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I found the "thinking words" vs. "fighting words" sections very helpful. Instead of "Stop yelling!" try "When your voice is as calm as mine, I'll be glad to talk with you." (works for whining too!) Once you've read this book, the "pearls" are easy to use later as a quick reference (about 50 issues including bossiness, getting ready for school, bedtime, teeth brushing, TV, temper tantrums and whining ). The first time I read the book a few years ago, I knew there were some great ideas, but I also felt like I was about to let my children initially experience too many logical consequences, and perhaps a drop in self-esteem. I think the book missed an opportunity to give parents an option to gradually implement their method of teaching responsibility by first acting as an emotional coach. A recently released book used in conjunction with this one was the answer I was looking for. If you have young children or think you may want to help coach your children first, try this book along with "Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles" by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka (author of "Raising your Spirited Child"). The combination is powerful! I keep both books on hand for quick reference and my favorite ideas from them taped to my refrigerator.
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on February 4, 2004
Basically, this book is about how to create a positive learning environment for our children, by giving them control of non-essential choices designed to be the desired outcome regardless of which choice they choose. It also provides some great insight into how to create a trusting and positive environment while teaching some positive habits.
My wife read this book first and I noticed an immediate change in how she reacted to our rather headstrong two-year old. Staying calm, and giving choices like: Do you want to have milk before you go to bed, or juice? This instead of the battle on whether or not she was going to bed. We find ourselves laughing at some of the absurd choices we come up with, and it's harder than it appears to consistently think this way. What is easy to see is that it works, and works well. Some of our biggest battles over dressing, or going to bed, or eating dinner have become much easier and the "uh-oh" said calmly has stopped some poor behavior in its tracks!
While we both embrace the fact that testing the limits is a natural and healthy way for young children to learn, this book gave some great insights on how to facilitate and not discourage that type of learning, and yet still teach the right behaviors.
I was not thrilled with the overall editing and layout of the book, as it jumped around a bit, and half-way through would say things like: This may not work for children under three! OK, this is information we could have used four chapters ago when the authors were making a point we were attempting to follow. That minor complaint notwithstanding, this is an excellent book and is highly recommended for all parents with young children.
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on July 27, 2002
i have just completed reading this book. It teaches a very good technique for parenting in which the parents let their child take responsibility of problems that are his/hers (keeping the room clean, whether or not to wear a coat outside etc). By making kids take responsibilty for their actions, parents make them more responsible in picking the right choices in life. This way parents also teach them problem solving and other important skills. The entire book is devoted to explaining this technique. The first few chapters are really valuable. I have tried the technique with my kids and they work.

One thing i didn't like about the book is that the enitre book is devoted to this same technique. The same point repeated and discussed! Also, at times one feels that making the kids always face consequences for themselves and always solve their problems themselves may be too harsh. On the other hand, maybe that is not what the authors intend to say. If it seems like the authors are carrying the point to limits, it may be because they wish to give many different situations in which their technique can be used. But it does sometime feel like the child's whole life is centered around being taught a lesson of taking care of his problems or face consequences that may be harsh.

Also, for non american parents or for people who belong to asian or other cultures, this may not be an entirely appropriate book. For example , as an Indian i would never dream of telling my mother that she needs to have my permission before disciplining my child. Or telling her something like this: "People get together on vacations either out of a sense of obligation and guilt or to have fun together. I'm wondering if you see our times together as fun".

