Parenting with Love-and-Logic Part VII



Pearl 29 – Sassing and Disrespect

  • Remember that when there is much emotion coming from your child, the best way to defuse is to suggest without emotion that he go somewhere else until he is calm. Sometimes it takes repeated suggestions for him to leave.
  • Once both are calm, try to find out what is bothering him. You may suggest possible reasons and see if anything fits his situation. P. 192-194

Pearl 30 – Sibling Rivalry and Fighting

  • Unless there is danger, parents should allow siblings to work out their differences.
  • Attaching a consequence to fighting (such as cleaning behind the refrigerator with a toothbrush), can stop fighting in its tracks. P. 195-197

Pearl 31 – Spanking

  • Use spanking as a last resort for “Basic German Shepherd” issues.
  • Use spanking for your child who is under three years old.
  • Use spanking only in a painful way.
  • Use spanking only if you can do it without speaking any angry words. (no emotion as reward)
  • Use spanking only if you can do it guilt free. (no emotion as reward)
  • Use spanking as a choice – “Would you like to go to your room with a smack or no smack? ….with one or two…etc.” Do not carry child to room. Make him make the choice. P. 198-1

Pearl 32 – Stealing

  • For early stealing as part of a stage, don’t reward it with emotion, rather reward with emotion the act of putting it back where it belongs. “Janice, honey, Mommy doesn’t like it when you take her earring. Now, take it back to the box. Thank you. (Then, very excitedly) Oh, thank you for putting it back. That makes Mommy so happy. What a good girl.”
  • For chronic stealing – avoid it becoming a power struggle – find out the underlying cause or causes. Use sensible, not emotional consequences. P. 200-201.

Pearl 33 – Swearing and Bad Language

  • Move the problem away by saying something like, “I’ll be happy to talk with you when you can speak civilly to me and use clean and mature language.”
  • When both are calm, you might suggest that people use that type of language if they don’t feel good about themselves or if they don’t have a good vocabulary.
  • Then drop the subject. Usually the problem will go away. P. 202-203

Pearl 34 – Teacher and School Problems

  • Rather than going to the school with an attitude, approach the teacher with your “description” of the situation at home and get the teacher’s description of the situation at school.”
  • If the situation is not resolved with the teacher ask the teacher if she would go with you to the principal to see if he has some additional insight. P. 204-205

Pearl 35 – Teeth Brushing

  • Modeling and talking to self or spouse goes farther than direct commands: “I just finished eating, and I think I will protect my teeth from cavities by brushing.”
  • Or a mom may say, “I pass out things with sugar in them to people who protect their teeth by brushing. … Noelle’s been brushing….Jill’s been brushing…and Claudia, well Claudia we’d better hold off on cookies until I don’t have to worry about your teeth anymore…” p. 206-207

Pearl 36 – Telephone Interruptions

  • When on the phone, the best way to get a child to stop bothering you, is to ask the caller to hold on a minute, ask the child to go to his room and if the child is not compliant ask the caller if you can call right back.
  • At another time, help the child understand that you can spend more time with him when you are not on the phone. P. 208-210

Pearl 37 – Television Watching

  • Recognizing that too much TV watching is harmful is the first step.
  • Parents must model controlled use of the TV.
  • Talking with the child about what watching can do and what it cannot do is helpful.
  • Encourage other activities, especially those you do with your child and those that provide physical activity in the out of doors.

Pearl 38 – Temper Tantrums

  • We usually have some warning – big frown, flushing of face, balled up fists, lips twitching.
  • Remember “One, any kid worth keeping will probably throw a fit from time to time.
  • Two, kids will through tantrums only as long as they work.
  • Whatever conversation during the tantrum from the parent MUST be free of emotion.
  • Some parents may want to rate the tantrum as if it were a sporting event – without emotion.
  • During this non-emotional conversation give the child choices: In basement or room? ; With light on or off?
  • The goal is to remove the child from your audience – without an audience the tantrum stops.
  • Another way to distance yourself is to take a wide giant step OVER your child as you leave. P. 214-215

Pearl 39 – Toilet Training

The facts:

