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Classroom Management

How many of us have tried system after system of discipline in an attempt to attain and/or maintain control of the classroom and facilitate an effective learning environment, only to find ourselves frustrated and ironically powerless? Teaching with Love and Logic presents practical ways in which teachers and administrators can help their students become confident, responsible individuals, internalized in their discipline.

Questions and Answers

What makes Love and Logic different from other approaches?

Love and Logic offers adults alternative ways to communicate with children using techniques that produce immediate results.  These techniques are simple, practical and easy to learn.  Heavy emphasis is placed on respect and dignity for children while allowing adults to grasp simple approaches instead of learning difficult counseling procedures.


What are the Four Basic Principles of Discipline?

A.  The student's self-concept is always a prime consideration.

Teachers discover that self-concept can be enhanced even during situations where students are being disciplined or required to meet firm expectations.  Teachers become aware of the unstated and implied messages that either enhance or reduce self-concept.  Reassurance is given that children who have firm limits and learn to be responsible have higher self-concepts and achieve at a higher academic level than others.

B.  The student is required to do more thinking than the adult.

Students find that they are required to make many decisions and to live with the consequences.  They also find that they are expected to own and solve their own problems with teacher guidance.  Teachers discover that it is easier to maintain firm limits and expectations through the use of thinking words rather than through the use of fighting words.

C.  The child is always left with a feeling that he/she has some control.

Teachers learn that control is gained through investing some control in the other person.  However, this control is offered on the adult's terms.  Teachers also learn to replace demands with alternatives.  Instead of saying, "You're not going out without your coat!", they tend to say "Are you going to wear your coat or carry it?"

D.  An equal balance of consequences and empathy replaces punishment whenever possible.

Life's most important lessons are learned when we experience the natural consequences of our decisions.  However, students who face concequences at the hands of an angry, threatening adult tend to concentrate on the adult's emotions at the expense of thinking about their own inappropriate actions or poor decisions.  The best lessons are learned when the consequences is experienced with an equal balance of understanding and empathy on the part of the adult.


What are "Enforceable Statements"?

Enforceable statements set limits without making threats that cannot be backed up.  "Please be quiet, it's time to begin," would be substituted with "I'll be glad to start as soon as you show me that you are ready."  When developing these statements, be certain that you can actually enforce the expectations.  Other examples are "I listen to students who raise their hand," or "if some one causes a problem, I will do something." 


How can children be guided to solve their own problems?

  • Step one:  Show lots of empathy:  "What a bummer!" or "That's got to be frustrating!"
  • Step two:  Hand the problem back in a caring way; send the "Power Message":  "What are you going to do?"
  • Step three:  Offer possible solutions:  "Would you like to hear how other kids have solved this?"  Provide options that you would be happy with.
  • Step four:  Have the child evaluate the consequences:  "How do you think that will work?"
  • Step five:  Allow the student to solve or not solve the problem:  "Good luck.  Let me know how it works out."

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Michigan Department of Education