Love & Logic Parenting Corner: Effective Parenting

Dewey Howard, a “Love & Logic” expert and recovering “drill sergeant dad”, and his wife Angela, a recovering “helicopter mom”, have successfully raised 3 kids using the “Love and Logic” parenting method.  He now shares his advice in his very popular classes and on our blog-azine.

What kind of parent are you?

Some parents want the best for their children and do so by directing their day. These parents have “been there” and want to keep their children from making the same mistakes they have. They want to help their children develop good habits and tell them how to do it.

Some parents want the best for their children and do so by giving their children freedom. These parents have decided to “stay out of the way” and let their children find their own paths. They want their children to discover their own limits and boundaries.

The most effective parents want the best for their children and do so by becoming guides for their children’s growing up years. These parents set reasonable and enforceable limits? so their children will be surrounded with safety and security. They give plenty of opportunities for their kids to make decisions and experience the rewards or consequences of those decisions – while holding their kids’ hands through both.

Effective Parenting is not about raising kids who are good when things go good. It is about building healthy people who can cope effectively when bad things happen.

Do you know parents who, when things go wrong, put forth a lot of time, energy and effort to rescue or direct their children from their poor choices? They love their children and want what is best for them. That is why they rescue or demand certain behaviors … to protect them from the unpleasant consequences that come from poor choices.

Rescuing children may have short-term benefit, but the long-term effects are harmful.  The long-term effects of directing a child’s every step are also harmful. Rescuing can help the child feel better, but it lowers his ability to cope with unpleasant circumstances. In the same way, directing can lower his ability to deal with difficult situations because he never learns the skill of solving his own problems.

Do you want to be an effective parent and help your child most over the long-term?  Share empathy with them over their consequences, guide them in problem solving to make the situation right, and help them learn to cope and to overcome when the bad times come.

What kind of parent do you want to be?



  1. 1
    Janet W. says:

    Right now we’ve been working with my grandson on how to cope when things don’t go his way. He needs to learn that he doesn’t always get what he wants. I think more parents need to teach this lesson.

  2. 2
    Blair Gwin says:

    I love this article! Be a GUIDE! Such a very important thing for parents to know and understand!

  3. 3
    Jennifer Young says:

    I try really hard to guide my children while letting them make a lot of their own decisions and mistakes in order to learn! I am very likely to hold back and watch my child struggle with something for a bit and see how she does and not just go in and show her exactly how it’s done. Even at 2.5 and 4.5 years old, my girls seem a lot more independent than other kids even older than them! I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that we encourage independence, but at the same time my girls know that they can turn to us for anything if they need to as well!

  4. 4

    I definitely want to work on becoming an effective parent!

  5. 5

    I have learned so much about being a more effective parent from the Love and Logic materials.

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