  • Some children really train themselves and it is easy.
  • Some children are really difficult to train.
  • All children develop at their own rate – some are ready at two and others not until 4 ½.
  • Keep the toilet training mood fun, exciting – even gleeful.
  • “It is all too easy for a vicious cycle of negativism to swirl up and around toilet training because we have a vested interest in their potty habits. We really do want them to go into the pot. For the first time in their lives, we really want them to do something for us.”
  • Suggestions:
  • Avoid, “you sit there until you go routine…”
  • With girls, the mom and draw pictures and talk about how the kitty and the dog do their business and how happy they are. Then model how happy it is to do as humans do. Allow the child the opportunity when she asks.
  • With boys, the dad can make PT boats and battleships (out of toilet paper) and demonstrate how to take aim and sink. Boys will want to follow suit. P. 217-219

Pearl 40 – Values: Passing Them on to Your Kids

  • Bad news: More difficult than before
  • Good news: still possible
  • “Eavesdrop value setting:” Allowing children to overhear conversation between parents – one telling the other how he/she had showed integrity and did what was right and “feeling good” about it.
  • Modeling how we spend our time when not required to work. P. 220-222

Pearl 41 – Whining and Complaining

  • Children will whine and complain as long as it gets them what they want.
  • At another time, explain that when you ignore them it is because you don’t want to hear unless they speak appropriately.
  • Give multiple choice: “Do you suppose I’ll be able to understand you better when you’re whining or not-whining?” p. 223-224

Parenting with Love-and-Logic Part VI


Cline and Fay continue:

Pearl 22 – Nasty Looks and Negative Body Language

  • Often you may walk away from the negative body language.
  • Other times you need to give the child an opportunity to express their feelings.
  • Other times, if you notice a pattern, you might say, “I have noticed that when I say something like I am going to say you give me the “laser eye” – get ready because now I am going to do it again. Giving them permission takes away the desire.

Pearl 23 – Peer Pressure

  • Peer pressure begins in our toddlers. We teach them to follow a voice outside their own head – ours. As they become adolescents they start listening to their peers.
  • Better to give your children practice making decisions – small at first: Chocolate or white milk?
  • When they reach adolescence – let them know that you are available to talk with them about their relationships. Let them know that you want them to be themselves – not their peers. Let them know that if they need to use them as the “bad guys.” “My parents would kill me….” If they want.

Pearl 24 – Pet Care

  • Pet care provides a great opportunity to learn responsibility.
  • One option: “I only feed 4 mouths.” If the pets are not fed by 5:00 pm, the parent can feed Mom and Dad and the two pets. Kiss your child and say that she will be missed at the dinner table.
  • Another option: Find a new owner for the pets.
  • Another option: Parent takes responsibility for the pets.

Pearl 25 – Picking Up Belongings

  • One option: allow the child time to decide whether they want to pick of the toys or if they want the parent to pick it up and keep it.
  • For fairly responsible children, you may allow them to earn back toys.
  • For hard-core irresponsible children, you may get rid of those extra toys.
  • Modeling is essential – what does the master bedroom or garage look like?
  • Making reference to how you feel when you have accomplished a clean-up of your own.

Pearl 26 – Professional Help: When to Seek It

  • Realize that seeking help does not mean you are a failure.
  • After following the Love-and-Logic method and there are still big problems –seek help.
  • If a situation is gradually getting worse over a period of three months, seek help.
  • Professional help is not necessarily many long sessions; sometimes one session is enough.

Pearl 27-The Room: Keep It Clean

  • Ask your child if it is reasonable to have his room clean by Saturday when the family plans a trip to the amusement park.
  • When the child says he doesn’t want to clean his room, you can say that it is ok because he can pay someone in the family to stay home and babysit him.
  • When the child says he doesn’t have any money, “When adults need money they sell something.” You can decide what to sell or I will choose what I want (or, of course, the child can clean the room.”

Pearl 28 – The Room: Keeping the Kid in It

  • Adolescents will stay in their room all of the time, if we let them.
  • Younger children will not stay in their room – if the reason is some fear or trauma – deal with that.
  • If there is no other reason – you may want to leave the house for the night and get a babysitter who will reinforce the message that the child is to stay in his room during the night because the parents need a good night’s sleep.
  • If there is a family with a similar problem – swap houses.
  • Keep it positive – no “digging” comments.

Stay tuned for the remaining Love and Logic Pearls.

Parenting With Love and Logic Part V



Pearl 15 – Friends

  • Offer a choice:

Not recommended: choose friends we approve of and play at home or choose friends we don’t approve of and never play at home.

