on February 24, 2004
Parenting with love and Logic was extremely disappointing to me. I am in the process filling out adoption paperwork for a special needs child. the ideas of (as examples stated in this book) putting my child in the basement when they are having a tantrum and harming themselves, or of denying my child supper because he neglected to feed the cat by 5 PM (on the basis of "Mommy feeds 3 mouths. Since you didn't feed the cat, tonight those 3 mouths are Mommy, Daddy and the cat) are appalling. Many examples involved enlisting friends who would be willing to follow your children home after you put them out of the car, were willing to stay overnight at your home (after your child's waking you up in the middle of the night prompted you and your spouse to go to a hotel) or to hang around the store/mall waiting to see if your child would misbehave, so you could call them and have them take the child home. This book operates on the assumption that children are "Miniature Adults" and if that's your theory as well, perhaps this book will be of value to you.
on May 23, 2002
This book was not helpful at all. It has too many religious references, and also the whole tone is kinda patronizing.
More importantly, it seems to take the idea of natural consequences to the extreme. Don't get me wrong, I truly belive that children have to learn to make their own choices and deal with the consequences, but it is parent's responsibility to guide your child toward the right ones. I don't believe that any parent in her right mind will allow her child to go outside in winter without a jacket... unless she hates her child and wants him to get pneumonia!
And spanking... well, many parents spank their children, but let me tell you from personal experience, spanking is a sign of frustration and hopelessness. Children can sense your frustration which doesn't add any credibility to you as a parent. Also what kind of sick demented person would set a goal of spanking their child as painfully as possible? What most important, this method of parenting doesn't work, as simple as that. Yes, you can manipulate your child into doing what you want, but you are teaching him wrong lesson here. You are teaching him that violence is not just ok, it's the best method of dealing with difficult situations.
If you want a good parentig book, read "Setting Limits : How to Raise Responsible, Independent Children by Providing Clear Boundaries" by Robert J. Mac Kenzie, Robert J. MacKenzie .
on January 25, 2002
This book's writing style is not my cup of tea. I don't like the religious references nor the descriptive dialogues used to portray a point. Seems a bit patronizing to me.
But the book does have it right when it says "fighting" words are wrong. I strongly disagree with the spanking and cannot advise any parents to use such "power"-tool even on doggy-basics.
What I absolutely dislike are the questioning "love-and-logic" ways of parenting. When you use that technique it is true that the children do not quite feel like fighting BUT (and that is a big but) you coerce and manipulate the children into a mold that fits your beliefs and when the children get to the point to figure that out you will have lost. The choices cannot only be choices that will in the end not let the children learn their lesson.
It is this manipulative undertone of the book that has me up the wall.
If you are looking for an author who approaches the subject from a similiar viewpoint (healthy authority with love) turn to Kevin Leman. His humorous and engaging writing has me enthralled. His books deal at the same time with the parental interrelation as well as the relation between kids and parents. I enjoy that approach and can recommend his writing.
Kristin und Michael, right now in Berlin, Germany
on June 19, 1998
There are so many better parenting books out now that there is no need to read this one! Where is the love & logic in hitting a child under the age of 3 over & over until he complies? Where is the logic in letting a dog be gassed at the dog pound instead of feeding it? One part of the child rearing technique is called Basic German Shepherd commands (come, sit, go, no stay). The misguided authors actually seem to believe in this! It's scary! This book only got a rating of 1 because there was no choice of 0. If you need a book about firm discipline & don't want to train your children like dogs (which they most certainly are not), try a much more humane approach, such as in Jane Nelsen's "Positive Discipline A to Z" or Jerry Wyckoff's "Without Shouting or Spanking." Please don't use this book!
on August 31, 2000
"Kids suffer too." is about the extent of insight into the effect of divorce on children. These authors use a gender-stereotyped, dogmatic,black and white theory of disciplining kids. They suggest demeaning broadside attacks rather than guidance or setting the child up for success. As an alternative, I would highly recommend "Boundaries"and "Boundaries with Kids"by Cloud and Townsend or "The Explosive Child " by Greene. I was very disappointed with "Love and Logic" and won't buy anymore in the series.Natural consequences are good,this book isn't.
on February 4, 2004
Basically, this book is about how to create a positive learning environment for our children, by giving them control of non-essential choices designed to be the desired outcome regardless of which choice they choose. It also provides some great insight into how to create a trusting and positive environment while teaching some positive habits.
My wife read this book first and I noticed an immediate change in how she reacted to our rather headstrong two-year old. Staying calm, and giving choices like: Do you want to have milk before you go to bed, or juice? This instead of the battle on whether or not she was going to bed. We find ourselves laughing at some of the absurd choices we come up with, and it's harder than it appears to consistently think this way. What is easy to see is that it works, and works well. Some of our biggest battles over dressing, or going to bed, or eating dinner have become much easier and the "uh-oh" said calmly has stopped some poor behavior in its tracks!
