An Important Love and Logic Goal: Self-Control

An Important Love and Logic Goal: Self-Control

The primary goal of the Love and Logic approach is NOT to make kids behave. Rather, our primary goal is to help them learn how to make themselves behave. If they can achieve this goal, they won’t be dependent upon rules, regulations, laws, or incarceration to control their behavior.

The ability to manage their emotions in healthy ways will serve our kids quite well in life. Kids will be happier and healthier if they are able to master the following concepts:

  • Delayed gratification
  • Empathy and social responsiveness
  • The ability to calm oneself when experiencing strong emotions
  • Cause-and-effect thinking

Modeling these concepts in your own life is the best way to instill self-control in your kids’ lives. You can begin experimenting with one of the most powerful teaching tools offered by the Love and Logic approach: Allow your children (or your students) to overhear you talking about how you apply self-control. Examples include:

  • I saw this new TV that I really wanted, but I said to myself, “No. My old one is just fine. I’ll just be all stressed out about how to pay for it.”
  • The other day one of my friends said something that really made me mad. I kept having to remind myself, “Stay calm. If I say something nasty, I’ll feel horrible later.”
  • I always have an easier time being nice to difficult people when I remember to put myself in their shoes.

Remember: Children are typically more likely to learn when they overhear these things rather than being lectured. Have fun with this experiment and get more great ideas for developing self-control in the wonderful Four Steps to Responsibility.


Thanks for reading!

Dr. Charles Fay

Four Steps to Responsibility

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