Parenting with Love and Logic
Excerpt taken from Chapter One of Parenting Children With Health Issues: Essential Tools, Tips and Tactics for Raising Kids with Chronic Illness, Medical Conditions and Special Healthcare Needs by Foster W. Cline, MD and Lisa C. Greene.
The information in this book incorporates the Love and Logic parent-training curriculum which emphasizes that love allows children to grow through their mistakes and logic allows them to learn from the consequences of their choices.
Wouldn’t it be great if your children could learn, early on, that every choice they make might affect the quality of their lives? Raising kids with Love and Logic teaches them life lessons as early as possible- while the price tag is still low.
Love and Logic encourages children to make their own decisions (and mistakes) in non-life-threatening situations, thus increasing the odds that they will become better decision makers when the consequences really matter; such as taking an insulin shot while at a party with their friends, even though they don’t feel like doing it. Parenting with Love and Logic teaches children self-control.
Parents of all children want their offspring to be well prepared for life. Successful parents know most mistakes are really learning opportunities. However, when the stakes are increased with the presence of medical issues, there is more opportunity for the child to make really serious mistakes. Parents often react to these mistakes with rescue and/or stronger demands, which, in turn, can cause ever-increasing power struggles. We will teach parents how to stop this nonproductive and potentially life-threatening cycle.
Love and Logic emphasizes locking in “empathy, love, and understanding” prior to the children experiencing negative consequences of their actions. This leads children to see their parents as the “good guys,” and their own poor decisions as the “bad guy.” They develop an internal voice that says, “I wonder how much pain my next decision will cause me?” This is extremely important when dealing with medical problems.
In the following chapters you will be introduced to shared control. If parents don’t share control with their child, then the child will be forced to attempt to take all control, often in ways that are neither healthy nor appropriate.
Love and Logic teaches that parents who continually rescue their children from the consequences of their own mistakes, fix their problems, or nag them are Helicopter Parents. Parents who demand compliance, are directive, and tell children how to solve their problems are Drill Sergeant Parents. Both types of parents steal away their children’s opportunities to learn, grow, and make good decisions. Helicopters and Drill Sergeants make it more difficult for children to become independent and responsible in self-care matters. No matter what our children’s medical situations may be, parents cannot always be there to advise them about important life-and-death decisions. In the long run children must learn to make life-and-death decisions themselves. The Consultant parenting style makes this important learning process possible.
Medical issues are so important it is understandable parents feel like reminding, ranting, raving, or rescuing. These Four Rs will never work as well as the Five Essential Es: Example, Experience, Empathy, Expectations, and Encouragement.
Foster Cline MD and Lisa C. Greene
With Love and Logic, children learn how to live with the consequences of their actions, they avoid blaming others for their problems, and they make wise care decisions. Most importantly, parents respond in a way that increases the odds that both their healthy and chronically ill children will live responsible, productive, and joyful lives.