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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thursday Table Talk: A brief overview of "Love and Logic" by Christy Ochs

Why I LOVE Love and Logic

Last weekend I attended a Love and Logic Seminar, presented by Jim and Charles Fey, and I left there feeling empowered, ready to take on anything that my 3 charges could throw at me.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, Love and Logic was founded in 1977 by nationally known psychiatrist Foster Cline, M.D. and Charles Fey, a Teacher and parent himself.
It is a philosophy of raising and teaching kids which uses “humor, hope and empathy” to build on our relationships with the children we are helping to raise.
The reason that I, as a nanny choose Love and Logic over all of the many techniques I’ve learned over the years is because of two things.

Number One: It’s SO easy. Many of the other methods can get so complicated, that I am lost before I even begin. I don’t have time for charts, lists and journals and I have even less faith that they will provide the desired results. Love and Logic teaches words that work right off the tip of your tongue. It teaches parents and caregivers how to hold their kids accountable. In a very simple way it teaches the child to see the adult as the “good guy” and the child’s poor decision as the “bad guy”. It teaches what we, as nannies have always known: the more words we use, the quicker they zone us out. That’s why phrases like “My car leaves at 8:00. Will you be going to school with your clothes on your body, or your clothes in a bag?” always said with a smile, will be much more effective than “You need to get dressed NOW! We can’t be late again. I woke you up in plenty of time, and you  have been dawdling over breakfast and now, look at the time…etc…etc…” I’ve actually used the first one, bag in hand ready to put his clothes in, and he really did get this wide eyed look and said “I can’t go to school in my PJ’s!” to which I replied with great empathy “Oh, that’s true. It might be pretty embarrassing. I’m sure you’ll make the right choice.” He hasn’t gone to school in his pj’s yet, but I am perfectly willing to follow through should he make the wrong choice, and he knows it!

Number Two: It puts the responsibility back on the child, teaching him that we trust him to make the right choices. Each time we do for the child those things which he is capable of doing himself, or protect a child from the consequences of his choices, we are saying “I don’t think you are capable of handling this yourself.” We can turn our children’s mistakes into powerful learning opportunities. For example, give them a reasonable deadline to get their chores done: “Just have the bathroom cleaned up by tomorrow at 3:00.” Avoid lectures or reminders. If they don’t do the chore, do it yourself. This is an opportunity for learning. Then let empathy and consequence do the teaching. “This is such a bummer. I did your chores. Now I don’t have the energy to drive you to your friend’s house.” This is a technique called “The Energy Drain” and it’s very effective. While they are learning, there will almost always be an argument, but don’t participate. “I love you too much to argue.”
Empathy is hard to argue with. Kids respond to empathy. A toddler who is having a meltdown is quickly derailed with very few words: “So sad. Looks like a little bedroom time. You can come out when you can be sweet”. Love and Logic can begin when they are babies. The 10 month old who keeps tossing his bottle off the high chair: “Uh oh! Bottle gone.” And put it away. He will quickly learn that when he hears the words “Uh oh” (which is called the uh-oh song because you say it in a sing-song voice) the consequence will follow quickly. I’ve seen the hand stop in mid-air as I sang Uh oh.

Love and Logic teaches us that we should ‘lock in’ our empathy, love and understanding prior to telling kids what the consequences of their actions will be.
I feel that with any technique, including Love and Logic, we should take from it what we can use. Not every solution will work for every child, but it is so empowering to have the tools ready when I need them.
You can find out more about Love and Logic at . There are downloadable resources and webinars, FAQ’s and books and tapes you can order which will address almost any issue you may be facing. I also recommend that you attend a Love and Logic workshop if there is one in your area. Hopefully, you will feel like I do – secure in the knowledge that you have the tools and techniques to set real limits, in a loving way by teaching consequences and healthy decision making.


Becky Kavanagh June 24, 2010 at 3:46 PM  

Awesome Christy! Love, love, love this!!! You are so right - it works beautifully.

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