The Logic Won’t Happen Without the Love

August 23rd, 2012

by Katrina Brooke

How do we help our kids develop the type of cause-effect logic that leads to good decision-making? Is it by showing them how tough we are, or is it by showing them how much we love them as they experience the tough consequences of their poor decisions?
 
Our anger allows kids to blame us for the consequences
of their poor decisions.
 
Our loving empathy forces them to blame themselves
for these consequences.
 
If we’re forgetting our sincere empathy, it will increase the odds that they’ll lack the logical, commonsense reasoning required to stay safe in today’s complex world.
 
Some reminders…
  • Lock in the empathy first!

    Before describing consequences, do your best to establish a sincere love connection with your child. Whenever appropriate, pair your words (e.g. “This is so sad.”) with caring eye contact and touch.

    This also applies to setting limits. Before saying, “You may have that toy when you can afford it,” take a moment to show your love.

  • Delay the consequence when you’re too angry to be empathetic.

    People who use Love and Logic aren’t always sweet and sappy. Sometimes they put some steel in their voices and say, “I’m too angry right now to make a good decision about what you’ve done. We’ll talk about it when I’m calm.”

  • When it’s over, it’s over.

    There are few things more damaging to any relationship than taking out the trash…and then throwing it back inside through an open window! When kids experience consequences we must resist the urge to rub salt in the wounds by lecturing after the fact.

  • Use as few words as possible.

    The most effective people use very few words when things are going wrong.

For more quick tips to help kids learn from their mistakes rather than repeat them, listen to our audio, Four Steps to Responsibility.
 
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

©2012 Love and Logic Institute, Inc.

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