This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Books and Methods Review - Love and Logic

Parenting with Love and Logic by Jim Fay and Foster Cline

Amazon review: Establish healthy control through easy-to-implement steps without anger, threats, nagging, or power struggles.

Library Journal:  Psychiatrist Cline and educator Fay's "Love and Logic" parenting method advocates raising responsible children through practice. "Helicopter" parents hover around their children while "drill sergeant" parents give orders to theirs, they claim. Neither of these styles permits children to learn how to make choices and learn from the consequences. The result is that as early as adolescence these children too often make bad decisions. In the context of a healthy, loving relationship, "Love and Logic" parents teach their children responsibility and the logic of life by solving their own problems, providing skills for coping in the real world. After laying out the principles of "Love and Logic," the authors provide "parenting pearls," which are strategies for applying the method to actual situations such as back-seat battles in the car, homework, and keeping bedrooms clean. This is an upbeat and sensible approach to child rearing that will be popular in public libraries.-Nann Blaine Hilyard, Fargo P.L., N.D.

Marythemom:  This book gives lots of practical advice that is great for helping me stay calm, and stop rescuing and controlling my kids.  It also gave me ideas of consequences and realistic expectations, and I use it to help me devise logical consequences for the FAIR Club (Parenting Teens with Love and Logic is good too!).  HOWEVER!  You have to keep in mind though that these books are written for kids who are attached and capable of feeling guilt (and therefore want to please their parents and care if Mom and Dad are upset with them) and are cognitively able to understand consequences.  

Our kids usually do not have DISCIPLINE problems they have BEHAVIOR problems.  In other words they are not misbehaving because they want to, but because they can't control themselves.  Most of the time their behavior is irrational.  

According to the L&L books, natural and logical consequences are the most efficient way to teach a child. Lectures, spankings, losing stickers, grounding and timeouts are usually so unrelated to the "crime" that often all they "teach" the child is to try not to get caught.

Natural and logical consequences work best because children learn best from them.  I prefer not to use the same consequences every time, because my children often decide that "doing the crime" is worth "doing the time" (especially those that don't believe they'll ever get caught).

A natural consequence is what happens if parents don't interfere (ex. a child runs away from you in the mall - and gets lost and scared). This is the MOST effective means of discipline. (Think about it - as a teen, how many times did your parents lecture you to drive the speed limit; you read it in the driver's handbook; you saw the signs posted on the side of the road. I'm guessing you ignored all that and got a speeding ticket, right?! I'm also guessing that made you more likely to drive slower. If you actually had an accident from driving too fast you're even more likely to drive even closer to the speed limit. People tune out lectures and nagging - consequences get their attention.)

A logical consequence is what happens when you don't want to allow the natural consequence to occur (especially if the child could get seriously injured or killed), but you want the child to still make the connection (ex. the next time you go to the mall the child must hold your hand). You might even give a real life lesson by allowing a child who habitually runs away to think they have gotten lost (while you keep an eye on the child from a hidden vantage point).

Helicopters, Drill Sergeants and Consultants:  Parenting Styles and the Messages they Send by Jim Fay
Marythemom:  I read a lot of Love and Logic books and other parenting techniques, what worked for others and finally developed the FAIR Club, thus switching to a more "Consultant" style, focusing on natural consequences and holding the kids accountable for their actions. This felt right and I was a better, calmer parent. I think I did fairly well but over the years I've found myself becoming more and more of a Drill Sergeant with Kitty and Bear.  It took a long time, and a lot of guilt, for me to finally realize that this was because Kitty and Bear NEED extreme structure and support.  

Can This Child Be Saved? Solutions For Adoptive and Foster Families by Cathy Helding and Foster W. Cline
Marythemom:  This is one of my 5 Star Books.  I really like the L&L books, but they don’t always work well with kids of trauma.  This book is different.  This is one of my favorite books to help with kids of trauma.  The title is scary, but it is very empowering and validating to parents. The first part of the book is an overview of the disturbed child.  The second part of the book gives more practical parenting tools.  To me, the best part is that it lists both conventional and non-conventional techniques and why they do and don’t work with our kids!

How to Discipline Kids without Losing Their Love and Respect by Jim Fay
Imagine...No More Arguing.Imagine...No More Manipulation.Imagine...Stess Free Parenting.For over fifty years, Jim Fay has worked with shcools, families, and children in the areas of teaching, parenting and discipline. In 1977, along with internationally renowned psychiatrist Dr. Foster W. Cline, he founded the Love and Logic Institute, Inc. which is dedicated to helping parents and educators create responsible kids. We know you will enjoy this book by beloved storyteller and parenting expert, Jim Fay, as he speaks to parents, educators, and community leaders about how to discipline kids without losing their love or respect.

Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood: Practical Parenting from Birth to Six Years by Charles and Jim Fay
"This book offers nothing new, with much less content compared to its 'parent' book."

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