What I’m Watching: Love and Logic Strategies for Kids with Hurtful Pasts

I have a few friends who are rabid fans of Love and Logic.  I like them on Facebook.  I love their emphasis on teaching kids personal responsibility.  I’ve even attended several of their workshops to fulfill the ongoing training requirements for my foster care license.  The truth is, all of their strategies sound great in theory.  The rest of the truth is that parenting children who have experienced early trauma is completely different from parenting children who securely attached to you as infants.  I’ve always been a little worried that some of the no-nonsense Love and Logic techniques might not work so well with kids who are still working hard to resolve issues of grief and loss and attach to their caregivers.

Enter this webinar.  The speaker, Jedd Hafer, earned immediate credibility with me when he mentioned that he adopted two children from foster care.  This guy is not just spouting theories, he’s living the life of parenting toward healing.  Throughout the two hour webinar (yep, it’s a time commitment), he gave tons of information and told enough funny stories to keep me engaged.

The Love and Logic strategies mentioned in the webinar focus on helping kids understand three things:

I am safe.   Surely this is important for any kid, but I cannot stress enough how vitally important felt safety is for kids with hurtful pasts.  If they are afraid, you can praise, punish and logical consequence all day long and all you will get is the fear response of fight, flight or freeze.  Kids can process neither love nor logic in this heightened state, and Jedd gets that.  He gives helpful suggestions for preventing and deescalating this fear response, as well as for dealing with the fallout later—when everyone is calm.

I am heard.  So many kids with hurtful pasts feel like they have no control over their lives, so they grasp and cling to whatever scraps of power they can find.  Enter the food and bathroom issues that are so common among kids who have experienced early trauma.  Again, Jedd suggests ways to help kids understand that they have a voice, that they can have control over appropriate areas of their lives.

I am competent.  Here’s where the Love and Logic techniques that I’ve heard about before come into play.  After kids know that they are safe.  After they know they are heard.  When their bodies are calm, their hearts are open to receive love, and their brains are available to engage in logical thinking.  Of course.  Why didn’t I think of this before?

Informative, practical and decidedly hopeful, I’d recommend this webinar for foster and adoptive parents as well as anyone who loves a kid with a hurtful past.

You can find more information about this webinar here.

Disclaimer: Love and Logic did not reimburse me for this review.  They did provide access to the webinar and related resources.

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