Parenting Tools: Love and Logic And Counting To Three


I’ve talked briefly about Love and Logic parenting because I think it’s a great philosophy, and I’ve seen it work. I want to equip parents with as many tools as possible, because as we know, being a mom and dad does not come with a guide. There is a great book that I highly recommend called 1-2-3 Magic by Thomas W Phelan.

The book talks about practical strategies to help give your kids choices and also set appropriate boundaries – without yelling. I think one thing most parents say before they have kids is that they don’t want to be the type of parent who is always screaming at their kids. But, as we all know, once you become a parent and you are faced with the day-to-day stress and the task of teaching your child responsibility, it is so easy to resort to yelling. The thing is, though, that only creates more stress and hinders our children, who don’t respond well to anger.

The idea of Love and Logic parenting is to be very clear with your kids about their choices and the consequences. Make your rules make sense to them. The key here is that you have to follow through. Empty threats are the worse because they teach your children nothing and make you upset and angry. Instead, tell your children what you expect, why you expect it and what will happen if those things aren’t done. Then, simply follow through with a consequence that makes sense.

For example, we were having trouble getting my youngest child to brush her teeth before going to bed. At some point, it needs to become the child’s responsibility. So, one day, I decided to stop the nighttime struggle and presented her with this scenario. I said, “They are your teeth and therefore it is your responsibility to brush them. I’m not going to do it for you. However, as a parent, I have to protect you from getting cavities. That’s part of my job to keep you healthy. So, if you don’t brush your teeth then you won’t be able to eat any of the sugary treats or candy that you like because that is what is most likely to cause cavities.”

This blog talks more about Love and Logic parenting as well as using the “1-2-3 strategy.” The idea with counting is that you are giving your child a formal warning and time to focus on what the consequence will be for a certain behavior. After three, you need to take action and follow through with a consequence.

What other strategies do you use that you’ve seen are effective? I’d love to hear your feedback!

An Introduction To Love And Logic Parenting

In the past 15 years, I have had the pleasure of working with many families. I have had many parents tell me they need the help as they feel like they are about to have

a mental breakdown. As a mother of three girls, I can relate to what these parents were saying as parenting is extremely stressful, and as we all know, it doesn’t come with a parenting guide. I started looking into parenting skills and parenting philosophy 12 years ago when I was pregnant with my oldest child. While I thought I knew a lot as I worked with children since I was 12 in the kibbutz daycare, I discovered that despite my psychology degrees there was a lot more to learn about parenting. I wondered on many occasions why no one taught a parenting class in college??? Even if one didn’t want to have a child, we all have parents, and as such, can at least relate to some of the things involved with raising children.

I developed a passion not just for working with my clients but for working with parents. I wanted to learn as much as I could about parenting so I could better help families. More specifically, I wanted to help parents become more confident and competent by obtaining basic skills that would allow them to gain more control over their children.

Love and Logic (L& L) is an approach to parenting that has been around since 1970. It involves courses worldwide with over 45 books written about the topic. I recognized at a young age there is a big need for parenting and nanny classes, and Love and Logic was a good place for me to start.

While there are several parenting philosophies such as STAR parenting, Triple P Positive Parenting, Nurturing Parenting, Common Sense Parenting and How To Talk So Kids Will Listen, among others, I will focus here primarily on the Love and Logic philosophy as I wanted to share an approach that is easy to understand and that can really start helping parents immediately.

Empathy is the foundation of L& L. Empathetic statements help keep kids in a thinking mode instead of survival mode, and they allow learning to occur rather than giving the child an opportunity to focus upon the anger of the adult. Most importantly, empathy builds relationships.

Dr. Seigel, who I often mention, wrote several important books, and he describes a kid’s brain as an “upstairs and downstairs brain,” to differentiate between the emotion part of the brain versus the rational part of the brain. It is important to keep kids in the rational part, and the L&L approach can help with this.

The objectives of L&L parenting are to:


  1. Identify steps to responsibility


  1. Recognize who has control


  1. Offer appropriate choices


  1. Identify who the problem belongs to


When parents use empathy and don’t react negatively to a child, they help the child stay in the upstairs part of the brain (more rational part) and not the downstairs (emotional).

Parents often send their kids into their downstairs brains, which causes kids to become very reactive – instead of sticking to chronological thinking. Especially in the case of toddlers and preschoolers, they may seem overly emotional about things that are simple, but sometimes as parents, we are unknowingly sending them into that state by the way we respond to conflict or stress in situations. The L&L theory delves more into how we as parents can keep them out of that state. This includes designing appropriate consequences for certain behaviors. This document goes into a lot of detail about Love & Logic parenting, and I’ll be talking about it more on this blog, but I wanted to start the conversation by addressing the need for real thought about the skillset we have as parents and how we can make a more conscious effort to use empathy, letting our reactions nurture and protect our children in a way that lets them grow.

LW Wellness Network’s parent coaching provides practical tools and strategies to assist Parents in overcoming the struggles. Contact us today for a free consultation.