Love & Logic Tips

Encouragement for Moms

posted May 9, 2013, 7:37 AM by Peggy Snell

Moms…do you ever feel like the weight of the world is resting firmly on your shoulders? Do you ever feel like it's your job…YOUR JOB… to make sure that your kids always do the right thing and turn out well? Do you ever worry that the entire neighborhood is aware and judging you when your kids sneak out of the house with mismatched socks, messy hair and less-than-polite attitudes?


Oftentimes, the most loving and effective mothers take the most heat from others and themselves.


Wonderful moms understand that kids need to make plenty of small, affordable mistakes. They know that kids must experience occasional struggles and disappointments. They also know that constant rescuing or micromanaging just creates kids who need constant rescuing and micromanaging.


Because of this, the best moms often feel a bit lonely and unsure of themselves. They feel lonely because our society too frequently rewards what looks good rather than what is good. They feel lonely because they rarely overhear other mothers bragging about allowing their kids to learn by forgetting a lunch, misplacing an occasional homework paper, or having to pay for a lost coat.


The best moms often feel a bit lonely and unsure of themselves.


It's easy to feel guilty or insecure when you see so many "super hover mommies" acting like pack mules, carrying all of their children's sporting equipment, back packs and other responsibilities. It's easy to lose perspective when your minivan is the only one without an "Honor Student" bumper sticker. It's tempting to waver when the parents next door are working harder completing their child's homework than their child is.


On this Mother's Day holiday, I hope to encourage all of the wonderful mothers who let things fall apart from time to time…who understand the wisdom of providing a rather imperfect world for their kids. When you find yourself feeling insecure or guilty, listen to our audio, Helicopters, Drill Sergeants and Consultants, and be reminded that it's far better for our kids to submit a sloppy science fair project than them seeing us hunched over the kitchen table frantically doing it for them.


Thanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend.


Dr. Charles Fay

Aren't You Glad I Don't Believe That?

posted Mar 23, 2013, 9:00 AM by Peggy Snell

I recently received the following email from my neighbor:



Thanks so much for my new favorite line, "Aren't you glad I don't believe that?" It is brilliant! It was an instant re-direct this morning.



Jen is not the only Love and Logic parent who has discovered this handy Love and Logic One-Liner. It's especially effective when followed by a quick hug and a walk away. (Don't stick around for a response.)


You might want to run an experiment at one of those times when you feel at a loss for words. "Aren't you glad I don't believe that?" serves as a quick and loving reply to lots of childhood favorite retorts, including, but not limited to:


"I can't do that."

"I'm just stupid."

"I guess it's always my fault."

"I'm not going to be your friend anymore."

"Nobody likes me."

"It's too hard."

"I'm never going to…"

"You like her/him better than me."

"I hate you!"


Share this with your friends. They will probably thank you for it just as Jen thanked us.


To learn more easy-to-use solutions for everyday problems with kids, check out my new webinar: Home and School Strategies for Creating Respectful, Responsible Kids.


Thanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend.


Jim Fay

Honesty Deficit Disorder

posted Feb 28, 2013, 9:48 PM by Peggy Snell

What do parents do when their children become truthfulness-challenged? If many adults in today's world suffer from Honesty Deficit Disorder, who are we to think that our offspring will always be immune? The good news is that conscientious parents can turn the tide on truth-bending behavior by applying the Three E's of Love and Logic.


The First "E" of Love and Logic: Example


Obviously, parents who act truthfully around their kids are far more likely to have kids who tell the truth. A not-so-obvious application of good modeling involves discussing our moral dilemmas with other adults when our children are within earshot. When our children overhear us talking about temptations…and how we've chosen truthfulness instead of deceit…powerful lessons get locked in.


The Second "E" of Love and Logic: Experience


When children lie, they need to experience logical consequences. One of the most practical involves expecting them to replace any energy they've drained from us as a result of their fibbing. Does lying drain your parental energy? In our audio, Love and Logic Magic: When Kids Drain Your Energy, we teach that children should be responsible for replacing drained energy by completing extra chores, allowing their parents to rest instead of driving them places they want to go, etc.