Recommended: “Would you like to have friends that really test your decision making and thinking skills, or would your rather have some that don’t pressure you so much?

  • Communication – if we stay in communication, our children will more likely choose friends that we like. P. 153-154

Pearl 16 – Getting Ready for School

Four Rules

  1. Decide which jobs are for the parents and which for the children. Responsibilities for children: “setting the alarm, waking up to the alarm, choosing clothes, dressing, washing, watching the clock, remembering lunch money and school supplies…”Responsibility for parents: “back up the school’s consequences for lateness.”
  2. Don’t remind – it robs the child to learn from natural consequences.
  3. Don’t rescue – No driving to school if they missed the bus. No writing excuses for tardiness.
  4. Don’t be angry – be sad with them as they suffer the consequences. P. 155-158

Pearl 17 – Grades and Report Cards

  • Keep the responsibility where it belongs – with the child.
  • Be involved in the areas where your child excels.
  • Without emotion, but caring, “How are you going to deal with that math grade?” p. 159-161

Pearl 18 – Grandparents

Four Rules for Parent-Grandparent Interaction

  1. When together decide who will deal with the children – probably the parent. Any “advice” the grandparent gives to the parent should be without the child present.
  2. When a grandparent offers, unsolicited “advice”, the parent may request that the grandparent ask for the reasoning behind the parenting technique.
  3. Be sure all know the purpose of the visit. Parents and Grandparents may not expect the same thing.
  4. Set ground rules, such as: do not discipline the children in our presence, do not question my parenting skills in front of the children. Grandparents may want these rules: ask parents to handle needed discipline or they may ask the whole family to leave. P. 162-164

Pearl 19 – Homework


  • Homework must remain the problem of the children.
  • Parents must give them the opportunity to study (Let them choose the time, place and, if they want, help from the parents.)
  • Allow them to choose to spend that time doing their homework or thinking about doing the homework. Ask them how the teacher will respond if they just think about it.
  • Determine why a child is unwilling to do homework – the reason will indicate how a parent will respond and interact. If the child has a learning challenge, help will be needed. P. 165-167

Pearl 20 –“I’m Bored” Routine

  • When a child says he is bored, he may be saying I want to spend more time with you.
  • While parents need to spend time and play with their children, boredom is their problem to handle.
  • Children need to learn to motivate and entertain themselves.

Pearl 21 – “Lying and Dishonesty

  • When you catch a child in the act of lying something like this is appropriate: “Ken, you did hit Doug in the face. No matter what you say, I saw you do it. Now how are you going to make it right?”
  • When you don’t know, but you suspect he is lying: “If it’s the truth and I don’t believe you, then that’s sad for both of us. But if it is a lie and I don’t believe you, then it’s double sad for you.”
  • When the child tells the truth: “Thank you for being honest. I’m sure it was hard for you to tell me that…and it was hard on you to know you made that mistake That is really sad.” Then drop the subject.
  • Children follow your example. Never ask the child to lie for you (“I’m not home.” to avoid talking to someone; making excuses for obligations). P. 170-172

Stay tuned for the remaining Love and Logic Pearls.

Parenting With Love and Logic – Part IV


Pearl 8 – Crisis Situations

Types of crisis situations that affect a family: drug use, runaways, debilitating injuries, suicide, death in family, crippling disease and many more.

Emotional responses to these situations: guilt, worry, anxiety, anger, and grief.

Four Helpful Thoughts:

  1. By nature, crises are temporary usually.
  2. Don’t try to deal with immediately – take time, pray, think, act rationally and seek advice when needed.
  3. To help cope, think about the worse possible outcome. If it is death for a believer, that is a good outcome for the individual.
  4. Keep the responsibility on the correct person. Our children may have to deal with natural consequences of their actions. P. 131-132

Pearl 9 – Discipline in Public – Strategic Training Session

Children often misbehave in public when they think their parents can’t or won’t discipline them. Planning ahead with a “co-conspirator” (friend, spouse, older sibling) who can be ready with a phone call to come and take the child to the car or to his bedroom at home. When the parent finishes shopping, she can discuss the situation with the child.  P. 133-135

Pearl 10- Discipline 101 (Basic German Shepherd) – Age Eleven to Eighteen Months

Since children surpass the intelligence of the family dog at nine months, you can teach them all of the commands that we teach dogs: “come, sit, go, no, stay.”

