What does it mean that Spanish Schoolhouse uses Love and Logic® as the preferred discipline strategy throughout our school? You may have heard of this methodology, but not know the theories behind it. You may have read some Love and Logic books, or even attended a class. With Love and Logic, the more you know, the more effective the strategy can be. We love the positive environment that this method helps create, and in this blog post we’d like to share how it’s used at Spanish Schoolhouse!
The main goal of Love and Logic is to teach respect, self-respect, personal responsibility, and cooperation. We use “love” in building positive relationships with the children, and allow the “logic” of natural consequences to do the teaching.
Two Basic Rules of Love and Logic:
- Adults set firm limits in LOVING ways (without any anger, lecture, threats, or repetition) and provide choices within these limits.
- When a child misbehaves and causes problems, the adult hands these problems back in loving ways for the child to solve.
In our classrooms, limits are explained with “Classroom Rules,” which are posted on the wall and are discussed often at Circle Time. These rules include things like being a good listener, respecting others, and using an inside voice. We know it’s natural for every child to test limits, so our teachers expect children to push the boundaries from time to time!
Teachers use ENFORCEABLE STATEMENTS to help remind students of the rules, like: “You may participate as long as there is no name calling,” “Snack is ready for children who have washed their hands,” or “I read to children who are sitting still.” These are very helpful in group situations, but can be used just as effectively at home.
Love and Logic Tools
- With Love and Logic we SHARE CONTROL by offering choices within limits. If a student is not following the rules, teachers offer two choices. Both choices offered should always be acceptable to the adult. Example: “You may wash your hands now, or you may wait. Snack time will be over in 10 minutes. I hope you will join us.” or “Would you like to tell your friend you are sorry now, or would you rather draw him a picture to ask for forgiveness?” If a child doesn’t choose within 10 seconds, the adult chooses for them.
- If a child continues to misbehave or throws a tantrum, we offer a good dose of EMPATHY before applying consequences. SSH teachers choose an empathetic phrase and use it regularly. It can be something like, “How sad!,” “Thanks for telling me,” or “I know.” (¡Qué triste!, Gracias por decirme, Ya sé). Empathy makes it harder for kids to blame adults for the consequences of their poor decisions. Getting angry, making threats, or lecturing makes it really easy for kids to blame adults, so we avoid those. Teachers are trained to use the “brain dead” technique – don’t argue or discuss, just repeat your statement. “I know, I know.”
- After delivering empathy, the adult invites SHARED THINKING. This means waiting for the child to calm down, and then asking the child to think about how we can solve this problem. (Example: “How sad! I noticed you were pushing your friend and not respecting him. What do you think we can do about that?”) This process helps children learn to solve their problems instead of relying on adults to do it for them.
Love and Logic works best when there is trust between the adult and the child. SSH teachers allow students to share control throughout the day by frequently offering choices (“Would you like the red or the blue paper?,” “Would you like me to help you with your jacket, or would you like to do it yourself?,” etc.) This helps build positive adult-child relationships, and helps develop the child’s sense of self-respect and personal responsibility.
Using Love and Logic takes practice. Home- school consistency can be a huge benefit. If you’d like to learn more, many resources are available at www.loveandlogic.com. If you have any concerns about your child’s behavior, your director will happily work with you on strategies. We hope this little overview has given you an idea of how we use Love and Logic at Spanish Schoolhouse. It’s a powerful tool for creating harmony in the classroom and at home!