Optimal Learning Environments - Dr. Alicia Valero-Kerrick
Love and Logic
Posted August 3rd 2015

Raising children who are respectful and responsible individuals is at the core of Love and Logic. Jim Fay and Foster Cline co-founded the Love and Logic Institute to provide educators and parents with skills and strategies to support children's behavioral and emotional development. The authors present nine essential skills of Love and Logic. One will be discussed below: Guiding Kids to Own and Solve their problems. The following example is based on a true story.

During a date, a couple received a call from the babysitter asking them to return home as their two sons, ages 10 and 9, were misbehaving. The couple had already finished dinner and were waiting to watch a movie. On the way home they decided to allow their sons to own the problem and attempt to make restitution. The couple agreed to give a "sincere dose of empathy" and not get angry or lecture. The parents sat with the babysitter in private and she shared that during a game of chase the boys had locked her out of the house. The couple apologized to the babysitter and had her go home. The parents convened a family meeting and the mother stated to her sons, "The babysitter was hurt when you locked her out of the house. I know that you must be very upset because she had to leave." What do you think you need to do? The 9 year-old son responded, "Tell her sorry." The 10 year-old son asked the parents if they had been able to watch their movie. The father replied, "No, we did not watch it and we had already payed for it." (What they did not tell their sons was that they had gotten a raincheck for the movie.) Upon hearing that the parents had missed the opportunity to watch the movie the boys looked genuinely upset for their parents. The 10 year-old immediately got up to get some of his money and said, "I'm going to give you $50.00" and handed it to his father. The parents were pleasantly surprised! It was a priceless moment! The boys were asked to split the cost of the movie tickets which was $27.00.

Love and Logic parents resist the urge to lecture their children and allow them to think about a problem or situation so that they could solve it. Parents learn that they do not need to own their children's problems. Children are given the opportunity to make choices within limits. This provides them many opportunities to solve a variety of problems when they are young helping them become responsible individuals.

Think of some scenarios where children can practice making responsible choices to own and solve their own problems.

