I became acquainted with Love & Logic while stationed in Germany. The Love & Logic curriculum was offered to young military families by Army Community Service, the social services agency on post. When I became employed with ACS, I began facilitating Love & Logic and working directly with these young families.
As a young military wife with two young daughters and whose husband was most often in the field, I found the teachings invaluable. The simple concept of giving my children age-appropriate choices and allowing them to experience the natural consequences of those choices was new to me. The act of allowing those natural consequences to occur, without stepping in, took some real strength at times. I believe it may have taken more strength than the power struggle that would have ensued had I gone ahead and imposed my parental “force”. Force = yelling and reprimanding.
The second concept that I found invaluable was the measure of control we give to our children. If, from a young age, a child is in control, (of the house, of the parent, of what to eat, when/if s/he goes to the room at bedtime) then we, as parents, cannot expect to regain that control without a real battle in the later years. Realistically, would You want to give up all that power? Neither would they. So later on, imposing curfews, going to the store without having to bribe them for good behavior, and getting some help around the house will be next to impossible. So, the idea is to allow them the “illusion” of control by offering two choices that you as the parent can live with but which both lead to the same outcome. An outcome you will be happy with.
And that’s just the beginning. Love & Logic is really about the parent changing their own behavior and their parenting perspective to one of empathy, support, teaching self-care, and responsibility. As with any behavioral change, consistency is key. Perfection is not necessary… and that is a whole other example we set for your children.