The Third "E" of Love and Logic: Empathy


Those who understand the Love and Logic approach understand that consequences preceded with empathy are far more effective than consequences delivered with anger, guilt, or sarcasm. An added benefit of responding to our children's mistakes with empathy is that they'll be far more likely to admit making them. Do you want your children to be afraid of you when they blunder? Do you want them to hide their mistakes rather than bringing them to your attention? Of course you don't! That's why it's so important to discipline with love rather than lectures.


Thanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend.


Dr. Charles Fay


Avoid Crying "Bully"

posted Feb 20, 2013, 10:16 AM by Peggy Snell

We all know the story of that boy who cried, "Wolf!"


In the end, there really was a problem and he didn't get the help he needed.


With so much emphasis on bullying these days, do we run the same risk?


If kids learn to take slight offenses too seriously or rely on authority figures to solve every small conflict, could that make things worse?


Of course, adults should step in when there is real danger, but there's another important piece: Teaching kids to be more-resilient, less-enticing targets. This can help adults separate the serious from the not-so-serious.


We encourage parents and teachers to empower kids - NOT to overreact to teasing and less-harmful testing that often occurs in peer relationships. Otherwise, like the boy who cried, "Wolf," real bullying may not get noticed and kids may not get help when they actually need it.


Adults should get involved when there is real harm or the threat of real harm. But all kids will encounter some mean people in life and will benefit from learning to handle it while they're young.


Role-playing responses can help kids handle name-calling and teasing:


Some kids put their hands in their pockets, smile, and say, "Hmm, I hadn't noticed that before. Thanks for letting me know."


Some kids say, "Oh, that reminds me… " and then move away like they just remembered something important.


Some kids make sure they are near adults when mean kids are on the prowl.


Prepared kids make less viable targets.


Let's all do our part, from modeling kindness, to providing good supervision and intervention when kids need help, to teaching kids how to get along and handle the small stuff.


Find more solutions to help kids learn how to deal with the issues of teasing and bullying in Sally Ogden's book, "Words Will Never Hurt Me."


Thanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend.


Jedd Hafer

Is There a Video Game Junkie In Your Home?

posted Feb 18, 2013, 11:35 AM by Peggy Snell

I'm very, very concerned. Everywhere I go at least one person tells me the same sad story:


He plays video games nonstop. That's all he wants to do. As soon as he gets home, he goes into the bedroom, shuts the door, and starts playing his video games. When I ask him to shut them off, he ignores me or flies off the handle. And…forget about getting him to do any chores. All he thinks about is his games.


The story continues:


And our kids are getting just as bad!


Do you have a loved one who's obsessed with playing video games? Is your family going down the tube as a result? I'm often asked, "How can I tell if my child (or my spouse) is addicted to gaming?" Perhaps the simplest test is to ask them to stop for a week. That's right! Just ask them to put aside their video games for one short week.


Here's what to look for:

  • Does the person get defiant and refuse to take a break?
  • Is the person willing to take a break yet becomes exceptionally irritable, depressed, or "bored" during that time?
  • Do they lie to you about sneaking game time during their "break"?

If you see any of these classic withdrawal symptoms, you can rest assured that your loved one has a serious problem that will lead to serious consequences if left untreated. My advice is three-fold:


Step One: Don't deny or minimize the problem. Know that it can destroy your family if you don't take action.


Step Two: Listen to our audio download, Taming the Technology Monster.


Step Three: Get qualified professional help if your loved one refuses to live by the limits you set over their gaming.


Thanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend.


Dr. Charles Fay

Are Kids Growing Up Too Fast … or Are Too Many Adults Failing to Grow Up

posted Oct 22, 2012, 8:49 PM by Peggy Snell

None of the girls in my second grade class wore makeup or short skirts. None of the boys had designer jeans or trendy haircuts. Few of the girls wanted much to do with the boys. I suppose they were smart. Our feelings weren't hurt. Worms, bugs, and other gross stuff were more fun to play with anyway.