Reply to the above post
Reply from Sarah Ruiz posted on December 15th 2015
In a preschool setting, children are very egotistical. They feel like they own "their" toys or "their" space so when another child attempts to share, they automatically get angry. In a situation where the child hits another child in the setting, instead of yelling at the child that they were wrong, a preschool teacher could sit both of the children down for a couple of minutes and simply ask if hitting their friend was a good idea. Asking a series of open-ended and closed-ended questions could help the child with their reasoning, even at so young of an age. This could help them realize that what they did was wrong and why it was wrong, without having to yell at them or hit them.
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Reply from Zainab Khan posted on December 14th 2015
The "love and logic" approach allows children to problem solve on their own and it is more beneficial for children to acknowledge their own mistakes giving them the opportunity to problem solve and fix it themselves. It is much more beneficial than scolding the child for their bad behavior. The two parents were upset at the boys behavior, but by holding back from yelling at them the boys were able to be sympathetic towards their parents. It is a much more valuable moment than to have scolded them, they learned to be autonomous and to think and recognize the consequences of their behavior and how it affected the parents.
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Reply from Patricia Johnson posted on December 13th 2015
Love and logic both play a crucial role in empathy and problem solving. Children who empathize have put themselves into someone elses shoe to see how they feel which is good because it makes them think more before they do something. For example, a child may be mean to their parents and their child may display a way that whatever they did made them sad. The child will look at the parent and wonder why they are crying then apologize and ask why they are crying. This example shows that by the child seeing how it makes someone feel they will change what they do next time, because if someone was to do that to them they would feel that way too.
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Reply from Bethlehem Tewolde posted on December 12th 2015
I think love and logic is a good thing, but that is not enough for young children they need to be told what their mistake was and how that made the individual feel, so they are aware of other peopleís feelings being hurt. I do believe children should be given a chance to realize what they have done wrong and to try to come up with a solution for their mistakes. It was nice of the boys to give their parents money for the movie they missed, however they should if apologized to the babysitter for locking her outside. The parents should have made them apologize to the babysitter, giving money to the parents doesnít erase the mistake they made towards the babysitter. I allow my daughter to learn from her mistakes even though she is only three, but I do lecture her about people's feeling being hurt by her actions when she pushes or tries to boss her cousins around. Overall I think it's good to use love and logic, but also a little bit of lecture could have been used to make the boys understand that it was wrong what they did to the babysitter.
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Reply from Bao Her posted on December 9th 2015
Love and Logic is very interesting way support children's behavior. I like the idea that children were able to feel empathy for their parents and make it up to them. Also letting the children solve the problem by themselves give them a chance at being an individual and making choices on their own. For example, my husband's nephews love to come over almost every weekends to see him. One time when the younger one broke a glass cup, instead of me cleaning up or saying something. The older old got up and told the younger one to be more careful with uncle and auntie's dishes. He went and grab a broom to help the younger one clean up. After that, he told the younger one to apologized for breaking the glass cup.
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Reply from Wendy Morales posted on December 7th 2015
I was babysitting two cousins of mine, and I was preparing food for them. Both of them repetitively were asking if they can eat yet. I asked them to look to see if they all had their plates ready in the table. Once they realized plates were missing they got themselves and I began to serve them. Another scenario that I think of was one from my own experience. I was in Junior High and my mother began to give me an allowance each week. She would tell me not to use all of it at once so that it would last me up until the following week. I would spend it of course and by the middle of the week I no longer had money to buy snacks for lunch in school. My mother allowed me to make poor decisions in order to learn that to make better decisions of how I spent the money. And so I definitely believe I can teach children to make responsible choices and solve their own problems just from past experiences that have helped me into making wiser choices.
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Reply from Ariadne Singh posted on December 7th 2015
I think love and logic is a great way to hold children accountable for their actions. It helps them understand that their actions affect the individuals around them. A few months ago my niece was in my mom's room playing dress up and accidentally broke one of my mom's necklace after she had been told not to play with the jewelry. After getting in trouble she realized she should have listened because she had upset my mom, the necklace had sentimental value to her. Although she was to young to have any money, she made an effort to make my mom feel better by making her a necklace and bracelet from beads. I think moments like this teach children to listen to adults because their actions can hurt loved ones.
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Reply from Miley Chang posted on December 7th 2015
Interesting, but I wonder where theyhave that kind of money? How did they manage to get that much money? One thing concerns me, were they stealing? Yees they are solving the problem, but its not righttolock the babysitter out. That's disrespectful. These kids needs to learn how to respect others.
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Reply from Ninnette posted on December 6th 2015
I think that love and logic is a good strategy to use with children when you want to promote problem solving. In my opinion this strategy may also be harder than it sounds to do. Often timeís parents want to teach their children some sort of lesson when they do something undesirable and in order to do that, parents lecture their children. I also agree with my classmate, children are all different and all come from different socioeconomic statusí. This technique might have been better used with these particular children because they had the solution of offering to pay for the movie tickets with their allowance, other children however might not receive allowances and might not have that as an option to problem solve with.
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Reply from zoua yang posted on December 4th 2015
I feel like this strategy to help children own their problems is very interesting, but it is hard to say if this is to all children. Every child do grow up differently, different social classes and socioeconomic class. Therefore I donít think all kids will think the same as these two boys. But it is very nice to know that the parents turning the problem around made the kids feel bad and in exchange gave them money as a price to pay.
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Reply from Anne Maginnity posted on December 2nd 2015
Growing up I remember my parents instilling in me and my brothers the value of saving money for things we wanted. My parents did not give me an allowance and also refused to buy me things that I wanted. For example, toys or games that I really did not need but felt I desperately needed. Since I did not get an allowance I really had to find ways to save my money, meaning all that birthday money from the grandparents or extra change I found around the house. Was I jealous of peers that got an allowance from their parents? Most definitely. Yet the thing was I learned how to save my money and look forward to buying the things I wanted. Like the time I saved $100 to buy an American girl doll I had dreamed about having for years. That was a possession I was so proud of because not only was it mine, but I had paid for it myself. Now as an adult the same type of values apply to my life, I know how to save money for the things that matter and appreciate what I have.
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Reply from Marina Gorbenko posted on November 23rd 2015
I did a little bit of research into the "Love and Logic" parenting style, and I found something called "enforceable statements". Love and Logic parents avoid trying to control their children by using these enforceable statements. Some examples of enforceable statements include: -"I give treats to kids who protect their teeth by brushing." -"My car is leaving at 8 am." -"I'll provide you with TV and video games when all the chores are done." These statements are used to avoid getting sucked into trying to control something we really can't. They are also used to share some of the control with the child, who, as a result, is much less likely to resist in order to gain control.
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Reply from Hannah Davis posted on October 18th 2015
Another scenario could be when John comes home with a letter from another child's parent. The letter states that John had been making fun of their son for being short for his age. The parents of the child just wanted to make John's parents aware of his behavior and wants to meet with John's parents to discuss the situation. John's mother sits John down and asks him about him picking on the shorter kid in his class. She tells John that she now has to make the time in her busy schedule to meet with the boy's parents and discuss his behavior. John tells his mother that he knew he was wrong for picking on the child and that he will apologize to him and a parental meeting does not need to happen. John's mother agrees to John's plan of action and John apologizes to his classmate.
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Reply from mary duncan posted on August 11th 2015
Great story. The first concern that cross my mind is, How many children would have responded in that manner? Secondly, children grow in different stages and ages of reasoning. Love and logic very interesting and deep. Amazing parents and family. Still thinking about this one. Thank you.
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