from the West Wing

Most of you should know by now that I am a big fan of Love and Logic. Please forgive me if I use this venue to periodically share with you some snippets from the writings of some of the leaders from Love and Logic. I thought this following was a good reminder to me and I hope it will provide you will some things to think about.


The other day I caught myself giving a lengthy speech about the importance of kids doing their chores and respecting their parents. Unfortunately, the speech was not to a group of people at a Love and Logic event. It was to my seven-year-old son in response to his eye-rolling and huffing about having to clean up after the dog.   I used to be a parenting expert. That is…until I had kids.  

Parenting is tough because we love our children. Since highly effective teachers also love their students, they struggle with the same temptations. We want the best for them. We worry that they’ll become irresponsible. We sometimes feel panicked because they don’t seem to be turning out the way we hoped. As educators we mourn when we aren’t reaching a child in the way we hoped.


Lots of intense feelings can muddy our minds and leave us forgetting that we can’t talk tykes…or teens…into being respectful, responsible and self-controlled. In fact, the more extensive our vocabularies become, the less effective we become.


The more words we use when things are going poorly, the less effective we become.

  Many excellent and loving parents and educators are faltering. Not because they lack skills. No. It’s because they talk too much while they’re using their good skills.   Run an experiment: see what happens if you simply use fewer words when things are going poorly. The odds are high that you’ll be glad you did.

Excerp taken from Love and Logic Insiders Club by Charles Fay


I know that I am often tempted to fall into the “too many words” trap. Perhaps with this gentle reminder and the opportunity to experiment with it, we might have some amazing results. But before I get a lot of feedback about how we need to be talking to our kids, please note that the suggestion is given when things are going poorly. It is at that time when the words need to be few. When things are going great, that is the time for more lengthy discussions of the importance of behaving responsibly and what that really looks like.

Thanks for reading,

Conquering with few words,

Mrs. West