ONALASKA, Wisconsin (WXOW) – When it comes to parenting, Ryan Johnson would tell you there are no homeruns. But there is a lot of scoring when he uses "Love and Logic."
"Just hearing ‘Love and Logic' was not my style of teaching," Johnson said. "I'm so much of the person that just wants to play with the kids all the time. So then having actually (developed) a backbone on how to raise my children as they age and need discipline, I knew it was vital."
He and his wife, Diana, realized yelling at their kids as a form of discipline wasn't effective. So they turned to Chris Peterson, an independent facilitator of the program, "Parenting the Love and Logic Way."
"The umbrella that Love and Logic resides under is this idea that language shapes reality and the words that we choose are not enforceable at times," Peterson said. "So we talk about using enforceable statements. It can be as simple as 'Hey Ethan, put your coat on.' Well, unless you're willing to tackle that kid and do it for him, he has the choice to say, 'no.'"
Peterson has been trained in the course for three years. Now he teaches parents, even grandparents, alternative ways of communicating with children. That includes giving them choices.
He said the method empowers children, rather than enabling them.
"If my youngest doesn't want to get in the car it's, 'are you going to walk to the car or am I going to carry you to the car?' They get two choices," said Diana Johnson. "They can either walk or they can be carried. But either way they're getting in the car. And it works. It so works."
It's been six months since the Johnsons took the class and they said the entire family has a newfound respect for each other.
"They never saw me as the father-figure for the discipline side of things, Ryan Johnson said. "So having that now, just those tools in my pocket…is a big step."
Peterson will be hosting three free courses called "Introduction to: Parenting the Love and Logic Way."
They will be Oct. 22, Nov. 4 and Nov. 14 at Onalaska Methodist Church at 212 4th Ave. N.
Peterson can be contacted for questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.