Book Review: Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood

As a coach and parenting class instructor, I am constantly reading about parenting tricks and techniques. I decided it was time to read at least a few in the Love and Logic series, and “Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood” came in first from the library.

So, after reading it for the past few days, I have finished the book and I’m ready to give a short review. One of the biggest points I found appealing was Chapter 7’s “Give Them the Gift of Thinking.”

I discuss this very same idea in Session 4 of the PEP series. I refer to it as problem ownership. It is a crucial concept to building self-worth and capability in our young.  And it is one that I see over and over again NOT being promoted by parents.

It’s not particularly surprising. After all, we get them when they are squishy little blobs, incapable of the most simple of functions, is it any wonder we are taken by surprise the first time we realize they can think for themselves? I remember watching my tiny infant wiggle and scrunch her body around for what seemed like hours in an attempt to secure the toy that had caught her interest.

Although I felt that the chapter petered out with what I considered a weird concept of “brain drain” – which seemed to be nothing more than an excuse to have kids do chores – I was impressed with the rest of it.

The five steps for helping kids own and solve their problems was an excellent set of tips and I have reproduced them here for you…

  • Lock in the empathy
  • Ask your child, “What are you going to do?”
  • When your child says, “I don’t know,” ask, “Would you like to hear some ideas?”
  • Offer no more than three possible solutions. After each one ask, “How would that work for you?”
  • Allow your child to choose – and learn from the choice and your empathy.

Okay, now for what I didn’t like…

It might just be a personal thing but the “Uh-Oh song” creeped me out. I’m not about to start singing “uh-oh” to my daughter when she’s losing her cool. I’m just not.

Overall, the tone of the book felt very sweet. Too sweet. I’m a very down-to-earth person, so syrupy sweet just does not work for me. The stories also seemed forced or too perfect of a setup to be believable.

I think that using stories as a way to relate an example or a point you wish to make is excellent. I did it to a limited extent when I was writing my first book, “Get Organized, Stay Organized” and Rudolf Dreikurs used the technique in his amazing book “Children: The Challenge” and it worked for me in that regard.

These stories however, again, creeped me out. Are there really parents who can talk and act like that?!

It takes all types to make the world go round. I will be reading the main Love and Logic book soon and reporting back on it. Meanwhile, I’ve started on “ScreamFree Parenting” by Hal Edward Runkel. I’m just a few pages in and I am really enjoying it.

Stay tuned for my next book review!

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