Tag: Jim Fay

“I’m Bored”

How often do you hear this? And how often are your kids happy with the suggestions you make? Typical parents say, “I hear it often, and the kids are never excited with my suggestions.”

I know a man who says that he once made the mistake of telling his parents that he was bored. For the rest of his childhood he lived in fear that these words might slip out of his mouth again.

His dad responded, “Great! I’ve got some jobs for you to do. I’m sure they’ll keep you from being bored.”

Many parents suffer from the myth that it is their job to entertain their children. Actually, the opposite is the truth. Give this problem back to the child with, “How sad. I’m glad I don’t let myself get bored. I’m sure you can work that out.”

Kids who believe that they are responsible for their own happiness and entertainment live happier lives and are better learners.


Jim Fay
©2010 Jim Fay, Charles Fay, Ph.d.& Love and Logic® Institute

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Head & Heart Parents is owned by Kerry Stutzman, MSW, a Marriage and Family Therapist and certified Love and Logic Parenting Instructor. In addition to private therapy and parent consulting services, Kerry offers parenting classes and workshops in Denver and the surrounding areas for toddlers, elementary, and teenage children.

As author of the easy-to-read “Save Your Sanity” series, Kerry helps parents save their sanity and sense of humor while raising young children with love and laughter.

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When Punishment Leads To: “I Don’t Care”

Lisa was just about at the end of her patience with little Freddie. He was at that age where he was testing her constantly, and now he was at it again.

He had been told many times not to tease the cat. In fact, she had threatened all sorts of dire consequences if he did. But alas, here he was teasing the cat in spite of her warnings and threats.

It was at this point that she finally realized that threats and warnings are a waste of time. She would have to take action with the Love and Logic “Uh, Oh Song.”

She whisked Freddie off to his room and told him that she would see him when he was sweet. In the true tradition of the strong-willed child, Freddie didn’t cry or whine, he shouted through the door, “I don’t care. I like it when I have to stay in my room! So there!”

Stymied for a moment, Lisa remembered a line from her Love and Logic book and shouted through the door, “That’s great, Sweetie. Now we’re both happy.”

As she proudly walked away, she thought to herself. “This is great. No anger, no lecture, no threats, and I think I’m going to use that line many times before he’s grown.”


Jim Fay
©2010 Jim Fay, Charles Fay, Ph.d.& Love and Logic® Institute

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Head & Heart Parents is owned by Kerry Stutzman, MSW, a Marriage and Family Therapist and certified Love and Logic Parenting Instructor. In addition to private therapy and parent consulting services, Kerry offers parenting classes and workshops in Denver and the surrounding areas for toddlers, elementary, and teenage children.

As author of the easy-to-read “Save Your Sanity” series, Kerry helps parents save their sanity and sense of humor while raising young children with love and laughter.

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Bed Time Trouble

When kids go full blast until bedtime they have trouble.

Parents who complain that their children have a sleep problem often discover the problem is that they are expecting their kids to make an abrupt switch from a high activity level to sleep. It is better for a child to slow down and then switch from “bedroom time” to sleep time.

Reduce the level of stimulation as bedroom time approaches. Reduce the noise level in the home. Replace excitement with soothing music and remember that it is difficult for anyone to make an abrupt change from a high activity level to settling down and going to sleep.

Wise parents don’t negotiate with kids about bedroom time. They know it is morally, legally, and psychologically sound to expect children to go to their rooms at a certain time every night. They know this does not damage a child’s psyche or self-concept. It is healthy for families to have a scheduled “rest time” for parents and “bedroom time” for children.

Best wishes,


Jim Fay
©2010 Jim Fay, Charles Fay, Ph.d.& Love and Logic® Institute

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Head & Heart Parents is owned by Kerry Stutzman, MSW, a Marriage and Family Therapist and certified Love and Logic Parenting Instructor. In addition to private therapy and parent consulting services, Kerry offers parenting classes and workshops in Denver and the surrounding areas for toddlers, elementary, and teenage children.

As author of the easy-to-read “Save Your Sanity” series, Kerry helps parents save their sanity and sense of humor while raising young children with love and laughter.

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The Meanest Mother in the World

My son, Robert, and his girlfriend, Jenna, were here last night. Jenna asked me what I was reading, so I did a quick explanation of the updated version of Parenting with Love and Logic.

After hearing this explanation, my son said, “So that’s who is to blame!” I laughed and asked innocently what he meant. “Oh, you know. When I was growing up, it was more work to get in trouble than what it was worth.”

I have heard the same complaints from my daughter. She used to tell me I was the meanest mother in the world. I didn’t yell. I didn’t scold. I didn’t say I told you so. I let them know how sorry I was that they were in trouble or had made a poor choice.

