Thursday, January 6, 2011


I have been really struggling with Benjamin lately. I really hate the idea of spanking my kids. I have asked several people and done lots of research to find any help or ideas for parenting without hitting. This is really hard for us as Josh and I were both raised in families where physical punishment was used A LOT and we both feel that it does much more harm than good.

I heard about Love and Logic from a couple different people. Both of them told me that it hadn't worked for them and that the ideas and suggestions therein are unrealistic and never work.

I bought this book and began, very sceptically, reading it. I thought as I read the stories that it would never work. It seemed so unrealistic to think that MY kid could ever behave as well as the ones in this book.

I have been SO surprised. Today at lunch:
 I gave Benjamin 2 choices for what he would like to eat, he said, "NOTHING!" So I said, "Ok, I will choose." I put it on  a plate and set it on the table. I sat and quietly ate my lunch. I didn't respond to his whining, "I didn't want this lunch...I wanted the orange plate...I wanted to sit in that chair..." When I finished eating I went and got a piece of candy out of the bowl on top of the fridge. I said, very calmly, "I think I'm going to have a treat because I ate all of my lunch." Benjamin looked up from his whining and said, "I didn't eat my lunch...I was just complaining."  
MY KID said that! It wasn't some random story in a book, it really happened.

I also really like that many of the things suggested are things that I already do. Like letting him make a mistake and then talking about the natural consequences of that mistake.

For example, Yesterday:
Instead of telling him over and over to not climb on the back of the couch, I said, one time, "If you climb up there like that, you could fall and get hurt." I them walked away. A minute later he came to me crying. I asked him what happened and he said, "I fell off the couch." "Oh, are you okay?" "I think my head is hurt-ed" "Hmm why did you fall off the couch?" "'cause I was climbing on the back and not sitting right...I think that was not a very good choice." 

I could go on forever giving examples but I won't.  I also, I read this Love and Logic book and didn't like it very much. It has many of the same suggestions as the early childhood one but is much harder to read and contains a lot of Bible references and gets a bit preachy.

I can see where some of the suggestions in the Early Childhood book wouldn't work for us. I can also see where some things that really work for us wouldn't work for other families. I think finding parenting advise that works for your individual family is a lot like finding a diet plan that works for you. Every individual is different and has a different lifestyle that will work, or not work, with any giving diet plan. This is also true with parenting. I have read many books, asked many people and spent countless hours in prayer and fasting and have finally found something that works for us. Life at our house has become SO MUCH better. We are ALL so much happier. And, best of all, I can't even remember the last time we had to even threaten a spanking!


  1. I left these comments on your facebook as well...

    My kids are very used to "Here are your options... a,b,c... what would you like to choose?" Sometimes they of course will say... I want "D"... I just state "That is not one of your options "NAME" ... would you like a,b,c... or I can choose for you!" They very quickly got used to that fact that I would choose, and it would usually not be the one they wanted.

    I remember going to a love and logic class when Kyle was Ben's age... for precisely the same reasons... Kyle used to get up from dinner, then be hungry later... I would tell him that dinner would be on the table in 15 minutes, and to feel to eat as much as he needed to get him to breakfast. If he got up, I let him... when dinner was over, I cleared the table. If he complained about being hungry, I just re-iterated that dinner had already been served... that breakfast would be at "time". He could eat again then. It only took a couple dinners before he was at the table eating with us.

    He also used to throw HUGE fits in the store... I arranged (like the Jim Fay example) for my Mom to be in the parking lot the next time we went. I had already explained to him before going into the store, that if he threw a fit, someone wo...uld take him home and I would continue shopping. He of course did not believe me. I went to the pay phone... called my mom's cell... Imagine his surprise when Grandma walked into the store and took him by the hand and back to my house. He got to sit in his room until I came home from shopping. Then the next couple times... he did not get to go. Of course we made a HUGE deal about how fun shopping was that day. :-) He was fantastic in the store after that...

    I think that you both are sooooo on the right track!! I had a hard time with a lot of the ideas at first, but if you weed through it, tailor it to your own circumstances & use real world consequences vs. arguing... Amazing how well that works... EVEN with teenagers!

    Something important to remember... you do not always have to issue a consequence on the big things immediately... call around and get ideas and use what works for you!! (( HUGS ))

  2. The thing I really like about this book (and I'm not good at it) is it's all principle based. Two things: in an institute class I had a teacher who stressed that we fought hard for our agency, when someone (even a parent) tries to take that away we are going to fight back. And when Joseph smith was asked how he controlled so many people he said "I teach the principle and let them govern themselves" that is what I think this book really says. Also there is the scripture that says "rebuking betimes w sharpness then showing increase love afterwards." That is where I really struggle.

  3. Thanks for the suggestion and reviews of these books! It's definitely something I want to check out!

  4. I really like the IDEA of Love and Logic, but I always thought it was so ridiculous to allow your kid to stay up all night so he could learn that he was tired in the morning if the natural consequence was to sleep later, be tired in school or not go at all. It needs better parameters. I still like the idea of giving choices, though. I am interested in reading the early childhood version. thanks for the suggestion. I feel similarly about spankings.

  5. Obviously, the parent needs to know what constitutes an acceptable choice and needs to know their kids and as with any book-the examples are ideal and extremes. The example used in the book works, BUT the kid doesn't have a choice to sleep later or to not go to school-that was established/implied before he was allowed to stay up.

    I think the point the author was trying to make is that it's better for them to make a choice to stay up late and learn that it's not as much fun when they are in elementary school and it doesn't really matter if they miss a day of class than when they are in high school or college when the parent have no control over their choices and missing a day or days of class is going to affect their academic standing. And if it didn't work for that kid, the parent could have always said, "Ya know, you got to choose to whether to stay up or go to bed last night. You made a bad choice, so now it's Daddy's turn to choose."