Love, Logic, and Positive Thinking

Dancing Moose embraces the Love and Logic principles for teaching children to make responsible choices.  Love and logic is not a discipline system that creates punishments when children make poor choices; rather, it is a system that helps children recognize that poor choices naturally lead to poor outcomes, and good choices lead to good outcomes.  That is the logic behind the discipline system.  It sounds simplistic, and we all know that behavior is anything but simplistic.  Nevertheless, helping children consistently expect to own their choices is a powerful way to help children become attuned to thinking about how they might make positive choices and enjoy positive outcomes.

This ownership of one’s actions establishes a positive approach to life.  Children begin to think about what kinds of actions will bring about satisfying results, and this thought process provides positive habits of thought that yield lasting benefits.  Young children need to recognize that they have control of many circumstances in their life, and they have the ability to experience positive outcomes when they concentrate on and expect them.  They can even reframe negative thought processes to concentrate on positive expectations, helping them avoid the stress of fearing negative results.

Teachers and other adults in children’s lives can engage children in verbalizing their thoughts as they face decisions or experience the results of poor decisions.  They can help children make the connection between negative thoughts and outcomes and positive thoughts and outcomes.  It is essential that adults patiently allow children to experience the results of their own actions without imposing their own emotional response, which is most likely frustration at the child’s poor choice.  Love and logic instead teaches adults to sympathize with the sad outcome that results from a child’s poor choice.  Through this supportive attitude, children have an opportunity to think about their choice and consider how to make a better choice in the future.

As children are allowed to experience the products of positive and negative choices and given an opportunity to think about those products, they feel the important sense of control over themselves.  This control can help guide them toward positive thinking and positive expectations.  These positive habits of mind create a powerful pathway for children’s productive futures.  It leads to the kind of hope and optimism that every individual deserves as he or she grows into adulthood.

Take Time for Small Things

With the new year unfolding, we at Dancing Moose look forward to exciting adventures—some planned and some that our children will discover as they are given opportunities to think and explore in their rich classroom and playground environments. One of the most valuable attributes of the Montessori classroom includes time for independent discovery. Children utilize independent and small group time to make choices and act on those choices without concern that someone will rush them to complete, critique, and move on. Each day holds the promise for a new adventure that is waiting to be discovered.
As adults, our lives are often filled with so many predetermined events with expected outcomes that we are caught in a whirlwind. It is captivating to see children working in an environment that is not rushed but is filled with intrigue. Watching a child choose a work on a shelf and turn it into his or her own discovery is magical. Work time activities reflect children putting forth concerted effort and exhibiting great pride in their accomplishments. It is really a privilege to observe the promise that children find in small accomplishments that are unrushed. Montessori early childhood classrooms provide an ideal model for the promise that life holds when we take time to step outside the whirlwind, look around, and see what we might learn from the small and simple things we encounter.