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.


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.

Parenting With Love and Logic – Teaching Children Responsibility


In the first part of this book, : The Love and Logic Parent Foster W. Cline M.D. and Jim Fay explain and demonstrate what a “Love and Logic Parent” is. Overall, Cline and Fay use Scriptural principles to help parents to teach their children responsibility.

A wise child loves discipline, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.

Proverbs 13:1

Train children in the right way, and when old, they will not stray.

Proverbs 22:6

Ineffective Parenting Styles

  1.  Helicopter Parents – These parents “hover over and rescue” their children. They believe that “love means rotating their lives around their children.” P. 23
  2. Drill Sergeant Parents –These parents order their children to act this way or that in every area of their lives. They use “putdowns and I-told-you-so’s.” p. 24-25

In the name of love, helicopter parents and drill sergeant parents send messages to their children: Either “You are fragile and can’t make it without me.” Or “You can’t think for yourself so I’ll do it for you.” P. 25

Authors of Parenting With Love and Logic, Cline and Fay, offer no guarantees regarding parenting. No “expert” can do that. P. 25

Love-and-Logic Tip #1: Unfortunately, when our gut talks, our head listens. Using “Significant Learning Opportunities” (natural consequences) often goes against the grain. P. 26 Allowing children to make their own decisions on gradually more significant issues trains them to be responsible for their own actions.

Loveand-Logic Tip #2: You can pay me now or you can pay me later. For example, training a child about the world of finance by loaning money with all of the tools of a bank – due dates, promissory notes, collateral and repossession – on smaller items so that it will not happen later with larger items. P. 29 “Responsibility cannot be taught; it must be caught.” P. 32

Even children make themselves known by their acts,

by whether what they do is pure and right.

Proverbs 20:11

Love-and-Logic Tip #3-A Tale of Self-Concept – Children who are encouraged will grow more responsible and capable. P. 36

Love-and-Logic Tip #4 – What we say is not always what kids hear. Children read underlying messages. Example: “George, I’ll let you decide that for yourself.” Overt message: “You can decide.” Covert message: “You are capable.” OR “June, I’ll give you one more chance, but you better shape up. Overt message: “Thinks can improve.” Covert message:” You can’t handle it. I have to provide another choice.” P. 38

Three Legged Stool accurate self-concept. Leg One – “I am loved…” Leg Two—“I have the skills I need to make it.” Leg Three: “I am capable of taking control of my life.” P. 38-42

Love-and-Logic Tip #5—Messages that lock in love. Even physical rough housing can lock in love. Here are some sample verbal messages: “You do a great job of thinking for yourself.” “There’s always a lot of love here regardless of what happens.” P. 40

Love-and-Logic Tip #6 What they see is what they learn. Parents model behavior. P. 43

Love-and-Logic Tip #7 It can be a cold world out there. Allowing a child to choose to not wear a coat, for example, when it is cold helps him to wear a coat the next time. However, natural consequences must not put the child in danger.

Children’s Mistakes Are Their Opportunities p. 47

How much better to get wisdom than gold!

To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.

Proverbs 16:16

Love-and-Logic Tip # 8 Responsible Kids, Irresponsible Kids – The more decisions kids have to make for themselves, the more responsible they are. Further, teaching them that they can go to God to help them in times of need remain with them.

Love-and-Logic Tip # 9 Knowing when to stay in the middle of the problem and when to let the child resolve it helps. Parents should step in when the child is in danger or when both the child and the parent know it is too big for the child.

Love-and-Logic Tip # 10 If it’s a problem for us, it should soon become a problem for them. Our authors give the example of the mother taking the child’s dog to a friend’s house to stay for three days or forever depending on whether the child will care for the dog or not.

Setting Limits Through Thinking Words

Rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Proverbs 12:18

Love-and-Logic Tip # 11 Using Love and Logic with Toddlers – 1) Modeling good adult behavior and 2) life or death issues. When a toddler demands to be picked up, the parent should calmly say, “Lay down on the floor, I can’t pick you up when you act this way.”  Children then can learn to say, “Please pick me up daddy.” In life or death situations, behavior is different. We build walls that don’t crumble – boundaries for safety and security. Life after birth is much different than life in the womb.  Issuing commands is not necessary while talking to toddlers.

Love-and-Logic Tip # 12 Thinking Words and Fighting Words – Examples:

  • Fighting Words – “Don’t talk to me in that tone.” “I want that lawn cut, now!”
  • Thinking Words – “You sound upset. I’ll be glad to listen when your voice is as soft as mine is.” “I’ll be taking you to your soccer game as soon as the lawn is cut.” P. 61

Stay tuned for  eleven more Love-and-Logic Tips and forty-one Pearls as we continue working our way through the this invaluable book for parents.

