Whenever we lose a control battle, it’s because we have not chosen the issue carefully.” P. 77

Instead of making threats that are difficult to follow through on, say “No problem. Our car is leaving in 5 minutes. There are two ways to leave with me: Hungry or not hungry.” No need to count down with put-downs. Quiet time for deliberation accomplishes more.  When the time is up, announce, “My car is leaving.” If he says, “I am not finished.” Dad can say, “No problem (see # 18), son you go “under your power” or “under my power.”  If the he chooses to not go under his own power, Dad must pick him up (yelling and screaming) without a word. Let your actions and his hunger teach.

Love-and-Logic Tip #18  No Problem

Using these easily understood words, gives the parents a few extra minutes to plan the best way to handle a situation. p. 80

Love-and-Logic Tim #19  The Brain Drain

Don’t let the child turn the table and make you do the thinking.  Cause their Brain Drain by making them choose from your choices and stick to it.  Instead of saying, “No, you can’t go until you sweep the garage,” say “Feel free to go once you sweep the garage.” Don’t back down; continue to give the options until he does it.

Don’t give choices that you cannot live with:  “Would you rather go with me or stay at the restaurant?” These choices turn into threats. “Non-threatening choices, offered in a calm, non-hysterical manner, give children a chance to take control over their problems.” P. 85

Rules for Giving Choices

  1. Only give choices you can live with.
  2. Only give choices that you are willing to let the natural consequence run its course.
  3. Only give choices that keep the child safe.
  4. Only give choices you can and will make if the child does not.
  5. Only give choices that begin with what the child can do WHEN he does what needs to be done or that allows the child to consider which choice is best for him. 85

The Recipe for Success: Empathy with Consequences 

My child, if your heart is wise, my heart too will be glad.

Proverbs 23:19


Love-and-Logic Tip # 20 Warning: Good parents don’t give warnings.

Allow natural consequences to do their work while showing empathy. For example, since you cannot force a person to go to sleep, turn the responsibility of bedtime fall in your child’s hand.  Possible rules: 1. After 8:00 pm, we don’t want to see you; it is our private time. 2. Everyone will get up at 6:00 am.  Show empathy to sleepy child as you send them off to school. This is how the real world operates.

Love-and-Logic Tip # 21 A Real-World Bus Service

In the real-world a bus does not wait until you arrive; it operates on a schedule.  Train a young person to be on time by establishing the schedule and sticking to it.  “I will be at the store to meet you from 5:00-5:03. If you are not there, I will pick you up from 10:00-10:03 etc.

Love-and-Logic Tip # 22 Empathy, Not Anger

Parents must show empathy without backing down. After a child misses dinner, the empathic parent can say, “I know how it feels to be hungry, son. I’m hungry too when I miss a meal. But we will have a big breakfast.” P. 94

“When no consequences occur naturally, the imposed consequences must (1) be enforceable, (2) fit the ‘crime,’ and (3) be laid down firmly in love.” P. 94   If you need more time to think of a consequence, tell them that you will think about it and let them know.

Love-and-Logic Tip # 23  Messages that Lock in Empathy

Instead of being angry, say something like this, “That’s terrible. How are you going to handle it?” p. 97

Lights, Camera, Parenting

I have taught you the way of wisdom; I have led you in the paths of righteousness.

When you walk, your step will not be hampered; and if you run, you will no stumble.

Proverbs 4:11-12

As you begin the process of becoming a Love-and-Logic parent, rehearse mentally what you will say and how you will respond to what you expect your child to say.  “It usually takes one month of love-and-logic parenting to undo one year of tacky parenting. So if your child is twelve years old, give yourself twelve months to help him or her learn responsible thinking.” P. 103

Next time we will begin learning the Love-and-Logic Parenting Pearls in Part II.

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