CCA is offering a six-week course called Love and Logic to help parents raise independent children equipped to make healthy choices.
Every day, parents make choices. Even the smallest decisions can accumulate into patterns that promote children’s development — or hold them back.
To help parents raise independent children equipped to make healthy choices, Commonwealth Charter Academy proudly offers Love and Logic Institute. The six-week course, offered once a year in five areas statewide, helps make parenting fun and rewarding instead of stressful and chaotic.
“The premise is raising your kids to be responsible adults by using empathy, love and genuine concern for your kids’ problems but not getting sucked into having to solve them all the time,” said Sara Bingaman, federal programs manager at CCA.
CCA’s program follows the curriculum created by Love and Logic, founded in 1977 by a child psychiatrist and an educator. Bingaman, along with Amy Boyd, CCA director of family services and federal programs, and Natasha Shane, mentoring division family services manager, is trained in teaching Love and Logic sessions.
Sessions will focus on ending arguing and back talk, staying calm when provoked, setting enforceable limits, helping kids learn from mistakes and empowering children instead of enabling them.
Parents learn such techniques as:
• Offering choices: If tonight is bath night, does the child want a bath or a shower? Bubbles or no bubbles? At bedtime, do we brush our teeth before or after story time? Just be sure that both outcomes offered are acceptable.
• Using enforceable statements: If the car is leaving at 7 a.m., that action is under the parent’s control. If the kids aren’t ready, they must be prepared to leave the house in their pajamas or find another ride. “The way you word what you say to your children teaches them to figure out their own responsibility,” Bingaman said.
• Phrases to use when children start to argue or complain: The lines divert responsibility back to the children. If they don’t want to do math, the parent can say, “You don’t like it, but you still have to do it, so let’s do it.”
• Using the fewest words: “The more you speak, the more you get drawn into an argument and the more likely that you as a parent are going to get angry,” Bingaman said.
Love and Logic techniques promote academic achievement. Children learn to be responsible for their homework “without Mom and Dad sitting right beside them making sure everything is done,” Bingaman said. “There is a time and place for that, but teaching kids to be responsible helps them see the importance of schoolwork and lessons.”
Sessions are appropriate for parents of children of any age or temperament.
“This isn’t a cookie-cutter program,” Bingaman said. “Every child is different. We give enough ideas and options and different things you can try for different kinds of children.
For CCA parents, the sessions can shed light on the times when they must distinguish between being a parent and being a learning coach.
“It’s hard to meld your life as a parent and a learning coach together,” Bingaman said. “These classes are helpful for that. It’s helpful for teaching the parents that what you say is what you mean and not being wishy-washy.”
Parents who have participated in the Love and Logic sessions have found them valuable, Bingaman said. Here’s what some parents have said about the sessions:
“Don’t think it’s too late to take this course if your children are older. It’s not too late! There are so many practical tips that you can use every week.”
“This was a great way to get to know other CCA families and support each other and laugh together.”
“The kids looked forward to coming out each week and always had a great time with the other kids and CCA staff.”
The strategies “help bring around a more peaceful home and family.”
“We incorporated allowing our 10-year-old to take ownership of his fourth-grade schoolwork. He’s becoming aware that it’s his effort that is paying dividends for his grades.”
“Do it for your kids,” said Bingaman, a CCA parent who wishes she had known Love and Logic techniques years ago. “It may be hard to find the time to drive here and attend the classes, but if your kids become more responsible and better adults, then every minute is worth it.”
CCA’s Love and Logic Institute sessions are held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and run for six weeks, April 17 to May 25. Enrollment is open to all families — enrolled in CCA or not. Classes are once a week at the following locations:
• Mondays: Comfort Suites Bethlehem, 120 W. Third St., Bethlehem, PA 18015.
• Tuesdays: CCA Family Service Center-Philadelphia, Belmont Building, 211 N. 13th St., 2nd Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107.
• Wednesdays: Upper Merion Community Center, 431 W. Valley Forge Road, King of Prussia, PA 19406.
• Thursdays: CCA Crums Mill Office, Harrisburg, 4050 Crums Mill Road, Suite 303, Harrisburg, PA 17112.
• Thursdays: CCA Seven Fields Family Service Center, 2100 Garden Drive, Suite 201, Seven Fields, PA 16046.
For more information or to register, please contact Gary Hare at 717-260-1842 or [email protected]