Monday, March 4, 2013

Book Review: Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood

Love and Logic Magic for Early ChildhoodLove and Logic Magic for Early Childhood by Jim Fay
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Hmmmm, I have to say I have a love/hate relationship with this book. I was given this book when my 1st child was a baby, and I remember reading it and thinking so much of it made sense. When I saw other parents doing things love and logic warns against, such as counting to 3, I felt like I was so much smarter than them. I wasn't going to adopt the Fays' practices in entirety, but I thought it was a useful guide. I had it all figured out. My kid would be so great.

Fast forward 7 years and add 2 more kids, all of them great. I've been telling myself for a while that I need to go back and reread this book, mainly because my 4 year old has really been pushing limits. I know the Fays say it’s a mistake to say your child is going through a phase, but age 3 and 4 are a pretty rough phase. That doesn’t excuse it, and I realize that something has to be done to change it. Reading the book for the second time with more real-life parenting experience, I wanted to chuck the book across the room most of the time I was reading it. There are so many aspects of it that are just not realistic! Sure, I have loads of friends who want to drop everything in their life just to hang out in a grocery store parking lot just in case my kids act up in the store! Sure, if I let my child stay up all night at a sleepover and then send them on a sleepover encouraging them to do it again, they'll decide not to because last time they got too tired. Oh, and sure, teaching my child that lesson will TOTALLY be worth it because it's not like they'll make my life miserable the whole day following while they are exhausted. And if you can't tell, I'm dripping with sarcasm here!

I just don't understand how giving a child choices all day long is supposed to shut them up when you say it's your turn to make a choice about putting them to bed. That might work for 10 seconds on my kids before they start complaining or popping out of bed for random reasons. It really bugged me that they didn't even consider the possibility of kids acting up after that assertion that it's the parent's turn to make a choice. What do we do after that when the kids turn on the light and start jumping on the bed? What besides sing Uh-Oh do we do? Tell me that, Mr. Fay!

I agree with some of the other reviews that said they found it annoying how dramatically the Fays push their method. They make it sound like all children who aren't raised with L&L will end up in jail.

All that being said, there are some helpful tips and methods found in this book. They just have to be sorted out from some of the other unrealistic stuff. I realize that I already use a lot of Love and Logic in my own parenting, I just haven’t acknowledged it all the time. I wouldn't discourage others from reading this book, but I would say to take it with a grain of salt.

Have you read this book? What did you think?

Right now, I struggle with coming up with consequences that fit the infraction. I feel like I’m not creative enough. It doesn’t help that my 4 year old is untouchable. No punishment seems to get to her. Put her in time-out: she doesn’t seem to care. Take away toys: she says, “Here, I don’t want this one either.” Take away privileges: she shrugs it off.

What’s your biggest parenting struggle?

1 comment:

  1. You know, I've read this book and agree with a lot of what you have said. The valuable lesson I took from it is that kids making mistakes and learning from them while the consequences are not life altering is good. So when Roland stopped doing his homework last year (without us realizing it) for several weeks, and then needed to make it all up, I was actually a little happy. I wanted him to experience that without it jeopardizing college choice! He had to spend most of a weekend doing it all, and I was glad he had the experience of making up for a mistake, that he knew it was possible.

    Some kids are very difficult to give negative consequences to. I don't have anything smart to say about that, I just know it is true. Molly crumples if we give her a dirty look, but Roland challenges us to up the ante. Fun times.

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