I thought I would summarize each chapter of Parenting with Love and Logic. So here we go.
Chapter 1: Parenting: Joy or Nightmare?
The authors start out with different examples of parenting situations where the child is obviously in control and manipulates to get exactly what they want. In the first scene, a little girls refuses to get in the car to go home until her parents coax and finally bribe her. The second example is a little boy at the airport whose mom keeps yelling at him to stay by her side so he doesn't get lost. He refuses to comply and continues to walk up to strangers. The mom is obviously flustered, and the author asks the little boy "what is your mom going to do if you don't get over there?" To which the boy responds "She's not going to to nothing." And then his eyes twinkle and his grin becomes wider (pp. 18)
The last scene is your classic grocery store scene with two brothers running around, knocking things down, putting treats in the cart when mom isn't looking. "Frazzled, harried, and broken, mom finally surrenders and buys off her precious flesh and blood with candy bars--a cease-fire that guarantees enough peace to finish her rounds."
These stories are examples of "Parenting: the Nightmare."
Before becoming parents, we look forward to it with optimism, picturing the times of tenderness and love, shared joys and disappointments, hugs and encouragement, words of comfort, and soul-filled conversations. (pp.19). "The sublime joys of parenting [in the previous stories] were obliterated by a more immediate concern: survival." Scenes like these happen to the best of us. (pp.19)
Parenting doesn't have to be a drudgery. There is hope. Love and Logic is all about raising responsible kids, and its a win-win philosophy. "Parents win because they love in a healthy way and establish control over their kids without resorting to anger and threats that encourage rebellious teenage behavior. Kids win because they learn responsibility and the logic of life by solving their own problems. Thus, they acquire tools for coping with the real world." (pp. 20)
The goal is to create a relationship built on love and trust. This strategy puts the fun back into parenting.
I have seen parents at stores struggling to control their whiny kids. I don't know that "control" is exactly what I'm aiming for, but I don't think the author means authoritarian parenting where :what I says goes, end of story." It is based on establishing a respectful relationship and teaching choices. My friend told me "treat your kids good and they'll be good kids."