Are you a parent of a child six years or younger? Do you find that Calgon can't take you quite far enough away from parenting woes? Have you shed tears over behavior exhibited by your angel-turned-hellion? If so, this book is for you.
Having personally shed tears over my two-year-old daughter's colorful displays of strong will, I picked up this book that I've had since before she was born. Being that she was such a wonderful baby, I naively figured we'd skate through the "terrible twos" and that they wouldn't be terrible at all. While I wouldn't globally say that from 18 months until now has been terrible, it's been more challenging.
That's where logic comes in. This book is particularly helpful to those of us who don't tend to operate logically but react emotionally. It offers practical steps that when employed as recommended really work. The authors say that it's never too late or too early to start putting into practice the techniques.
The book impresses the value of children experiencing the natural consequences of their actions (logic). Simultaneously, the authors encourage parents many times throughout the book to empathize with their children prior to disciplining (love). For example, Stella throws her food at lunch. Mom says, "That's so sad. Lunch is over now." Mom maintains her composure, puts an end to the behavior without lecturing and multiple warnings, and the child bears an immediate consequence for the behavior.
According to the authors, children love to make choices so give them plenty. These choices, however, should be ones that make you happy and don't bother "anyone else on the planet." For example, Dad asks, "Would you like milk or juice for lunch? Or would you like to go to bed now or in five minutes?" Whatever the child decides, having soda for lunch is not an option. Likewise, not going to bed is not an option.
The approach presented in the book may sound lightweight to some but actually is quite strict and gives children effective boundaries. The ultimate goal of using the Love and Logic techniques: raise responsible children that respect authority, have a positive self-concept, and who are able to make wise independent decisions now and throughout life.
When I started trying the "experiments" outlined in the book, I witnessed immediate results with our daughter. Being the type that needs things spelled out for me, the specific steps accompanied by numerous examples in the book helped me grasp the principles easily. The book has also helped me breathe easier. After feeling distraught and certain we were failing miserably as parents, I now feel renewed by a sense of joy and hope. Yes, the book has that much power.
The challenge now is to be quicker on my feet with good choices. My husband and I have said some of the most ridiculous things in an effort to give our daughter choices we'll be happy with. It's good comic relief for otherwise tense and frustrating moments.
Note: About halfway through the book, the authors offer a three-step suggestion for disciplining children three and younger (when reasoning is more difficult). Also, I have yet to do so, but it would probably be helpful to read the original Parenting With Love and Logic book as it explains the love and logic principles.
THANK YOU TO THE AUTHORS FOR WRITING THIS BOOK!! YOU'VE TRANSFORMED THE TERROR OF TODDLERHOOD. YOU'VE ALSO PROMPTED ME TO HAVE FUN AND LIGHTEN UP. IF MY DAUGHTER COULD TELL YOU HERSELF, SHE'D SAY THANK YOU FOR HELPING MOM NOT BE SO UPTIGHT.