Love and Logic Painless Parenting for the Preschool Years

Updated on March 12, 2011
L.H. asks from Livonia, MI
8 answers

I currently have one of the Love and Logic books and my husband and I attended a seminar by them a few months ago and I am trying hard to follow their suggestions but it is hard not to get frustrated with my 3 year old and not listening and talking back! I was wondering if anyone has purchased the dvd painless parenting for the preschool years and if it is worth the price? I don't need guidance on potty training more on talking back and not listening!! Thanks

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answers from Tulsa on

did you know there's a facebook page for Love and Logic. I just started using this parenting method and love it. My son is younger than your daughter and I know that makes a difference. But if you're looking for support with this parenting method you could try going there and asking a few questions. Might help better than here!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

We tried the Love and Logic method with our daughter who is very sassy, and disprespectful and only after my husband and I both kept very consistent with our 3-4 "lines" and consequences did it help. When she was crying and begging us to stop saying "probably so" every time, we knew it was working. It takes a ton of patience and persistence. Our big mistake was easing up on it once her behavior improved. We had to basically start over again. I haven't tired Painless Parenting, but I have read a lot of other books. The bottom line throughout seems to be consistency, especially when dealing with a very strong-willed, stubborn child.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I think at three, it's all about consistency.
Warning, consequence.
You can be strict without spanking, but there's gotta be some sort of consequence that is unpleasant for your child. Then be CONSISTENT. At 3, they are testing their boundaries, so they need to be well defined.

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answers from Williamsport on

I'm just being honest here. I know several families intimately who used that program with their kids. It was far from painless. Their kids were not nice toddlers, and grew to be not nice kids, and not nice teens. For spirited kids, it's wishful thinking that you can avoid firm discipline and have them develop all the right thinking for things on their own through myriad creative reactions to things on your part through the toddler years. These parents were still managing escalating negative behaviors at 4, 5, 6, 7 that our kids nipped around 2.

Some call it lazy to "take the easy way out" and be strict. We call it enabling bad behavior to spiral out of control and wasting tons of time on it if you aren't. Your child should not be talking back, and they should be listening at 3 if you are diligent, loving and firm. It's doesn't take classes and endless repetition.
By trying to do the right thing and be the always nice parent, you may pay the price unless you have a naturally docile child born without the need for discipline (statistically super rare).

Ironically, we use most of the advice in that program anyway, life is always learning and logical consequences, natural lessons in daily life, and we are happy and positively reinforcing, pointing out the right actions, teaching, modeling, and complimenting most of the time. But if you eliminate basic discipline when the need arises, and replace it with diversions and mild "logical consequences" (debatable usually) that the child doesn't even know are consequences, which aren't consistent for anything else, and are not much different form the "happy norm", each lesson takes WAY longer as the child gambles to see what will happen for each new thing. And the stakes are never high enough to just STOP the behavior. I've had people ask me if I used that program, because I'm always having nice positive communications with the kids and asking questions and giving choices. They look surprised to hear they actually had strict toddler discipline.

Some of the parents I know who say that program is working for them like their choice, because they're never the bad guy, but we would find their children's behavior totally unacceptable in our home. Once I got all three of my kids out (3 under 5) to meet my friend at a museum (we drove 3 hours and got there earlier than we needed to just to meet them before another obligation we had), and when we got there, her son decided to throw a fit. She announced they would have to leave to show him he doesn't get away with it-he was getting worse about it- so she had to "really be serious that he missed out on seeing us and doing something fun-the logical consequence" (like he cared!-he wanted attention and he had no interest in the museum because he had never been there). Who got punished here? The kids and I still had fun on our own, but still. He's 7 and he still throws fits (among many other scary things). My 3 year old son would never do that.

If love and logic works for some people great, keep trying a while longer, but at 3, you're in the crucial zone for setting the standard going forward. You're saying your child is still acting out at 3, and I find this is often consistent with the results of this program. Just an outside observation, it may not be you or your child's fault.

If you are not happy with the results, you should follow your gut, and switch to an approach that achieves your standard. Your frustration will disappear as the behavior improves, and your sons pride will be boosted as well.

It's great your husband is actively involved, he needs to take the lead with his son. We liked this book.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

As a parent of almost-grown kids, let me remind you -- he's only THREE!

Lessen your expectations.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I read love and logic and liked it, but had a hard time being consistent with it as a parent. A friend recommended the book Magic 123 and it has really helped. I think you have to use what suits you best and for me love and logic did not come naturally. Good Luck. I thought my son was an angel until he turned 3!!!
I have used Magic 123 for the last 3 years and it just works for me.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Savannah on

We LOVE the Love and Logic method stuff. We do what works for us, and a lot of it we actually thought that way already, but it was nice to have some tools or advice in carrying it out. I found it helped me more than anyone, because I wanted to lose my temper sometimes but now feel empowered to just take a step back, not get emotional, and go with it. I've never paid for anything though.
Got a couple L&L books from the library and went through them that way. If your library doesn't have them on hand, I'm sure one in the county does and you can have it "delivered" to your local library on hold for you. I went through the preschool L&L class for free, offered by our community parenting center (or the early childhood PTA, I can't remember). It was free, but we really liked it. We thought it was good enough to have a sitter watch the boys while we went, and we did "homework" together.
I didn't know they had a facebook page til someone responded to your post-how cool. I'll be checking that out.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Do you have a ready consequence for talking back? My daughter immediately sends her children to their room or leaves the room herself when one of them talks back. The logic behind it is that she doesn't want to be with a child who is disrespectful. If mom doesn't "hear" the talking back the child will gain nothing from talking back.

It's "go to your room until you can be respectful." or "I can't hear you when you talk that way."

Be sure that you're presenting a good role model for not talking back. I've noticed many adults seem to talk back to each other and especially talk back to their children. We have to model respect in the way we talk.

As far as not listening. Children don't listen. That's just the way it is. Their brain isn't mature enough to screen out other stimuli. Have you tried first being sure that you have her attention by getting down to her level and looking her in the eye. Say what you have to say and ask for her to repeat it. This takes more time but it does ensure better listening.

We do get frustrated less when we have more reasonable expectations. Try accepting that at 3 your son/daughter is learning how to listen and respond. Teach them the appropriate way while expecting that it will take time.

I have read 1-2-3 Magic and agree that it could also be helpful.

1 mom found this helpful
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