As an Indian parent, in order to teach my kids consequences, i would also not bargain with them on the money that they will have to pay me from their allowance if they do not do xyz! Giving and taking money in family relationships is usually a no-no. In our culture, we grow up with our parents taking full care (monetary and otherwise) of us till we get married or find a job, and as adults we take care of them giving them unquestioned and unconditional love.
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on July 7, 1998
I have been reading parenting books for years. I read this book completely. As the adult child of an alcohol and drug councilor with 3 young children, I have taken great interest in therapy and communication techniques. I don't generally offer my opinion in reviews but I felt that this book should receive the credit that it is due. The focus of this book is to help your child to eventually become an unusually functional and mentally healthy adult. It makes a humorous, but truthful analogy of the learning patterns of very young (2 and under) children to that of dogs. It explains why, unlike a dog, children must begin to think for themselves and how to help them do that. It recognizes that some parents use corporal punishment, explains why this is sometimes effective and how to use it to the least detriment of the child, but over all discourages it and offers alternative methods of discipline. The book teaches how parents can assist instead of disrupting the child's natural process of learning. Permit a child the consequences of their own mistakes when they are young and they will learn not to make big, life changing mistakes when they are adults. Become a friend and respected confidant to your child whose opinion he respects. There are excellent, real life accounts of how to apply the techniques. Most teachers will recognize the authors names. The authors are well known and highly acclaimed in the educational field and have raised responsible, successful children themselves.
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on March 15, 2000
This book provides sound parenting philosophy and easy to use guidelines to apply it. As a teacher, it is clear to me which students have been raised with loving and logical parents. So many parents confuse love with protection. Parenting with love and logic means allowing your kids to make choices ... and sometimes mistakes. Some may object to the "Basic German Shepard" tactics or the idea that claims that spanking is sometimes alright. Use what you wish from the book. I have never spanked my child, nor do I order him around like a dog. To avoid a power struggle with my son who didn't want to put on his clothes or coat for a 5 minute ride home from my sister's house, I used Love and Logic principles. On a cold January evening in Michigan I carried him to the car in his underwear. Moments later, he said, "I'm cold." I simply kept driving and said, ... Perhaps next time you will make a different choice?" A natural instinct would be to cover him up and protect him from the cold. He was not injured in any way. By sticking to the principle, however, he learned two very important lessons: 1) mom is not kidding around, and 2) it's smart to wear your clothes and a coat. Since that evening, we have not struggled to get dressed. Try it!
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on August 28, 2003
Jim Fay believes that we must teach our children HOW to think, not just WHAT to think. I am a very "over-protective mom" and reading his book has encouraged me to stop making so many choices for my children. I am now better able to allow my child to fail and take ownership of the consequence that follows his actions without feeling so much guilt myself. Kids can definitely learn from their mistakes without losing their self-esteem. Although I do not agree nor use every strategy in this book (like "The German Shepard Technique"), I feel the Love and Logic philosophy has contributed positive change in the way we communicate with our children as well as to the degree of compliance we get from them. We like this book because there are many specific suggestions in the real life annecdotes demonstrating the exact words to try. We also recommend another book with quick-read suggestions for parents of 2, 3, 4, and 5-year-olds called 'The Pocket Parent.' This book is not written in paragraphs, but rather hundreds of short bullets of practical information. The philosophies of both authors are very similar--offering many sanity saving alternatives to yelling, bribing, threatening, critizing, and nagging that we often resort to at our wits' end.. Both books are helpful, humorous and worth keeping handy for when you need some quick advice or just some empathy on one of those really bad days when you think you are about to lose your mind!
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on January 21, 2000
A year after our introduction to Love and Logic, my husband and I are firm believers. But I didn't start out that way. It seemed too easy, and at times, too harsh. I was reluctant to try what seemed to be pat answers to vexing parental challenges. But, after putting the principles into practice for a very short time, a little bit at a time, we saw an amazing improvement in our 6 year old son's behavior and self-esteem. Letting him experience the consequences of his actions while offering much love and empathy was a much better teacher than our lectures, tirades and punishments ever were. I would also suggest that parents of toddlers listen to the Cline/Fay tape: Toddlers, which applies the Love and Logic principles to that age group, and Parenting Teens with Love and Logic.
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on January 7, 2003
This book does a superb job of explaining the corrective discipline technique "logical consequences." Logical consequences basically makes the punishment fit the crime, or more aptly--here, to let the child suffer the effects of the error of his ways. However, if you use this as theprimary way of relating to your child, you are setting yourself up for sorrow. Besides, leaving a pre-teen downtown for five hours because he was more than three minutes late when you came to pick him up, as the authors recommend, borders on abuse, if not at least asking for someone to kidnap them... A child dealt with so matter-of-factly in virtually all situations will quickly come to the conclusion that you don't give a darn about him or his feelings, which can be delicate. I think the tactics in this book have their place in loving, effective parenting, but--be careful not to add too much salt to the cake batter, per se--things won't come out right. Besides, Christ knew (and He'd be the one to ask!) that the only way to command obedience is through unconditional love. If a child truly feels loved by his parents, he would be loathe to do anything to offend them, because he loves them so deeply. For an expansion of this concept, I highly recommend "How to Really Love Your Child," an old book but a gem, nevertheless. As for "Parenting with Love and Logic," read it, but take it with a grain--or two or three--of salt.
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on March 11, 2005
This book is a MUST READ for any parent. After years of being the 'drill instructor' to no avail, this book has given me the tools and strategies to try a different approach - one that works!!!!

To the person that gave this book only 1 star????? Of course...EVERYTHING must be tempered with common sense...did you want the authors to teach you common sense, too? If so, look elsewhere.

This book comes highly recommended.
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on May 2, 2003
Logic without love!! As a family counselor, I found the underlying principles sound and logical. However, after reading the book and workbook, I too was appalled at some of the examples used, such as advocating sending a small child to school without a coat or lunch. I also failed to see the humor in Basic German Shepherd Training, if that is what it was intended to be. The writing style is patronizing and the authors obviously live in a different world than I do. I can only hope that my clients, or anyone else for that matter, would not follow the advice of the book to ignore a situation where you have observed your child strike another child until they run away crying, or to respond to your child's failing grades only with a demeaning snappy comeback "How sad for you. Not to worry. We will still love you if you do this grade again next year."! I found this and "The Famous Last Words" and "One Liners" not only degrading, but lacking in acceptance of parental responsibility. I am in total agreement with the principle of using natural and logical consequences to teach responsibility, but believe it would be dreadful to respond to the example given of a child's comment "You don't love me anymore!" or "You just don't care about me." with the suggested retorts: "Nice try." or "It must be a bummer having a parent who doesn't care." Children do indeed learn from their parent's model, so don't be surprised if sarcastic remarks result in a smart aleck child! PLEASE do not take this book literally. "Pick Up Your Socks" by Crary or the "SOS For Parents" series are practical guides to teaching 'love and logic' without the borderline abuse, humiliation, and sarcasm. And if you send your eight year old to school for a week without a coat or lunch, (who also has failing grades and hits other children without any intervention by you--a scenario supported by the authors) do not be surprised to see Human Services at your door!
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