Parenting with Love and Logic™

Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

There are many effective parenting styles. Training children to develop responsibility while putting the fun back into parenting are the goals of a parenting method known as Love and Logic™ parenting. The Love and Logic™ system has been described and advanced by Jim Fay, a former school principal and renowned educational consultant, Charles Fay, PhD, a child psychologist, and child psychiatrist Foster Cline, MD.

The idea behind the Love and Logic™ theory is this: Parents should provide an atmosphere of love, acceptance, and empathy while allowing the natural consequences of a child's behavior and actions to do the teaching. This should happen in the early years, when the consequences of the inevitable less-than-perfect choices are not too severe or damaging. By the time the child reaches adulthood, he or she is equipped with the decision-making skills needed for adult life. The method also teaches insight into parenting styles and how our own parenting styles can, inadvertently, sometimes rob a child of the ability to grow up making good decisions for him- or herself. It's applicable to all children from toddlers to teens.

The Love and Logic™ method advocates offering choices that are acceptable to the parent, so it isn't about letting 3-year-olds choose whether they want to play in the street or the fenced yard and letting them suffer the dire consequences of a poor decision. Instead, the parent is encouraged to offer children a range of age-appropriate and acceptable choices in order to experience the teaching value of their decisions.