Tuesday, April 6, 2010

As parents we need all the help we can get!

"Feel free to keep the toys you clean up."

"Would you like to leave the park in 2 minutes or 3 minutes?"

"We will play that game as soon as you put your shoes away."

"I'll listen when your voice is as calm as mine."

These phrases and others like them have completely and utterly saved my sanity when dealing with my kids. I learned them in a book.

I've read many books through the years relating to parenting, but the book that has helped the most is
Parenting with Love and Logic by Foster Cline and Jim Fay. I highly recommend this book and the Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood.

The parenting philosophy presented in the books makes sense and the techniques really work.

The keys are to remain calm (and I've found when you have a strategy for dealing with behavior it really makes it easier to be calm) and to follow through.

For example, I used the first phrase above, "Feel free to keep the toys you clean up." with my 7 year old who has gotten in the habit of just moving around a couple toys and not really putting anything away when asked to clean his room. I said it in a very calm, matter of fact way and was completely ready to pack up the toys that he didn't put away and put them in the garage for a while. It is a logical consequence because if he cannot put away his toys by himself then he probably has too many toys to be responsible for. But, you know what? It worked! He actually cleaned them all up! First time in a long time he's done it without more of a fight, but also was the first time I phrased the request in a Love and Logic fashion. (I have to re-read the book often to stay on top of my parenting game!)

I heard from a teacher recently who uses the Love and Logic approach with her class. She said her favorite tactic is when the kids get too loud in line as she walks them through the hallways, she stops and simply says, "I'll continue when you're quiet." She said it is amazing how quickly the kids stop talking. She knows from experience that barking idle things like, "Quiet!" or "Who's talking?!" would just be ignored and would only succeed in getting her upset.

I was really happy to hear that teachers are now adopting this great method of interacting with kids!

**This is not a paid endorsement. I genuinely have, read, and use these books. But, if you purchase a book through my link or store, I will receive a small portion of the sale.**

Find more Works for Me Wednesday here.


  1. Thanks for your review. I've heard of these books and will have to check them out. I can always use more parenting help, especially for my spirited 4 year old.

  2. This book has long been on my Amazon wishlist. I think I will move it to the cart now! Thanks for the personal review. Sounds like there are a lot of great tips to glean from it.

    The first one you mentioned is really speaking to me this week, as my son is off from school and demolishing our house.

  3. Yes, great books! I read the teaching one back when I started teaching. Very powerful strategies! I will have to check out the parenting version.

  4. YES! I used the ideas from the teaching one when I was in the classroom and got the Magic of the Early Years when my first was about 6 months. It helped me to know I had a "plan". It DOES work and sometimes after a bad day I reread a section of the book to help myself feel better. Great post!

  5. I LOVE this book series. I agree with you about choices and staying calm (as the teacher does). It works for me too!! Thanks for sharing

  6. I haven't heard of any of those books. I'll have to check them out. :D

  7. Though I havent read the books I try and always stay calm and quiet! Also, using little tricks like "You can keep what toys you clean up" really do work. Great review of the books and I will look into them!

  8. Oh I need to get these books! My husband and I were just talking about needing help parenting our middle. We want to meet her where she's at and be effective with her personality (very strong willed and independent and quite different from our other two). I need to find ways to keep myself calm. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Fantastic advice. I haven't read that particular book but have heard good things about the Love and Logic philosophy. I also love Barbara Coloroso's Kids Are Worth It.

    The beauty in strategies like this is that often times, you only need to invoke them once or twice; once they know you really mean what you say, they become less likely to test you.

    Great post.


I'd love to hear what you think!