Book Review & Giveaway: Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood

*This giveaway is now closed*

Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood: Practical Parenting from Birth to Six Years

I’ve read lots of parenting books…like around 15 (and my kids are only 3 and 1…almost)! Many of these books are great in theory, but seriously lacking in practical application.

Yes, I know it is important to be consistent and demand respect…but what happens when my kid is screaming in the grocery store???

If you’re looking for a book that has practical tips for dealing with specific issues with toddlers to 6-year olds…look no further! Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood is a wonderful tool for parents of young children! Now, I’m not saying that I agree with everything in this book (which I’ll get to later), but it is definitely worth reading and applying!

Up until now, I had never read a book by Jim or Charles Fay, though I had heard great things about their books, seminars, and the Love and Logic Institute that was co-founded with Foster Cline.
What I Loved

  • Choices:  Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood emphasizes giving children choices and recommends giving “control away when you don’t need it, so you can get it back when you do!” Kids love making choices, so the more we allow them to choose the “little” things, the less control they will seek when we make choices for them on the bigger issues. This has made such a huge difference in the number of tantrums thrown each day in our house. Here are just a few examples that have worked well for us since reading this book.
    • Big Brother (almost 3 yrs) likes to choose his own clothing and throws a fit when he doesn’t get to choose. I now let him choose his clothing the majority of the time so that when I want him to wear something specific (to church or another function) I can say, “You’ve chosen your clothes everyday this week, so now it is Mommy’s turn to choose.” This has worked surprisingly well and we have avoided several battles!
    • Big Brother also likes to choose his sippy cup. I typically would just grab one and then fill it up…until a few months ago when this would serve as our very first tantrum of the morning every day!  The fact that I didn’t start allowing him to choose and avoid the tantrums in the first place obviously points to the lack of my brain fuction in the mornings.
  • Validating your child’s interests.  This book recommends taking special notice of the things your child enjoys and saying things like “I noticed you really love that teddy bear” without saying anything positive or negative (like “that’s great”). Showing that we notice our children’s interests without judging them as good or bad validates their individuality…even at a young age.
  • Discipline without Frustration or Anger. This is something I am constantly working on. I tend to let misbehaviors go on for too long and then I just “snap” and usually end up talking in a tone that no one in my household appreciates (including me). Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood recommends replacing threats and warnings with simple actions. If you tell your child (once) to pick up the toys and they don’t do it…the toys get put away for a few days. When your child starts to whine, treat them with empathy but do not give in. “Kids are better prepared for real life when adults don’t give repeated warnings.”
  • Turn mistakes into learning opportunities. Let’s face it…we all fail. Our children are going to fail, at home and in the real world. Now is the time to teach them to learn from those failures…while the stakes are small. “Every opportunity to own and solve a problem enhances a child’s self-respect.”

Things I Misunderstood

I was going to title this section “Things I Disagreed With” but then I decided they weren’t necessarily things I disagreed with…they were simply areas which I felt the book was not quite clear on. First, I felt like much of the book was showing parents how to  avoid conflict…which is great–I love avoiding conflict! But sometimes I think children need conflict to show them that we are the authority in our homes. We, the parents, are in charge. They are loved and valued, but they need to learn to obey us (Ephesians 6:1). I felt like the book didn’t necessarily give clear examples on when to exercise our authority and when to seemingly avoid confict (by letting our children make choices).

A few of the strategies were a little too fluffy for my personality (imagine that) and I can’t imagine myself using the “uh-oh” song or the “energy drain” without cracking up laughing. There was also a strategy for when your child whines that encourages them by saying “that’s the best you can do???” It’s supposed to work the opposite way and end the whining, but I think telling our children to do something with the expectation that they do the opposite is never a good habit to start.

Bottom Line

This is the MOST practical parenting book for young children that I have ever read! Both Prince Charming and I agree that it is a wonderful resource for all parents. I am very glad that we both read it because it has given us actual strategies (rather than theories) that we have applied immediately. It has greatly reduced the number of tantrums thrown in our house!

