As a high school teacher, I LOVED Love & Logic. Even with my college students, Love & Logic often saved the day. Now, with a 4-year-old pushing every boundary imaginable, Love & Logic is once again coming to my rescue. If you’re struggling with discipline, check out my FAVORITE Love & Logic tips for preschoolers!
Not sure what this whole Love & Logic thing is about? Oh, friend… You NEED this bag of tricks in your Parenting ToolKit! Be sure to snag this book ASAP: Parenting with Love & Logic. It will change your life!! Less stress, more joy, easier discipline situations with your kiddos… No parent should be without this tool!
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Love & Logic Tips for Preschoolers
1) Give clear direction, then give choices as to HOW to accomplish it.
Over the years, I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter how clear my directions are with a strong-willed child. Often, it just sets us up even more clearly for a fight!
Instead, I make sure to give clear direction, but to follow it quickly with choice on HOW we can accomplish what we need to do. Here are a few examples from the past few days around here:
- “It’s time to go check out now. Do you want to hop to the checkout or hold on to the cart?”
- “It’s time for quiet time. Do you want to watch a movie or read a book?”
- “We have burgers for dinner. Do you want yours cut up or whole?”
Honestly, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. My daughter is VERY much into pushing boundaries right now ,and she wants to be in control and make her own decisions. (I have no idea where she got that… 😳) However, if I do NOT give her options, I can GUARANTEE I’m in for a struggle. At least with choices comes the possibility of an easy run!
2) Affirm her excitement.
My daughter always wants to show us the cool toys at the store. As moms, it can get REALLY old, REALLY quick to have our kids constantly begging for more and more STUFF. (It’s one thing if they’re begging for a banana and not yet another toy!)
Instead of getting frustrated and telling her “No, we can’t afford that” every time, we now say, “That’s so cool!” And we move on! SUPER simple!
It’s unrealistic to expect our kids to NOT ooo and ahh over all the cool things they see in a store. We, as adults, can’t even refrain most of the time!
Think about it: Don’t YOU love browsing all the cool stuff in Target? Don’t you HATE it when your husband throws a wet blanket on your excitement by quoting the budget at you? You KNOW you don’t NEED it, but it’s okay to window shop and appreciate all the cool products out there.
The same goes for your kids. They need to learn it’s fun and perfectly acceptable to LOOK. We can all appreciate the looking without having to BUY something every time.
If you need help getting started on this one…
If you’re new to this attitude about shopping with kids, you may have to lay a little ground work before the “that’s so cool!” trick will work effectively.
When we first noticed our girl getting stuck on toys, toys, toys, we started asking if she wanted us to A) take a picture of it to send to the grandparents for birthday/Christmas ideas, or B) add it to her wish list. Whatever she choses was fine with me, it acknowledged her excitement, and gave her a bit of control.
It’s a simple trick that helped her put the toy back and move on to the next aisle with very little struggle.
Hooray for saving the Target run!
3) Enforce boundaries during tantrums.
Mercy maudie, those tantrums… It seems that as my daughter gets bigger, so do her meltdowns! After a long day of remaining calm and doing my best to just hold it together, I’m generally ready for my husband to come home and rescue me.
When my brain is exhausted, I am so thankful to have my Love & Logic phrases at the ready. Here are a few of my favorites I memorized early on and can pull out with very little thought required:
- “I know you wanted to wear your Ariel princess dress and you’re very sad that it’s in the wash right now. But we do NOT throw things inside. Do you need me to hold you while you cry? Or do you need to be by yourself for a while to calm down?”
- “It’s time to lay down and sleep. I only stay with little girls who lie down. If you want to sit up for a while, I’ll have to leave until you’re ready to lie down.”
- “Screaming hurts my ears. If you need to scream, I need to go to another room until you’re done.”
If YOU need extra help to remain calm…
Let’s face it: keeping our cool in the middle of a tantrum is not easy. Even less so if it’s the fourth, fifth, or twenty-sixth tantrum of the day.
However, there’s good news here: The more you employ these Love & Logic tricks, the easier it will be to quickly stop tantrums or avoid them all together!
When you’re struggling to hold it together, try one of the following:
- “I feel very angry right now. I’m going to go to the kitchen and calm down. When I’m calm, I’ll come back and we can talk more.” (Just make sure the kiddos are in a safe place while you take a few minutes to yourself!)
- “Since you chose to not decide, I will decide for you. You will stay in your room. When you are calm, you may come find me in the living room.”
- “It sounds like we are both getting frustrated. Do we need to watch a movie and cuddle on the couch for a while?” (You’d be surprised how often a little cuddle time solves all our issues!)
Sound too good to be true?
I know it’s hard to believe something so simple could have such profound results, but it’s true! These Love & Logic tips for preschoolers actually work with just about any age. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I used it with my high school AND college students!
So, seriously, if you haven’t checked out this book yet, PLEASE do so! Check it out from your local library — or snag a copy of your own. (I like being able to write and take notes right in the margins of my reference books, so having my own copy of these types of books is a MUST!)
Read More about Parenting by Scattered Woman:
- Why You Won’t See Pics of My Child Online
- Parenting Like a Naturopath
- Can’t Leave Home without Bedlam Ensuing?
- 10 Life Lessons to Teach Your Kids Before College
- How to Use The Personalities to Improve Your Relationships with Your Kids
- Why We Need to Filter the Parenting Experts
- Encouragement for the Boundary Phase