I recently read both “Parenting with Love & Logic” by Foster Cline & Jim Fay (NavPress, 2006, $24.99) and “Love & Logic Magic for Early Childhood” by Jim Fay & Charles Fay (Love & Logic Institute, 2000, $24.95). Both are excellent – instructive, practical, and immediately applicable.
“Parenting With Love & Logic” offers parents an overarching parenting philosophy that emphasizes giving choices that are within firm, loving limits. The book is packed with solid content. In fact, there are so many helpful tools in it that it would be hard to simply “summarize” the book and leave it at that.
“Love & Logic Magic for Early Childhood” repeats the same content, but gives practical examples for parents who have little ones (birth to age 6). Some of the issues covered include whining, chores, bedtime, potty training, and more.
The concepts that I found particularly helpful in both texts were offering choices, being intentional about presenting thinking messages, using the uh-oh song when misbehavior occurs, extending compassion, and modeling appropriate actions. I have begun using quite a few of these “techniques” already (with success).
Although I found most of the examples to be refreshingly compassionate and gracious (yet also firm), several of the examples seem to be too harsh and simplistic. For example, I would not call a friend to come and pick up my toddler if she were acting out at the grocery store (page 32-33, Love & Logic Magic). Additionally, I prefer to have thoughtful conversations with my preschooler when she does something inappropriate (we talk about what happened, why the action was wrong, what she could have done differently, etc.) rather than simply letting natural consequences do the teaching (read page 106 of Parenting with Love & Logic to find out why the authors discourage these kind of conversations).
I would also be remiss if I didn’t point out that I am quite disturbed by Foster Cline’s clinical background and his association with Attachment Therapy, a frightening form of therapy that seems to be downright abusive and sinister. The book doesn’t ever refer to this therapy or Cline’s tie to it (I discovered it when doing a bit of research on the title), but it is upsetting nonetheless.
Those “negatives” aside, both books are infused with much wisdom about fostering creativity, mitigating the media’s role in our lives, capitalizing on the early years, and encouraging children to think for themselves. Some of the examples are flawed and this is not the end-all approach to parenting, but I do appreciate many of the Love & Logic concepts (and I think you will too).
YOUR TURN: I’m curious. What parenting books have you read lately?
WIN IT! One winner will receive a copy of “Parenting With Love & Logic” ($24.99), “Love & Logic Magic for Early Childhood” ($24.95), and “Painless Parenting for the Preschool Years” (DVD, $29.95 – I haven’t watched this yet due to lack of time, but I’m hoping to pop it in my DVD player soon…). To enter, leave any topic-related comment on this post prior to Friday, September 11th at 11:59 p.m. (Don’t forget to follow the rules…all generic comments like “Enter me!,” “Love it,” and “Cool stuff!” will be disqualified.).
*UPDATE* The winner is #42 Jinxy. Congratulations!