Or worse, I was told, I would make them wait until I was ready to listen. But I think what they were both telling me was that they believed, at the time, that forcing them to think and solve their own problems was cruel and unusual punishment.

But now that they are adults, they are both very good problem–solvers and take ownership of their decisions.


Jim Fay
©2009 Jim Fay, Charles Fay, Ph.d.& Love and Logic® Institute

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Head & Heart Parents is owned by Kerry Stutzman, MSW, a Marriage and Family Therapist and certified Love and Logic Parenting Instructor. In addition to private therapy and parent consulting services, Kerry offers parenting classes and workshops in Denver and the surrounding areas for toddlers, elementary, and teenage children.

As author of the easy-to-read “Save Your Sanity” series, Kerry helps parents save their sanity and sense of humor while raising young children with love and laughter.

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“Loan Me the Money!”

Kendra and Mom were walking through the mall when Kendra spied the most “spectacular” pair of dark glasses.

“Oh, Mom, they are perfect. They’re just what I need to complete my collection of eyeware. I’ve got to have them, but I don’t have the money. Will you loan me some? Pleeese! I’ll pay you back.”

Mom knew that a loan to Kendra was never a loan. In the past, asking for re-payment drew fits and sulking. With this in mind, she knew that he had only three choices:


•  Loan her the money and fight with her for re–payment.
•  Give her the money and avoid all the hassle.
•  Make her sign a promissory note and hope for better results this time.

But wait! Why are these his only choices? Contrary to what the media and advertising says about having it now and paying later, there is another choice. Kendra might learn more about money management and decision–making if she earns the money and buys later.

A wise parent will say, “They are beautiful. I can’t wait to see you wearing them. You can come back for them when you have the money.”

“But, Mom. I don’t know why you’re so uptight about money. It’s no big deal to loan it to me!”

“You’re right, Kendra. A big deal is learning how to earn and manage your own money.”


Jim Fay
©2009 Jim Fay, Charles Fay, Ph.d.& Love and Logic® Institute

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Head & Heart Parents is owned by Kerry Stutzman, MSW, a Marriage and Family Therapist and certified Love and Logic Parenting Instructor. In addition to private therapy and parent consulting services, Kerry offers parenting classes and workshops in Denver and the surrounding areas for toddlers, elementary, and teenage children.

As author of the easy-to-read “Save Your Sanity” series, Kerry helps parents save their sanity and sense of humor while raising young children with love and laughter.

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Thinking for Himself

After reading Parenting with Love and Logic™, Tim’s mom instituted a new bedtime policy. She told Tim that picking a sleep time was his decision. He was expected to be in his room at 8:00 each evening, but he could decide when to go to sleep. In addition to this, everyone in the family was to have “feet on the floor” at 6:00 a.m. No exceptions.

Tim slept through his alarm the next morning, only to discover that the family was leaving the house without him. A rather unpleasant babysitter took over and charged him for her services.

Needless to say, he was ready the next morning. This continued through the last four weeks of school. All during summer vacation, much to his liking, he got to sleep longer.

Now that school was soon to open, Tim came to his mom with an idea. “Mom, I’m going to run some experiments. I’m going to set my alarm for 6:00 a.m. Will you get me out of bed no matter how much I complain?”

“Now why would you want me to do that, Tim?”

“I’m running some experiments. Each night I’m going to go to bed a little later until I figure out how late I can go to sleep and still wake up in time. Since it’s my decision, I better learn how to make it a good one.”


Jim Fay
©2009 Jim Fay, Charles Fay, Ph.d.& Love and Logic® Institute

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Head & Heart Parents is owned by Kerry Stutzman, MSW, a Marriage and Family Therapist and certified Love and Logic Parenting Instructor. In addition to private therapy and parent consulting services, Kerry offers parenting classes and workshops in Denver and the surrounding areas for toddlers, elementary, and teenage children.

As author of the easy-to-read “Save Your Sanity” series, Kerry helps parents save their sanity and sense of humor while raising young children with love and laughter.

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Kids, Money, Loans

April has been declared National Financial Literacy Month. What a great time to teach your kids about loans! Many parents wonder if it is a good idea to loan money to your children.

The authors of Love and Logic® say yes. If your kids will need to know about loans as adults, they need some practice with small loans.

Jan proudly told her friend that she had just repossessed a $189 camera from her son.

“Oh, that’s terrible. How could you ever do that?” responded her friend.

“My son was really lucky,” said Jan. “We make loans to our son just the same way the bank does it. Now, at age 12, he understands all about collateral and the responsibility of paying back his loans. Compare that to my neighbor’s 21-year-old kid. His parents always let him off the hook for his loans and he had to learn when the price was higher. The finance company just repossessed his $17,000 car. I think my child got a real bargain. Don’t you?”

Keep your eyes out for my new book, co-written by Kristan Leatherman, M.S., available this summer called MILLIONAIRE BABIES OR BANKRUPT BRATS?. In the meantime, check out the special this week on Parenting with Love and Logic.

