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Love and Logic alive in Hilmar
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As every parent knows, there is no instruction booklet for parenting. The Hilmar Unified School District, however, has been helping local residents be better parents through its Love and Logic program.

Love and Logic is a philosophy founded by Jim Fay and Foster W. Cline, who had over 75 years of working with and raising children. The philosophy has been taught for over a decade in Hilmar by Bruce Reisdorph, a licensed marriage, family and child counselor for HUSD.

Love and Logic is built upon two foundations: Love, which allows children to grow through their mistakes; and logic, which allows children to live with the consequences of their choices.

The program is taught in seven weekly classes held at Elim Elementary in Hilmar on Tuesday evenings.

In week one parents are taught basic lessons in parenting — one of the most important is that failure and mistakes are not bad, but if handled correctly can be valuable learning opportunities and that mistakes made early in life typically have much smaller “price tags” than those made later on.

The second week introduces parents to the C.O.O.L. formula. C — control that is shared (sharing control through choices within limits); O — ownership of a problem; based on the belief that children be allowed to own and solve problems they create; O — opportunity to think and make decisions. Parents can use empathy to place children in thinking mode instead of fighting mode. L- letting empathy and consequences do the teaching as opposed to punishment.

“With love and logic we don’t need to be drill sergeants, which is an unspoken message that you are telling a child that they are not smart enough. Also, when the brain is told it’s under attack it reverts back to a fight or flight mode,” explained Reisdorph.

The program is offered once each semester, and, according to Residorph, the district is seeing the benefits of a little Love and Logic, which is also taught to teachers during professional development opportunities.

“Certainly, we have an improved atmosphere at the elementary and middle school. With teachers and parents using the same type of discipline styles we are certainly seeing an improved atmosphere at the elementary and middle school. There is no atmosphere of control, expectations are very high for the future,” said Reisdorph.

For parents the program is helping to improve relationships with children. Jessica Barden, a mother of three children under the age of four, said lessons in offering choices for children have helped her home to run smoother.

“Also, I’ve learned how to talk to the kids, listen to them and how not to react with anger. I’ve really noticed how much better things are,” she said.

For more information on Love and Logic contact Hilmar Middle School at 632-8847.

To contact Jonathan McCorkell, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.