Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Begin the New Year With Love .... and Logic!

Many parents who have strong religious beliefs tend to view the Love and Logic® philosophy as an unloving way to raise children.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Love and Logic® works precisely because there's so much love involved in the philosophy; thus... why "Love" is the first word in the trademarked program.

Why do people feel this way?  Well, honestly, most parents believe they need to control their children or be in control of their children in order for their children to learn to obey.  After all, obedience is paramount in parenting, right?  "Our kids must obey!"

If obedience is paramount, and we're supposed to control our kids, why didn't God just make us obey Him?  He could have; it's not like He couldn't.  Why didn't He?  Perhaps God didn't do that because He wanted us to choose to obey; instead of being compliant robots.

When someone is controlling you, how loved do you feel?  Don't you feel manipulated?  Do you feel respected, loved, valued, or appreciated?  Probably not. 

God gives us a choice.  God gives us many choices.  In fact, all of our lives involve choices we must make every day.  If that's how God "raises His children," why would it be unloving for us to follow His example?

Many exclaim, "But, if I give my 3 year old a choice that will endanger him, how is that loving?!"  Love and Logic® doesn't advocate that, nor do they purport that.  That's why God gave your 3 year old you!  It's your job to protect your child from danger.  But, it's not your job to protect him from the choices he might make that will go badly while the price tag is small.  If we rob our children of the opportunities to learn from their own mistakes, how will that help them prepare for the real world?  It won't.

Do you stop your 3 year old from choosing to step off the curb into traffic?  YES!  Do you stop your 3 year old from spending the $5 he got for his birthday on a toy that will break in 2 hours?  No.  Why?  You don't because it's a great opportunity to learn about money at a very early age.  "Can a 3 year old learn that lesson?" you ask.  Yes, he can!  Will he fully understand the value of a dollar?  No.  Will he think twice before he spends his money on another toy in the future?  Yes.  Why?  They can remember.  My Maltese puppy learned to pee outside in 6 weeks.  I'm sure your 3 year old is smarter than my dog.  Aren't you?

Start 2010 with love and add some logic.  Remember:  From the time your kids are born, you set them up to win by gradually weaning them off of you.  Love your kids enough to allow them to make mistakes when the price tag is small, so they will make less of them when the price tag is huge.  Otherwise you run the risk of raising an adult child who chooses to enroll in "The School of Hard Knocks."  No parent wants that.

-Ruth, Keeping It Real 

1 comment:

Eric said...

Thank you so much for this Ruth. I never looked at it that way.