Concluding Thoughts on Teens

What Mistakes Do We Make With Teens?


Pastor Jeff Strong wrote an article listing the Top Ten Mistakes Christian Parents of Teens Make. Follow the link for the complete article, but here is the lists:

  1. Not spending time with your teen.
  2. Letting your teen’s activities take top priority for your family.
  3. Spoiling your teen.
  4. Permissive parenting.
  5. Trying to be your teen’s best friend.
  6. Holding low expectations for your teen.
  7. Not prioritizing youth group/church involvement.
  8. Outsourcing your teen’s spiritual formation.
  9. Not expressing genuine love and like to your teen.
  10. Expecting your teen to have a devotion to God that you are not
    cultivating within yourself.

Many parents think that their teens do not want to spend time with them and they may even say they don’t, but Strong says that they really do. Your teen’s activities should not trump family time. Baby booming parents who lacked all of the luxuries of life often go overboard with providing superabundance for their children. You need to be a parent and not a best friend to your child. Expect much from a person and he will usually achieve that. Parents must take the primary responsibility in their teen’s spiritual formation and should not expect them to have a devotion to God that you personally are not pursuing. Of course, you should express your love for your teens to them.

Part of taking responsibility for your teen’s spiritual development would include being involved in a church as well as making that a priority in your family life. Many churches separate age groups much too often and too much. Strong’s view of Youth Groups is very typical of the church today. I have been involved in and have known of other churches that do not have Youth Groups. Christian young people are in training and become involved under the leadership of more mature adults. In my experience these teens and young adults are more mature than many in our society. One thing that Pastor Strong did not address is that some of the teens of Christian parents are not believers. While standards of conduct must be taught to all of our children of all ages, those who do not profess to be believers will not take part in the “on the job training” in the church. Remembering that salvation is of the Lord, Christian parents must continue to pray for their children’s salvation, live the Christian life before them, and love them.

What Are the Causes?

I interviewed some mothers who are part of the kind of church I described above.

These were my questions:

Social scientists observe that the period of adolescence (between puberty and the time when individuals enter the adult world with all of its responsibilities) has extended from around three years to up to 15 years. They don’t necessarily offer reasons why this change, but I believe that part of the solution is knowing the causes. What do you think is the cause?

  1. Why do young people go through puberty (onset of adolescence) many years earlier now than a century ago?

In a recent teleconference, Young Living Essential Oils users offered the use of synthetic, chemical based personal products such as lotions and perfumes as a cause. In their experience they have observed this.

Does your personal experience match this? What other causes do you offer?


  • I believe it is in our foods and our environment that grow people very differently.
  • I think you are correct in the phytoestrogens and endocrine disrupters that our environment is rife with being a factor. I also think just the stimulation of imagery all around us possibly also being a factor.
  • Puberty begins earlier due to hormones in our food. My observations have been that the children of friends who eat a typical modern diet (fast food and processed food) mature physically faster. Those whose parents prepare homemade, healthy meals have a later onset of puberty. This would be similar to the thoughts prescribed by YLEO regarding added chemicals.
  1. What family-raising activities / styles affect the time span of adolescence (the completion of adolescence)? Can the following affect the change?


  1. Christian family?
  2. Homeschooling vs. Private School vs. Public School?
  3. Children are given responsibilities, beginning at an early age and grow as they mature?
  4. Family industries consider each family member as a part of the successful operation?
  5. Other possible causes?


  • The old nature vs. nurture question comes to mind! I think there are many factors involved in the span of adolescence. Each of the experiences you listed definitely make an impact. As a Christian family, we chose to protect our children’s innocence as long as possible. That was easy when we had small children. Once the older children came in the know of more worldly things then the younger children were exposed to these things at a younger age than the first. I do not know yet what kind of impact this will have on their adolescence as they are still children. : ) I think homeschooling can go both ways. I know some parents who are still micromanaging adult children in their 20s and parents who want their 10 year old son to be an entrepreneur and managing his own business. What my first born was capable of doing at age 13 is far different than what my 13 year old today does. Is that birth order, lack of parental training, personality of the child? Who knows? God, and I rest in that!

Our parenting philosophy was to raise independent adults. When my husband cut our first child’s cord I made the comment, “There goes the first apron string.” We never spoke baby talk to our children, we didn’t use a limited vocabulary, we didn’t read children’s Bibles in family devotions. All family discussions were on an adult level. Our children were welcome to be part of adult conversations. So far, most of my adult aged children are adults. Things are different now that I am a widow and am raising them alone. I don’t have the time or energy to put into the younger ones like I did with the older ones. It will be interesting to see how they turn out. God, alone, knows who they will become. My responsibility is to point them to the cross, while remaining on bended knee.

