The First Rule Of Love And Logic: Put Yourself First

cosleeping black

The latest Love and Logic “Love and Logic” newsletter has been on my mind since I read it last week. Dr. Fay reminded us of the first rule of Love and Logic which is that parents need to put themselves first. My brain does not compute! As an attachment parent, it represents somewhat of a radical shift especially since my husband and I were those attachment parents. You know the ones with slings stashed everywhere, Sears books in every room, and an ability to move at the speed of whimper. Now that Biker Boy is five, I left to wonder if this style of parenting is still necessary.

But I love attachment parenting!
We sometimes think of attachment parenting as just baby wearing and co-sleeping because those are two tenets that get the most media attention. However, attachment parenting is more than that and the reason I am a big proponent of this style is because a highly responsive parent is good for a baby’s brain. The research shows that when parents allow their baby to cry excessively, the cortisol released can have a profound negative effect on developing child’s brain.

Nonetheless, is there is a point at which parents must put aside the attachment parenting mindset? It is an awesome parenting technique but perhaps it should have an end point after toddler-hood. For my little one, it would definitely be about three years-old because by then it was obvious that attachment parenting had done its job. Biker Boy only needed me to recharge and reassure as he went hurtling out into the world just as the Attachment Parenting book had promised. I know my work is far from over but the way I parent needs to be changed or at the very least, adjusted to fit a securely attached, very independent child.

Love and Logic to the rescue
Although Dr. Sears mentioned “balance” and taking care of the marriage as part of his seven “Bs”, I feel that the Love and Logic admonishment to put myself first really brings the meeting to order. For example, it challenges three “shoulds” that attachment parents have as a running script in their heads:

    Good parents should do everything for their kids.

    Good parents should sacrifice all of their own needs so that their children are never uncomfortable.

    Good parents should never be happy if their kids aren’t.

I wish I could say that these three “shoulds” aren’t a part of the way I parent but I plan to make sure that going into the new year that my parenting style is more of a complementary blend of Love and Logic and attachment parenting. So no more shoulds! Also, I plan to start reading up on how to attachment parent older children and any information I find will have to work with Love and Logic. I must say though that the reason Love and Logic appealed to me is because at its core it continues the empathetic relationship we started with attachment parenting so I am confident that I can find a happy medium.

Please read the Love and Logic newsletter below. Hopefully you’ll find it as thought provoking as I did.

    What’s the first rule of Love and Logic?

    Take good care of yourself by setting limits without anger, lectures, threats or repeated warnings.

    Many parents feel guilty about putting themselves first. Why? Because they have a little voice in their head that is always telling them what good parents “should” do, for example:

    Good parents should do everything for their kids.

    Good parents should sacrifice all of their own needs so that their children are never uncomfortable.

    Good parents should never be happy if their kids aren’t.

    Don’t fall into the trap of raising your kids according to these “shoulds.” Doing so creates kids who aren’t prepared for the real world. Doing so also creates kids who are a terror to be around!

    When we put our children first all of the time, we are typically too drained to show them how much we love them.

    Never feel guilty about taking good care of yourself. Feel guilty if you don’t.

5 thoughts on “The First Rule Of Love And Logic: Put Yourself First

  1. Thanks for another great post. School teachers face this same problem. In our attempt to prevent the mistakes of the past, a current trend in public education is to “put the students first”. Teachers are asked to be everything to students: instructors, friends, entertainers, stand-in parents, etc. When the focus becomes so focused on student “happiness” (for lack of a more precise term), teachers and administrators can inadvertently create those “children that are terrors to be around”, and who don’t learn much. I don’t think its overgeneralizing to say that there is a need for educators to take a leadership role in their relationships with their students.

    • The “putting the students first” approach you have described doesn’t seem sustainable because at some point those teachers are going to be burned out. There seems to be a lack of boundaries and clear consequences for behaviors which, as you, is what L&L teaches. I hope the administration reconsiders its policy.

  2. Great Article. Perhaps and ideally a fine place to strive for. My reality however has not found the balance yet. I’ve convinced myself that when my “velcro child” exclaims, “Mama I need you,” she really does. Admittedly there’s some agreeable manipulation in the scene but for now Mama capitulates. Perhaps in due time I’ll engage in better time and self management. This can’t last forever, right?

  3. Pingback: #RHOA: Be a Better Friend to Mommys | Brown Mommys

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