Teach only those things you can control.  Things you cannot control: “stop crying, quit bothering us, stop sucking your thumb, or cut the whining.”

First – teach the child to sit and stay with you or in a corner in the same room as you or in a nearby room; Later —  to go to their room.

Common mistakes:

  1. “We can be too tough.” Understand and use common sense.
  2. “We can be too lenient.”
  3. “We may confuse anger with firmness.” P. 136-139

Pearl 11 – Discipline 201 (Remedial German Shepherd)- Age Four to Six Years

If your child hasn’t learned to respond in obedience to the basic commands from ages 4-6, you must implement “remedial German Shepherd.”

Nine Rules:

  1. “Avoid all physical tussles.
  2. Use orders sparingly.
  3. Tell your child what you wish he or she would do rather than giving an order.
  4. Give a complete ‘I message. ‘I would appreciate you going to your room now, so I can feel better about you and me.’ (I messages tell your feelings and why you feel that way.)
  5. Sometimes when a request is given, it is wise to thank the child in advance, anticipating compliance.
  6. When the child is in a good mood, talk things over, exploring his or her feelings and laying down expectations in the future.
  7. Use isolation and/or change of location for behavior problem, rather than trying to stop the behavior.
  8. Use corporal punishment very sparingly, if at all, and then only as outlined in pearl 31.
  9. Be emotional when things are done right; be matter of fact, non-emotional and consequential –using isolation –when things are done poorly or wrongly. P. 139-140

Pearl 12 – Divorce and Visitation

Parents and children alike suffer from divorce and visitation: “mood swings, defensiveness about being touched, reversion to elimination problems (younger children), hyperactivity (grade school children), back talk (teenagers), and general problems with school work, lack of interest and laziness.” P. 143

Follow Ten Guidelines:

  1. Expect children to handle it the same as the adults are handling it.
  2. Let the children know that the divorce is not their fault.
  3. Be honest about feelings and observations. Bad mouthing the ex-spouse backfires.
  4. Understand children’s misbehavior without excusing it.
  5. Give children a support group.
  6. Post-divorce counseling for parents and children may help.
  7. Remain available without prying.
  8. Handle visitation issues directly with the ex-spouse. Do not send messages with the children.
  9. Children need “moms” and “dads.” Generally, best to call steps – “mom” and “dad.” Children remember who the real parent is.
  10. The natural parent must back the step parent in discipline completely. P. 143-146

Pearl 13 – Eating and Table Manners

You can’t make a child like a meal, but following one of the following should teach the child proper eating and table manners:

  1. Child: “Yuck.” Mom: “No problem.  Remove the child’s portion and dispose of in the garbage disposal. “Run along, see you at breakfast.”
  2. Later that evening: Child raids the fridge. Mom watches and adds up the amount: “that will be $1.95 for this food. Do you want to pay it in cash or we should take it out of your allowance.”
  3. “Have you had enough to last you until the next meal? I hope so, but you decide.”
  4. When mom cooks something new and different, she and dad eat it. The children eat hot dogs. First time, “This is adult food. I don’t know if you’d like this.” Second time:  “I think kid’s taste buds just can’t handle this sort of thing. You’re probably not old enough.” Third time: “Oh, all right.” (doling out small portions) “But don’t eat too much.”
  5. One year old spits out beets: “Eat beets nice in your chair, or play on the floor.”
  6. Older children: “Take it to the dryer.” (The child eats in the utility room – if you can’t change the behavior, change the location.) p. 147-149

Pearl 14 – Fears and Monsters

Our negative emotions (anger, pleading, frustration) intensifies our child’s fears.

“Simple, calm reassurance that the child is competent to handle his or her own problems helps defuse the child’s worry.” Over exploring or overly involved parents makes things worse. Don’t make too big of a deal of the whole situation. Nightlights can help. Waking parents for this reason is not allowed. P. 150-152

Stay tuned for the remaining Love and Logic Pearls.


Parenting With Love and Logic – Part III


Love-and-Logic Pearls

Part II

While Part I provided 23 Love-and-Logic Tips, philosophy can go so far when you are in the middle of a parenting crisis.  This second part provides some specific guidelines, scripts and counsel for those who have read part one. Here are 41 Love-and-Logic Pearls especially for parents of children from birth to twelve years of age. You will find here a summary of these pearls, but for best results you will need to read the book yourself.