Some other thoughts: the term teenager does not appear in scripture or in literature until the 1940s or 1950s. I think it is a Madison Avenue word for marketing purposes. Children and adults were not enough for sales. Today we have such a marketing culture to tweens, teens and young adults. The sad thing is that many middle and older adults have not gotten past their young adulthood. It’s like 18 to 25 is the magic age to remain forever. This makes a great impact on our society.

  • As far as adolescence, I would add birth order to your list of factors. First borns tend to be far more responsible in at least a home school setting, where younger kids historically are not required as much of in any setting.
  • A Christian family would tend to instill thinking of others first, like Christ. b. I believe all forms of school have their problems. You can’t totally shield your children from the world; if you do…it might be from fear. c. I do believe as soon as a child can walk, they can help with responsibilities and they know in the beginning what is expected and how to prepare for life. d. Absolutely each member is important! We are reflections of each other and we each have strengths maybe another member does not have. e. I always think that if one had to live in a box, they would figure out a way to sin. Without Christ we are paralyzed and unable to sin less.

Thanks to each of you ladies for your input.

Disclaimer: Pastor Jeff Strong mentioned in his article, “The Emerging Church.” I encourage you to read or listen to Dr. John MacArthur’s information about this movement.

Emerging Church – Grace to You – John MacArthur explains and tells what is wrong with the Emerging Church:

A Book Review: Get Outta My Face by Rick Horne

Get Outta My Face

Rick Horne provides an accurate view of our current situation and how parents and others who work with teens can address the issue of anger.

Both adults and teens are guilty of sinful actions and attitudes. Horne reminds us of this truth and throughout the book uses Scripture to support his suggestions. When talking with teens, we must remember that they are not the only ones who sin. We are not to ignore their sin, but by remembering our own tendencies we can open doors to reaching teens. By determining to glorify God in our interactions, we present a stance that will lead teens to open up and talk.

Horne uses many examples of interactions between adults and teens – some not so good examples and some better following his plan. Our author outlines and then suggests the following plan of action for the parent or others working with the angry teen:

  • Listen Big
  • Clarify Narrow
  • Look Wide
  • Plan Small

Listening big allows you to identify the “wise wants” that you can use to build a bridge with your teen. By pointing out to your teen that he has wise wants and has succeeded on at least one occasion, you encourage your teen to not give up. This requires you to be a reflective listener, verifying that you understand what your teen is saying. Part of this is watching your teen’s body language as well as using your own in a positive way. Alternatively, the teen will say things like, “You don’t understand.” Or “You never listen to me.”

“The purpose in a man’s heart like is deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.” Proverbs 20:5

Clarifying narrow requires the firm foundation of the bridge that you have built. Leading the teen to recognize her “wise wants” and that she has the power to choose either wisely or poorly leads helps in clarifying her situation. This process helps the teen to see the relationship of cause and effect in her choices. Obviously, her relationship with Christ will affect how she chooses and how you address her.

“Good sense wins favor, but the way of the treacherous is their ruin.” Proverbs 13:15

Looking wide for your teen’s solutions means finding exceptions in previous behavior. In the past, he has chosen wisely and thus produced good results. This can provide a pattern and encouragement for future choices.

Paraphrase of Proverbs 30:24-28 “Use opportunities (as ants do), places of refuge (as conies do), ability to cooperate (as locusts do), and perseverance (as lizards do) that your creator has given you.” OR “look at the resources God has put in your past and present, and used them to create solutions to the challenges you face now.”

Horne gives wise counsel saying that we need to recognize that resistance on the part of our teen may mean we are pushing our own solution rather than allowing him to discover his own.

Planning small reminds us that we must not expect too much too soon. Setting an achievable goal sets the stage for long-term resetting of more achievable goals. These goals must also be specific so they can be measurable.

Once your teen has achieved one small step in the right direction, you need to keep the conversation going by guiding her to continue to make specific, measurable and achievable goals. Finally, in the last chapter, the author reminds us that the ultimate goal is to point our teen to the cross.

Solomon warned young people that “there is a way that seems right to a man, but the end is the way to death.” Proverbs 14:12

Rick Horne has done a great job of providing good information for parents and others as they work with angry teens. This book is a must read! Other books by Horne include: Get Offa My Case and Walking Through the College Planning Process All are available through

A Book Review: Disconnected – Parenting Teens in a MySpace World by Chap Clark and Dee Clark


In this book, the Clarks address the issue of parenting teens in the 21st century. Like in Chap Clark’s book, Hurt 2.0, they describe in-depth the development and characteristics of early, mid and late adolescence. This book is written from a Christian perspective using Scripture freely and presenting solutions from a Biblical perspective. Our authors direct this book to Christian parents.

