How to Know When Your Kid is Ready For Love and Logic

Dear Kid Whisperer,
I love your blog and am looking forward to seeing you in person. I am a teacher, but my question
is about my three month old son. When do I start using Love and Logic skills? They don’t seem to be applicable to my child yet.
-Lauren, Troy, Ohio

Lauren,

I am so glad you asked this question! Here’s a simple answer. DO NOT USE LOVE AND LOGIC SKILLS WITH YOUR CHILD YET!!!!!! Love and Logic is designed for children who have wants. Kids generally start to have wants between the ages of eight to fourteen months. A want is something that a child does not need to survive, but wants anyway. Before that, kids only have needs. An infant needs food, water, shelter (including the “shelter” of a dry, clean diaper), and love. Anything else is a want. In short, when an infant has a need, there is only one thing to do: fulfill the need! If the baby is hungry, feed the baby! If the baby is wet, change the diaper. If the baby is scared or lonely, pick up and comfort the baby (the rules of sleep training also apply here)! YOU CANNOT SPOIL AN INFANT!! As you know, the best way to fulfill these needs is a subject of wide debate. There are lots of resources about this and this subject has nothing to do with anything I know much about.

That being said, as soon as a kid does start to have wants, this site is the best place to find out how to set limits with your child in a calm and loving way. One of the hardest things to do as a parent is to figure out when your child is wanting something versus figuring out when your child needs something. Frankly, it isn’t all that important to make sure that you are ready with Love and Logic skills when your kid has his first want at eight months and one day. If you have been studying Love and Logic skills during your kid’s infancy, you will be ahead of the game whenever you are sure that your child is having wants. As a rule of thumb, if your kid is fourteen months old, has no diagnosed developmental delays, and you are still not using Love and Logic skills, you may want to re-examine whether your child is having needs or wants.

Please forward this to other parents who have kids younger than fourteen months. Good luck!

-The Kid Whisperer