My Take on Love & Logic

My readers often ask me about my thoughts about Love & Logic. My husband and I took a Love & Logic class when William was little, and I have to say that although I’m a big proponent of logical consequences, in general, I’m not a huge fan. There were a few tips and tricks that I learned from the class, but I feel that method is somewhat lacking, particularly when it comes to giving our kids a moral foundation.

A big thing that the Ezzos teach us that books like Love & Logic don’t is to teach the moral reason behind the behaviors we expect. We don’t need to explain everything. In fact, when it comes to daily, practical matters, I feel like we shouldn’t give an explanation. Kids don’t need a reason to obey, and they certainly don’t need fodder to negotiate. But when it comes to moral matters, we should teach and instruct at length. We don’t want to raise children who only act appropriately because of external consequences. We want them to internalize moral behavior.

So when it comes to sharing, we teach the value of others. Ultimately, we expect that they will think of others on their own. When it comes to lying, we teach the importance of truth and how consistent lying can create a “boy who cried wolf” situation. And when it comes to sibling rivalry, we teach our children to love and empathize. The Ezzos teach us that modeling these behaviors is also extremely important.

There is certainly some crossover between Love & Logic and the Ezzos’ teachings since the Ezzos do recommend logical and natural consequences. But Love & Logic take these consequences a step too far, in my opinion. Some of the consequences recommended in the class are too extreme. I’m not going to follow any parenting method that tells me to kick my kids out of the car because they’re fighting, even if a friend was standing by to pick them up or follow them as they walk (as was recommended).

Even less extreme consequences like letting a child forget his lunch bother me. I agree that perhaps the only way to change the behavior of a child who consistently forgets his lunch is to let him go hungry. And maybe I’ll come across this when my kids are older, but I cannot imagine knowingly letting my kids go hungry at school. First of all, William has hypoglycemia, so he would be a blood sugar nightmare. Besides kids need nourishment to learn.

As for the theory behind Love & Logic, I teach my kids to obey my word because I am their mom, not because there’s a threat of a consequence hanging over their heads. Sometimes there is no logical consequence for a given situation, and sometimes we don’t have time to deal with consequences. Children should obey and respect their parents simply because they are children.

When consequences are our kids’ sole motivation, how will they act when we’re not around? If there’s no one there to issue a consequence, will they have the moral integrity to act appropriately? Sure, natural consequences (like being scratched by a cat) will still happen, but natural consequences are few and far between.

This is a bit of a loaded question, but how do you feel about Love & Logic? Feel free to contradict me! Have you gleaned any good tips or tricks from the method?