This book follows the first edition of Hurt (2004) and precedes Hurt 2.0 (2011) which were directed at school and community workers. This Baker book publication was published in 2007.

Chap Clark teaches youth, family and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary, is president of ParenTeen Seminars, Senior editor of” Youthworker Journal” and author of more than fifteen books. His wife, Dee Clark is a family therapist and coauthor of two other books. Together, they have raised three children into young adulthood.

In Part One – Understanding Today’s Adolescent Journey, the Clarks address how the journey has changed since we were teenagers. Early in the 20th century, there were children and adults. By the middle of the century the transition between children and adults was no more than five years. Today teens endure a transition that lasts as long as 15 years or more. While many adults of our day have a hard time recognizing the difference, the Clarks make the case that as a society our youth suffer from “systemic abandonment”. By “systemic abandonment”, they mean that parents spend more money on things and spend more time taking children to events, but do not spend quality time with their children. Chap and Dee say that we “have led our children into an environment where they have never been more ill-equipped to handle the world we have handed them.” P. 72

Adolescents have three tasks to perform as a part of “Individuation”- answering these questions: Who am I? What power do I really have? Where do I fit? According to social scientists, adolescence begins with the average age of puberty in a community (biology) and ends when they have achieved “individuation” (culture). Pre 1900 puberty averaged at age 14+ and individuation occurred at age 16. In 1980 puberty averaged at age 13 and individuation occurred at age 18. Finally, in 2007 the average age of puberty was 12 and individuation occurred in the mid-20s. p. 63 Now, puberty may begin as early as 11 years old.

Part Two – Parenting Through the Seasons explores different seasons of life. Quoting Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 the authors make the point that there are different seasons in the lives of our children. Our authors indicate that parents have five tasks: understanding, showing compassion, “boundarying,” charting/guiding and launching into adulthood. In four successive chapters they present childhood, early adolescence (middle school), mid-adolescence (high school) and late adolescence (young or emerging adults). They present an illustration of the process in the form of a tight rope; childhood and adulthood are on either side (dependence and interdependence) while adolescence is a long tightrope where they are alone to work on the tasks of individuation (independence). During that time these teens need family stability and safety which includes a home where the parents are in charge and, they add, a home that is fun.

Mid-adolescents respond to abandonment by forming their own “underground family” with their friends. Chap and Dee spend a chapter contrasting what teens say, how parents interpret it and what the teens really mean. I am a bit hesitant to endorse this entire chapter, but what I do take away from this chapter is that we need to listen to our young people and continue the conversation to ascertain what they really mean. They may not even know what they mean.

Finally in the last chapter, the Clarks discuss their model of successful parenting – Parenting As Partnership – The Three Levels of Partnership. Using 1 Corinthians 12:27, they recognize that as Christians, parents are a part of the Body of Christ. As an individual we “partner with Christ”; as a couple we “partner with our spouse – both of whom are personally “partnering with Christ”. When children arrive in the home the next level of partnership appears. Finally, they recommend forming a group of families who are accountable to each other and have a loving interest in all the members of the group. This is how they see parenting children “taking a village.” When Chap referenced this in Hurt 2.0, I was a bit hesitant because Hurt and Hurt 2.0 were directed at the community and schools. However, in this book, addressing the parents who have the option of including or excluding other families in their level of partnership, I am more comfortable with this idea as it is based on Scriptural principles. He called these other individuals / families “soulmates” and emphasizes that they are “soulmates” of both spouses, not just one of them. They conclude with the following:

1. “Each parent must seek to know, love, and follow Jesus Christ.

2. Both parents must be a cohesive and impenetrable unit of strength and love.

3. The family must be surrounded by intimate friends in community, or soul mates and

4. Single parent families need soul mates.” P. 192-193

My concerns regarding how Dr. Clark viewed family and church (in my review of Hurt 2.0 – ) have been largely relieved. In addition to addressing Christian parents in Disconnected, he has taken this model to the community and school leaders in the form of the 5:1 project – five adults in a positive relationship with each teen (through ). Certainly in a Christian context, we have more reason to believe that God will be pleased to bless our efforts, and yet salvation is of the Lord. Also, the Clarks have spent some time with the cause and have put forth some practical ways that can help parents, especially Christian parents, to establish a home that nurtures our young.

To Purchase:

Disconnected: Parenting Teens in a MySpace World by Chap and Dee Clark