Have you noticed the change? Is it just me, or does it seem a bit premature for kids to be "dating" in elementary school? Am I the only one, or do you also feel a bit uneasy seeing a young girl with all the cosmetic trappings of a hip twenty-year-old? Do little kids really need their own cell phones?


Do little kids really need their own cell phones?


Is this trend mostly the result of kids growing up too rapidly, or is it largely due to the fact that so many adults are reluctant to act like mature adult role models?


It's tough to learn maturity in a pervasively immature culture.




To be fair, the vast majority of people who take the time to read tips about parenting are making a valiant effort to provide a great example for their kids. I know I'm preaching to the choir! The tough part is that being in the choir doesn't keep our kids from living in a less than choir-like society.


Listed below are four encouragements for you:

  • If you are modeling personally and socially respectful behavior and dress, pat yourself on the back.
  • If you set limits such as, "I provide clothing that I feel good about," you're part of the solution!
  • If you've decided that your family doesn't spend its time watching raunchy junk on TV, I want to thank you.
  • If your kids are annoyed with you as a result, you are on the right track!

There is hope for this world! That is, as long as enough of us are brave enough to show kids what it looks like to be men and women of honor.


Learn more tips on this subject from our Ages 7 - 12 Parenting Package.



Thanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend.


Dr. Charles Fay

Chores at Home = More Success at School

posted Aug 19, 2012, 8:22 AM by Peggy Snell   [ updated Aug 19, 2012, 8:23 AM ]

Is it difficult to get your kids to help around the house? Do you have to pay them to do the dishes, clean their room, etc? This week, Dr. Charles Fay provides some easy to use techniques to get your kids to do their chores without paying, begging, or bribing them.

Ask any veteran educator, and they'll agree:
Kids who are used to doing chores at home…without reminders, without pay, and without arguing…are far more respectful and motivated at school.
So…how's a parent actually get stubborn kids to do their fair share without resorting to begging, bribery, or full-scale warfare?
Listed below are some brief tips:
  • When you see your kids working hard on a chore, offer to help them as long as they still work harder than you do. This rewards their hard work, gives you an opportunity to bond with them, and ups the odds that they'll be willing to help you when you are old and feeble.
  • Give reasonable deadlines rather than saying, "Do it now!" Saying, "Just have it done by ________," has an added benefit: it gives you plenty of time to figure out what you will do if they refuse or forget to do the chore.
  • Don't threaten, nag, remind, or warn. Just let them blow it.
  • Do the chore for them.
  • Lock in the empathy and expect them to repay you for your time by doing some of your chores, staying home instead of being driven somewhere, etc.
Learn more tips on this subject from our Schoolwork/Homework Package.
Thanks for your reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend.
Dr. Charles Fay

Neutralizing Arguments

posted May 17, 2012, 12:31 PM by Peggy Snell

Weekly Tip from the Love and Logic® Experts

Dear Peggy,
We've all been there: You're talking to a friend or mate and suddenly, almost without warning, you feel it. The twinge. The quickened heartbeat. The feeling of exasperation, defensiveness, and the intense desire to strike out.
Intimacy - or "into me see" is dangerous business, not for the faint of heart. Allowing another person to see the real you takes courage. The risks are having your feelings hurt. The rewards are having someone close to you.
One of the many challenges of relating is the dreaded argument. We've all been there, done that. Can you remember the last time you were having a cordial conversation with a friend, colleague, or mate, and suddenly, almost without warning, tempers flared and harsh words were spoken? You didn't plan it. It just happened!
What if there was a tool you had ready to use in such a situation? Would you use it? I'll bet you would. The next time you're in a situation where you feel attacked and want to lash out, I want you to try this experiment:
  1. Stop! Yes, I know this sounds simple, but I want you to practice it. Stop! Rather than say anything, or do anything, I want you to simply stop. 