Thanks for reading.

Jim Fay
©2009 Jim Fay, Charles Fay, Ph.d.& Love and Logic® Institute

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Head & Heart Parents is owned by Kerry Stutzman, MSW, a Marriage and Family Therapist and certified Love and Logic Parenting Instructor. In addition to private therapy and parent consulting services, Kerry offers parenting classes and workshops in Denver and the surrounding areas for toddlers, elementary, and teenage children.

As author of the easy-to-read “Save Your Sanity” series, Kerry helps parents save their sanity and sense of humor while raising young children with love and laughter.

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Why Won’t You Let Me?

It might be comforting to know that you don’t have to be able to provide a good reason for saying no to your kids.

Our kids are not our supervisors. If something doesn’t feel right to you, that’s a good enough reason to say no. The best parents have the courage to say no when their intuition warns them about a situation even if they cannot put the reason into words.

Fifteen-year-old Will used to be successful at getting his way. Every time his dad said no, he demanded an explanation for Dad’s refusal. Dad would give in whenever he could not put his reason into words. All this came to a screeching halt the day Dad learned to say, “If you don’t figure this out by the time you have kids your age, come and see me.”

Will would try to argue, but Dad only repeated, “So, what did I say?” Arguing no longer paid off for Will.


Jim Fay
©2009 Jim Fay, Charles Fay, Ph.d.& Love and Logic® Institute

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Head & Heart Parents is owned by Kerry Stutzman, MSW, a Marriage and Family Therapist and certified Love and Logic Parenting Instructor. In addition to private therapy and parent consulting services, Kerry offers parenting classes and workshops in Denver and the surrounding areas for toddlers, elementary, and teenage children.

As author of the easy-to-read “Save Your Sanity” series, Kerry helps parents save their sanity and sense of humor while raising young children with love and laughter.

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Limit Screen Time and Encourage the Act of “Doing” with Your Child

What does your child ask when bored? Is it, “I’m bored. What can I do?” or is it, “I’m bored. What can I watch?”

If it is the latter, you are raising a future watcher, not a future doer. And if this is the case, my heart goes out to your child. Becoming a watcher is not a recipe for future happiness and productivity.

Brain research shows that the brains of doers and the brains of watchers are different as a result of the way that person spends his/her time.

Do your kids a big favor and restrict electronic entertainment to 30 minutes per day. Turn your child’s bedroom into a bedroom instead of a multi-media entertainment center.

Take the TV out of the child’s room, and put the computer in a public area of the house. This is not illegal. It is the act of a responsible parent. If you have any doubts, read the works of researchers such as Dr. Stanley Greenspan.

When your child complains about this, answer with, “I know it’s hard, but I’m your parent. It’s my job.”


Jim Fay
©2009 Jim Fay, Charles Fay, Ph.d.& Love and Logic® Institute

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Head & Heart Parents is owned by Kerry Stutzman, MSW, a Marriage and Family Therapist and certified Love and Logic Parenting Instructor. In addition to private therapy and parent consulting services, Kerry offers parenting classes and workshops in Denver and the surrounding areas for toddlers, elementary, and teenage children.

As author of the easy-to-read “Save Your Sanity” series, Kerry helps parents save their sanity and sense of humor while raising young children with love and laughter.

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The Teenage Trust Card

Teenagers often pull out the trust card defense. It sounds like, “Don’t you trust me?” or “You don’t trust me.” Believe me. When they say this they have something to hide.

So the best parental response is, “You’re right. That’s my job. You can trust that I will do everything I can to help you see when you are putting yourself in harm’s way.”

Wise parents know that teens often fail to see the dangers in their actions due to lack of experience. They thrive on a system of insider information to trick parents. Peers, advertising, and predators easily mislead kids this age. So it is our job to know what they are doing and be available for advice or placing limits.

Here are some words you can use sometime.

“I know that you are a good kid. Where things can go wrong for you is when you make decisions based on your smarts without the wisdom that comes from experience. My job is to share experience that only comes from seeing things go wrong. I can only do that when I know what you are facing. So don’t take it personally if I seem to be nosey or if I don’t trust everything you tell me. I love you too much to neglect my job.”


Jim Fay
©2009 Jim Fay, Charles Fay, Ph.d.& Love and Logic® Institute

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Head & Heart Parents is owned by Kerry Stutzman, MSW, a Marriage and Family Therapist and certified Love and Logic Parenting Instructor. In addition to private therapy and parent consulting services, Kerry offers parenting classes and workshops in Denver and the surrounding areas for toddlers, elementary, and teenage children.

As author of the easy-to-read “Save Your Sanity” series, Kerry helps parents save their sanity and sense of humor while raising young children with love and laughter.

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