Math = Love: Learning Love and Logic

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Learning Love and Logic

Today, I’m going to tell you about the time I accidentally attended a parenting seminar.  If you’re wondering why this is a big deal, well…  I’m 24 with no husband, no kids, and no plans to have kids until I'm married.  AKA No reason whatsoever to go to a 2 hour parenting seminar.  

So, why was I there?  It’s totally Shelli’s fault.  She tweeted me a few weeks ago to ask what I was doing on September 18th.  TU was hosting a free Love and Logic Parent-Teacher Institute with Dr. Charles Fay.  I’ve never read the Love and Logic book, but I could definitely use some help with my classroom management skills.  Shelli ended up not being able to go with me due to Back to School Night, so I ended up going by myself.

Dr. Charles Fay was an absolutely hilarious and riveting speaker.  I don't think we ever quite quit laughing the entire evening.  He started the evening by trying to gauge what his audience was trying to get out of the evening.  Raise your hand if you are the parent of an infant.  Raise your hand if you are the parent of a toddler.  Raise your hand if you are the parent of an elementary school child.  Raise your hand if you are the parent of a middle school child.  Raise your hand if your child is in high school.  Raise your hand if your children have grown up and moved out of the house.  Raise your hand if your children have grown up, moved out of the house, and moved back in the house.  Raise your hand if you’re here tonight because your spouse acts like a child.  Raise your hand if you are both raising your children and helping to take care of your own parents. 

At this point, I’m starting to feel a tad bit awkward.  Everybody else has been raising their hands and looking around at each with understanding glances.  Not me.  I’m trying to avoid eye contact with those around me out of fear that they will ask me what I think I’m doing here.  I obviously don’t belong.  EVENTUALLY, the speaker gets around to asking if anyone is there because they are an educator.  A handful of hands go up, but you can tell that we’re definitely in the minority. 

To be honest, 97.24% of the presentation was focused on parenting and not teaching.  But, it was definitely not a wasted evening.  I walked away with lots of things to think about and apply to my classroom. 

Major Takeaways:

I let a select few students pull me into arguments.  This reduces my effectiveness.  I don’t have to explain myself and my actions to my students.  Also, I need to let my kids struggle more.  I need to let them experience the consequences of their lack of effort.  I deserve to feel respected in my classroom.  And, my students should be working harder than me. 

Here’s my notes.  I bolded the statements that I feel I can definitely apply to my classroom.  Now, I’m intrigued and want to know more about what the Love and Logic Program actually looks like in the classroom.  Now, I just need to find some time to read again!  :)  

When dealing with children, always ask yourself, “Who is the adult in the room?”

3 Pieces of Advice
  1. Stop fighting with your children.
  2. Take the energy you have been spending fighting with your children and pour it into building their character.  Teach them patience.  Teach them respect.  Teach them how to wait.  Teach them to say “Please” and “Thank you.” 
  3. Love your children.

Ask yourself – what is at the heart of how our kids do in life?  The grades on their transcript or their character? 

Q: What can I do to help my child in school?
A: Give them chores.  No reminders.  No pay.  Just chores.

When your children ask for things:
“I will be more than happy to do XYZ as long as I feel respected and your chores are done.”

When we focus on character instead of grades, we have guaranteed success.

Allow yourself to love your kids just as they are right now.

Allow kids to experience consequences of their lack of effort.

Want to confuse a misbehaving kid? Smile at them!

If a kid can argue with you, will they ever come to respect you?
If a kid can argue with you, are you still the authority figure?

When talking to a misbehaving kid, be brain dead.  Don’t think about the words coming out of the kids’ mouth.

It’s good for kids to hear the word NO.

The more words I use with an angry, arguing kid, the less effective I become. 

You do not have a solemn obligation to make sense to your kid.

ONE THING TO FOCUS ON: Don’t get pulled into arguments.

The most powerful consequences come like a bolt of lightning wrapped in empathy. 

Resisting wind makes trees grow stronger roots.

We’ve got to love our kids enough to let them struggle.
Struggle produces growth.

It’s okay if your kids think you’re a wimp!  They’ll find out the truth later. 

  • As soon as your kids can walk, they should be doing chores alongside you. 
  • Do chores together with kids.  Do chores together with teenagers.
  • Kids should see us doing things with great enthusiasm.
  • Your motto with chores should be: “I help as long as you’re working harder than me.
  • Chores are an opportunity for children to experience being helpful and being a part of something. 
  • If you nag and remind kids to do their chores, who is really doing the chore? You are!
  • The more reminders we give our kids, the more reminders our kids will come to need.
Mistakes are the road to wisdom.

If you want an exceptional child/family, don’t have a television in your home.

Empathy THEN consequences.

When you don’t know what to do, it’s okay to delay the consequence. 


  1. We had him come by for PD one year. He was awesome and he does do a presentation more geared towards educators!

  2. they have a whole teaching curriculum! I stumbled onto L&L as a parent, but love them for both parenting and teaching! I am a much better parent, and teacher because of them! LOVE L&L!!

  3. This is so true and so resonant for me. I find that I am always asking this question ("Who is the adult in the room here?") but I find that many other adults circulating through my previous school worlds have NOT asked that question. Not asking the question leads to a belief that coercion is the only valuable tactic, and that is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! So thank you for reminding me of all this.

    - Elizabeth (@cheesemonkeysf)