Would you like the chance to win a copy of Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood? Just leave a comment below with your e-mail address (don’t worry- I will delete the e-mail addresses after the giveaway is over)! I simply ask that you follow this blog, subscribe via e-mail, “like” on Facebook, OR follow on Twitter. For an extra entry, post about this giveaway (with a link) as your Facebook or Twitter status.

You will have until Friday at 10:00am (CST) to enter.

107 Comments

  1. You should go to a seminar if you ever get a chance. They are AWESOME!!!! I also have several audios from them. I love the audios because I cover 4 counties for work with child care programs and I can "work" while I drive.

  2. My (past) co-worker and his wife, who have six kids and his wife does day care, like this book the best for discipline. I asked him when I was expecting and that was his reply. It sounds like it has helped your family! [email protected]

    *Already follow the blog and like you on Facebook!

  3. I love your blog I found out about it from money saving mom which i also love. We are looking for a good parenting book to deal with some behavior issues in our four year old. We have read several books and like you i agree with parts of them looking for another practical resource. my e-mail address is [email protected]

  4. This book sounds like it would be super helpful for me – I feel like I don't know good ways to discipline my 2 year old daugther. I follow your blog and really appreciate your posts. mo1179 at hotmail.com

  5. I keep hearing how great this book is, and I think I need a copy! :)
    Dmajorlj @ gmail . com
    I subscribe via email and Like you on facebook and I tell all my friends about your blog!

  6. I follow your blog and FB. Love the Love and Logic and need a refresher as we are dealing with a strong willed 3 1/2 year old. Lent out my book and never got it back so I'd love another copy! My email is [email protected]. Thanks for the great blog!

  7. I was wondering how do you get such awesome brands to sponser you for giveaways??
    I am totally new to blogging (not reading them but actually writing them) and am just fasinated by the amount of blogs with such great giveaways!
    Is it based on your followers? Or your content? Did you seek them or did they seek you?
    If you have a moment I'd love to hear your advice!
    Thanks!
    Tish
    ps: You can follow me at http://all-about-the-family.blogspot.com/

  8. Ive borrowed this book quite a few times from the Library. I would love to actually own this book!

    [email protected]

    I've been following your blog for a bit now. Im loving all your ideas. Thanks for all you do!

  9. I think this book looks great! I would love to win a copy. I just started looking at your blog and can't wait to start using some of the ideas!

    I like you on FB too.

    clanderson616 @ msn.com

  10. Would love to have a copy of this book. I have heard both sides of the coin when it comes to some of the points from the book. I think that you just have to do what feels right when it comes to your kids. Every child is different.

  11. If I won this copy I would give this to my wonderful daughter-in-law you is the mother of my beautiful 11 month old grand daughter. I have forwarded many of your posts to her email and both of us loved the your wisdom and appreciate all your research for our children!

    Thanks, Kathy

  12. Ahh!! This is JUST what I need! My 3 and almost 1 year old boys challenge me CONSTANTLY. I don't mind a challenge, but I don't like turning into Monster Mom! I Hope I win!!! (I follow via email.) [email protected]

  13. I would love to win this book…we are just at the right stage with a 4 and 2 year old. I am currently going through your dinosaur thematic unit. We did the dinosaur measuring today. It was fun! [email protected]

  14. I just heard about this book from a friend at church. I am the chairperson for our small group studies at church, and plan to put this on the list for our spring class choices because it sounds more practical that the other books I've read (having a wild 2 1/2 yr old boy)
    [email protected]

  15. I borrowed this from the library, and I really enjoyed it. I have also read LOTS of parenting books, and I only have one 18 month old! I follow your blog and would love a chance to win. Thanks!

    Amy
    [email protected]

  16. I have twin 2 1/2 year olds, so this would be full of useful information for me. Thanks for the opportunity to win this book. I follow your blog and love your ideas and willingness to be a witness. My e mail is [email protected]

  17. I feel that when you give children choices it empowers them to make a good choice as we only give two choices and we makep both of those choices, so really either way they chose they are still doing what we want.

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