While we both embrace the fact that testing the limits is a natural and healthy way for young children to learn, this book gave some great insights on how to facilitate and not discourage that type of learning, and yet still teach the right behaviors.
I was not thrilled with the overall editing and layout of the book, as it jumped around a bit, and half-way through would say things like: This may not work for children under three! OK, this is information we could have used four chapters ago when the authors were making a point we were attempting to follow. That minor complaint notwithstanding, this is an excellent book and is highly recommended for all parents with young children.
on November 24, 2003
I was introduced to "Love & Logic" at a professional development seminar for teachers. I started using the principles in my classroom and eliminated so many of the struggles. I decided to buy the parenting book (this book) for my sister when she gave birth to my nephew. I ended up reading the whole thing, too, and have implemented many suggestions when I babysit for her. My nephew, who is only 2-1/2, is now a master at making choices and understanding that he doesn't get to make all the choices. He recently wanted to buy lemonade and chocolate milk at the store. I told him he had to choose...no muss, no fuss, he chose and put the lemonade back in the cooler. He has been making choices for himself since before he could walk, and I fully believe that the empowerment this book, this system, brings to kids helps them make the really big, important choices later in life. I've used the principles in the classroom and with all my nieces and nephews. They feel like they have control and options while understanding that there are consequences for bad decisions. My husband and I are the favorite aunt and uncle...and we have fewer problems when watching the kids than anyone else. They're happy, we're happy. What more could you want? Do yourself and your child's future teachers a favor and BUY THIS BOOK! I've got my copy ready for my daughter on the way.
on September 2, 2003
I never thought of myself as a 'hover-mother' and felt I was able to step back and allow my kids to learn from their mistakes, but this book opened my eyes to how 'hands-in' I really was in their lives.
In short, adopting the principles laid out in this book has given me permission to let logical consequences do the teaching. It takes me out of the role of monitor and micro-manager, the bad guy, and other villain roles I had been playing.
The detractors snuff on about letting a child go hungry or without a coat -- missing a snack or meal is a choice they make and, no, they will not starve. We have snow here 5-6 months a year -- so our question is 'do you want to wear your coat or carry it?' The distance between the house and the garage or the car and the schoolyard is enough to help them make up their minds at -20 C! You have to be sensible about how you make the premises work in your own family.
The concepts here have given me a strategy for regaining my sanity. My kids are 6, 5 and 4. My book is out on loan, so I'm buying a couple to pass around.
on August 28, 2003
Jim Fay believes that we must teach our children HOW to think, not just WHAT to think. I am a very "over-protective mom" and reading his book has encouraged me to stop making so many choices for my children. I am now better able to allow my child to fail and take ownership of the consequence that follows his actions without feeling so much guilt myself. Kids can definitely learn from their mistakes without losing their self-esteem. Although I do not agree nor use every strategy in this book (like "The German Shepard Technique"), I feel the Love and Logic philosophy has contributed positive change in the way we communicate with our children as well as to the degree of compliance we get from them. We like this book because there are many specific suggestions in the real life annecdotes demonstrating the exact words to try. We also recommend another book with quick-read suggestions for parents of 2, 3, 4, and 5-year-olds called 'The Pocket Parent.' This book is not written in paragraphs, but rather hundreds of short bullets of practical information. The philosophies of both authors are very similar--offering many sanity saving alternatives to yelling, bribing, threatening, critizing, and nagging that we often resort to at our wits' end.. Both books are helpful, humorous and worth keeping handy for when you need some quick advice or just some empathy on one of those really bad days when you think you are about to lose your mind!
on March 4, 2003
If you believe your job as a parent is to raise your child to be an independent, responsible adult, and that each day should take your child one step further on the path to independance of thought an action, then this is the book for you. [OTOH, if you are a "helicopter" parent, who hovers over your child to protect her and keep her safe, you should pass.]
The guidelines and ideas and techniques here are very valuable for parents, of course, but also for managers and leaders. The key is to set up learning experience the result in "natural" consequences. For example, if your child does not want to wear a coat to school (and it is not the middle of winter in Chicago), let her make that choice, and if she gets cold or wet that is her consequence. If she doesn't want to eat what you made for breakfast, you say "That's OK, lunch is coming soon enough." (She won't starve) Similarly, if a software developer is writing buggy code, make sure he has to support all of the customers of that code!
This book provides many excellent dialog snippets that help you get on the natural consequences track. Consider bedtime. Dad: It's time for bed. Susie: I don't want to go to bed. Dad: That's OK, stay up as late as you want and get as tired as you want. I hope you're not too tired tomorrow. Susie: I will! [Dad gave Susie the power, and ownership over the consequence. Even if she stays up too late this one night, over time she'll learn to connect staying up too late with being tired the next day.]
The key thing is to give your child choices, and let the *consequences* teach the lesson. Instead of lecturing and hectoring and "I told you so" -- which just focuses your daughter's anger at you -- empathize with her. "I'm sorry you were cold, I would have been cold, too." This way the child can focus on what he might have done differently, and learn to make better choices.