  2. Look. Take a moment to look around you. Notice where you are and what is happening. 

  3. Listen. What is being said? What was it that got you ramped up? Were you accused of something? Did someone talk about you in an unkind way? What happened? 

  4. Step back. Take a break. Breathe. Create a bit of distance between you and the other person and the tense situation. 

  5. Set a boundary. Tell the person, "I care about you too much to argue with you." Now give yourself some time to process what is happening. Let them know you will talk to them about the situation once you feel comfortable again.
The "Love and Logic Relater" maintains control over themselves, not others. They know they cannot stop another person from saying or doing anything, but they do control themselves. The next time you're in a tense situation, stop, look, and listen. Pay attention and from that position make healthy choices about what you want to do. You'll be glad you did.
Thanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend.
Dr. David B. Hawkins
Co-Author: Love and Logic Magic For Lasting Relationships

When Kids Get Defiant

posted May 17, 2012, 11:57 AM by Peggy Snell

Weekly Tip from the Love and Logic® Experts

"I'm not doing that! You can't make me!"
Have you ever heard this from a student…or your child at home?
Success in this situation rests entirely on resisting the urge to rely on power and coercion to force kids to do what we want. Listed below are some tips:
  • Sidestep the power-struggle by delaying the consequence. It's okay to let children think they've gotten away with something in the short-term…if that'll buy you time to handle it well in the long-term.
  • Calmly say, "No problem. I love you (or respect you) too much to fight with you about this. I'll take care of it."
  • Put together a workable plan. Get some help from other adults if you need their ideas or support.
  • Allow empathy and logical consequences to do the teaching.
One mother commented:
My teenager refused to do the simple housework chores I asked her to do. Instead of fighting with her, I simply told her that I loved her too much to fight with her and that I would take care of them. I hired a professional housekeeping service to do it for her. Then I taped the bill to her bedroom door. She refused to pay the bill, so I had another chance to say, "I love you too much to fight with you about this. I'll take care of it." Later that week I calmly said to her, "This is so sad. Do you remember that new outfit you wanted? I had to use that money to pay the housekeeping service."
This mother understood that sometimes we have to allow kids to be upset in the short-term…so they can learn to lead happy and responsible lives in the long-term.
Join us for our new webinar. We'll share plenty of additional skills for helping parents and educators stay out of un-winnable power-struggles.
Thanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend.
Dr. Charles Fay

Nasty Back Talk

posted May 17, 2012, 11:56 AM by Peggy Snell

Weekly Tip from the Love and Logic® Experts

As Mom walked out of the teacher's room after a long discussion about Jake's lack of motivation and failure to do homework, she told Jake to put on his coat.
"I don’t have to. It's not cold," he snapped.
"I mean it, young man. You listen to me!"
"Oh, all right, I'll do it, but you're a retard!"
"Don’t you talk to me like that. You show a little respect, young man!"
Turning to the teacher, Mom asked, "What do I do with this kid?"
A wise observer would probably think, "Homework is the least of this family's problems. Here is a mother and child who appear to have very little respect for each other. That problem needs to be cured before anything else."
Jake's teacher empathized with Mom and told her about having some of the same problems before learning about Love and Logic. She told her how she was tempted to try to solve all the problems immediately but started to make progress when she tried to use only one skill at a time.
She told Mom how she started dealing with back talk by refusing to react. Every time her son said something nasty she simply said, "Bad decision. I'll have to do something about that after I cool down." That was her mantra.
After cooling down she waited for him to ask for something. When he did, she delivered her other mantra, "I'm happy to do the things you want when I feel respected," and he didn't get what he wanted. He hated the fact that she always said the same thing.
The teacher went on to say that for a while, those were the only changes she made with her parenting. But it got her off to a great start and life changed for the better.
Learn more about these techniques on the audio CD, "Oh, Great! What Do I Do Now?" Listen to the story about Little Johnnie several times and become an expert at dealing with nasty kids.
Thanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend.
Jim Fay

1-10 of 14