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  • Writer's pictureJoelle Pretorius

An Introduction to Love and Logic for working with Preschool Children



Today, we’re exploring some effective strategies for working with preschool children using the Love and Logic approach. Whether you’re a teacher, a caregiver, or a parent, these principles can significantly enhance your interactions and guidance with young children. Let’s dive in!


#### The Core Ideas Behind Love and Logic


Developed by Jim Fay and Dr. Charles Fay, Love and Logic is a philosophy centered on helping children develop responsibility and self-discipline in a compassionate and respectful way. The approach revolves around three key principles: Empathy, Natural Consequences, and Shared Control.


#### Principle 1: Empathy First


Empathy First means always responding with empathy before anything else. When children feel understood, they are more likely to cooperate and less likely to act out. It’s about connecting with them on a human level.


**Example:**


If a child is having a tantrum because they can't have a toy, instead of getting frustrated, you might say, “I see you’re upset. It’s hard when we can’t have what we want.” This shows empathy and helps them feel heard.


**Empathy Statement Examples:**

- “I see you’re upset.”

- “It’s hard when…”


#### Principle 2: Choices Within Limits


Giving children choices helps them feel empowered and reduces power struggles. It’s all about setting limits while still allowing them some control.


**Example:**


Let’s say you need a child to clean up. Instead of saying, “Clean up now!” you could offer them a choice: “Do you want to clean up the blocks now or after the story?” This way, they feel in control and are more willing to cooperate.


**Offering Choices Examples:**

- “Do you want to put your shoes on now or in five minutes?”

- “Would you like to play inside or outside?”


#### Principle 3: Enforceable Statements


This involves making clear, simple statements that you can and will follow through on. It’s about setting expectations in a way that’s easy for both you and the child to understand.


**Example:**


Instead of saying, “Stop running!” you might say, “I’ll be happy to play with you when you’re walking.” This sets a clear boundary and gives the child a choice to follow the rule.


**Enforceable Statement Examples:**

- “I will listen when you use a quiet voice.”

- “You can join us when you’re sitting calmly.”


#### Principle 4: Natural Consequences


This principle is about letting children experience the natural outcomes of their actions, which helps them learn and grow. It’s a powerful way to teach responsibility without constant nagging or punishment.


**Example:**


If a child leaves their toy outside, you could say, “Oh no, it looks like the toy got wet. We’ll need to dry it off before we can play with it again.” This lets them see the result of their actions without you having to intervene.


**Using Natural Consequences Examples:**

- “If you don’t wear a jacket, you might feel cold.”

- “If you don’t put your toys away, they might get lost.”


#### Combining the Principles


By integrating these principles—Empathy, Choices Within Limits, Enforceable Statements, and Natural Consequences—you can create a loving, respectful, and effective environment for the children in your care. Remember, the goal is to guide them gently, helping them learn from their experiences while feeling supported and understood.


Thank you for exploring Love and Logic with us today! If you’d like to learn more about Love and Logic, check out the additional resources available. And don’t forget to subscribe for more tips and strategies on nurturing and guiding young minds.


**Let’s make a difference, one loving choice at a time.**


You can purchase Love and Logic books by Jim Faye online. Also search YouTube for free video content.

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