Pearl 1 – Allowances/Money – teaching responsible use of money

 Rule 1:  Allowances are not pay for doing their chores because every family member needs to do their fair share to keep the family operating smoothly. You may choose to pay them for doing YOUR chores.

Rule 2:  Allowance must be provided at the same time each week.  Sample Invoice for 1st Grader:  $1.00 allowance; $6.00 lunch money; Note: “Because we love you. Spend it wisely and make it last.” Signed: Parents

Rule 3: Best way for child to learn to save money is to allow him to reach his own “economic depression” by first wasting his own money.

Rule 4: Except for illegal activities, allow them to spend it the way they want.  For example:  pay someone to do their chores; pay for babysitter if they don’t want to go somewhere with family.  BUT the catch is, when it is gone, it is gone – until the next “pay day.” No bail outs.  P. 109-112

Pearl 2 – Anger: When It’s Appropriate

Rule 1: When your child’s mistakes hurt them only, commiserate with them.

Rule 2: When your child’s mistake hurt you, let them know how it affects you and give them until bedtime to decide how they are going to make it right.

Rule 3: Use anger as a rational choice and sparingly. P. 113-114

Pearl 3 – Bedtime – Turn Over Control

Usually the battle of bedtime is over the control.

Rule 1: Take away the power struggle by telling the child you need about 8 hours of sleep and 2 hours of alone time with your spouse.

Rule 2: Allow the child to choose when that 10 hours begins by giving them two choices that suit you. You can offer a bedtime story or other family routine prior to that time.

Rule 3: Allow the child to choose how they spend that time as long as it doesn’t interfere with your 10 hours. The child occupies himself in his own bedroom.

Rule 4: Allow the child to suffer the natural consequences of living his day without proper sleep.  P. 115-117

Pearl 4 – Bossiness

Rule 1: Do not interject emotion in response to bossiness.

Rule 2: When the child is bossy toward you, respond something like this, “Nice try, Tammy. Nice try. What do you think happens in this family when people get really bossy?” Then walk away.

Rule 3: When the child is bossy towards other children, be the counselor – Asking if they worry about losing friends?  When he loses friends ask how they intend to resolve the issue and regain friends. Offer to help when they are ready to receive your ideas. P. 118-120

Pearl 5 – Car: Back-Seat Battles

Rule 1: Use these techniques when you are not in a hurry to get somewhere. Prepare with a book to read.  Can use reasoning like,  “I can’t drive safely with all of this noise.”  Or “It is difficult to be in a closed space with low oxygen levels.”

Rule 2: When the battle rages; explain the challenges of  being confined in a car with lowering oxygen levels; older children can be outside and resolving their issue and regaining oxygen levels while the adult drives up a few feet and reads (watching for safety).

Rule 3: When close to home and with a prearranged friend following close behind, these older children can be left to walk home.

Rule 4: With younger children, you can get out of the car leaving the children in clear view. You can appear to be enjoying yourselves in conversation or having an ice cream. P. 121-124

Pearl 6 – Chores – Taking the Hassle Out of Chores

Rule 1: Say that your child is “doing things with” because in reality she is no help.  However, she IS learning.

Rule 2: Model enjoyment doing chores.  Say things like, “Wow, do I ever enjoy doing things with you.”

Rule 3: Give age-appropriate jobs.  For example:

K-1st Grade: cleaning up own messes; helping to clean own room; making own bed.

3rd Grade: Wash dishes periodically; vacuum the family room; sweep out the garage; take out the trash; wipe out the fridge; help clean dirty windows and the car.

Rule 4: Place list of chores in a prominent place. After all have considered which ones they would like to do, have a family meeting to determine who will do what. If a child feels wronged, he can ask for renegotiation.

Rule 5: Set a time (deadline) for doing chores.  “By the time….you eat next” or “I take you play at your friend’s house when you finish…” p. 125-128

Pearl 7 – Church: When Kids Don’t Want to Go

Rule 1: Model good behavior and express positive attitudes about attendance at church activities.

Rule 2: Remember that you can’t force an individual to like church attendance or to believe what is taught in church activities. (Reviewer’s comment: Only God can make us willing and give us faith to believe.)

Rule 3: Talk it out with the rebellious child. Find out what about church attendance is unacceptable in his mind.

Rule 4: Have faith. (Reviewer’s comment: Trust God to do a work in your child’s life.)

Stay tuned for the remaining Love and Logic Pearls.