Love and Logic 

How to Help Kids Do What You Want

Love and Logic
Get Your Host Parents' Buy-In
  • Recognize that some of the children's behavioral issues may be a sensitive topic for your host parents

  • Discuss concerns you have with the parents and work on possible solutions together

  • Ask questions objectively 

  • Ask if you can share a thought or suggestion and respect their answer before making suggestions

  • Present suggestions with the perspective of how it benefits the children and the parents

  • Realize you won't be able to solve every behavioral issue of every child

  • Remember that lasting change takes time and consistency
     

Consistency 
  • Be consistent! Can't stress this enough
     

Emotions  
  • Remember: kids thrive on emotion — good or bad

  • Kids will do things just to get an emotional reaction

  • So when kids do good things, be emotional! Get excited!

  • When kids do bad things, or things you don't want, be unemotional

    • Let the consequence of the choice do the disciplining ​

    • Showing anger can be exciting for kids 

Emphasize Choices 
  • This helps kids think for themselves

  • It also prevents battles

  • Understand that kids throw tantrums and fight because of control — when they feel controlled, they will lash out and fight (this is a good thing! Any kid worth keeping has will)

  • Love and Logic encourages parents and caretakers to turn fighting words into ”thinking words”

  • Give up some of the control to the child, and they won’t feel the need to lash out

  • Make sure you are okay with both options

  • Try to avoid phrases and direct commands like “wash your body” or “go upstairs” or “brush your teeth” 

    • Examples: ​

    • Time to get out of the bath:
      ​Instead of saying "OK, let me wash your hair," you can say: 

      • Do you want to wash your body or do you want me to? 

      • Do you want to wash your hair first or your body first?

    • Time to go to bed:
      Instead of saying "Time for bed," you can say:​​

      • Do you want to walk up the stairs or hop on 1 foot?

  • The whole mindset is to have the kids think as much as possible

  • When kids are being told what to do, they aren't thinking

    • So they only have room for rebelling (or becoming robots)

  • Ask them questions and give them options as often as possible

    • This helps kids not only feel in control, but it also helps them think so they can make better decisions later in life​​
       

Logical Consequences  
  • Make logical consequences the result of misbehavior
  • Let the consequence be the teacher
  • One of the main ideas Love and Logic is to let kids make lots of little mistakes early
    • These little mistakes won't have huge consequences but the kids can learn from them and learn to make better decisions in the future
  • ​Examples:
    • Teeth brushing:
      If a child chooses not to brush their teeth, you could let them not brush their teeth and tell them “I let kids who brush their teeth eat sweets.” Or some other logical consequence.
      Then the next day, if they haven’t brushed their teeth that before, eat a treat in front of them or only give them to the kids who brushed. It will probably trigger tantrum, but then they will remember when it comes to teeth brushing time. And they will know the logical consequence of brushing their teeth. 
    • Tantrums for Toddlers (The "Uh-Oh Song" by Love and Logic):
      When a child starts throwing a tantrum, calmly tell him or her “I’m happy to talk to you when your voice is as calm as mine is.” If he or she continues to scream, half-sing “uh oh. Look like you need a little time in your room.” Then ask him or her, "Do you want to walk to your room or do you want me to carry you?" If they continue to scream or don't walk to their room, you can say, “It looks like you chose carry.”
      When you get to the room, give more choices: "Do you want the light on or off?" "Do you want to be in your room with the door open or shut?" If the child chooses open and then runs out, you can say, “It looks like you chose shut.” Then shut the door and stay close. But don’t say anything to the child until they're calm. Once he or she has calmed down and isn’t screaming, tell him or her you’ll set the timer for 4-5 minutes and they can choose to come out when it goes off. 
      This consequence makes sense because in real life, if you scream and throw tantrums, people aren’t going to want to be around you.
  • It's great to discuss consequences with your host mom to be on the same page 
     
Other Principles 
  • Remember: it’s never too late and it's never too early to start using these principles
  • If you can’t change the behavior, change the location
  • When kids do good things, get emotional! 
  • When kids do bad things or things you don't like, be unemotional
  • Be slow to lecture

  • When you're not sure, run things by your host parents

Got a question? Ask away!