"He is the grandfather of parenting classes," said Nancy Anderson, program director of San Juan Parenting Education, of Fay. "He was a principal for a really long time and saw parents trying to over-control their kids and rescue them at the same time. They would lecture the kids for not getting things done, then run their homework over to the school so they didn't see any consequence. He encourages parents to give their kids the freedom to make mistakes and allow them to experience the consequences. To get out of the lecture-yell-rescue cycle."
Fay will give a two-hour talk titled Creating a Stress Free Home next Friday, Jan. 14, at the Palm Theatre, 5:30-7:30 p.m. The lecture is geared toward parents of children of all ages, as well as teachers.
Fay has over thirty years experience in education as a teacher, principal and administrator, and twenty years experience as a speaker and consultant on parenting and positive discipline. He is the co-author of the bestseller Parenting With Love and Logic and co-founder of the Love and Logic Institute in Golden, Colo.
Anderson, a licensed professional counselor with a master's in counseling psychology, became involved with the Love and Logic philosophy last year.
"Library director Robin Magee, came to me with a local parent last January and asked if I would be interested in teaching a parenting class," said Anderson. "They were familiar with the Love and Logic series, and I liked the material." Anderson has been working with families and parents for some time and found teaching the classes to be a natural fit. "The library purchased training programs and materials to enable somebody who knew about parenting to teach the classes." The classes, offered in conjunction with the library last year, were very well attended and Anderson found the principles to be very helpful to her own family. She decided to continue to teach the Love and Logic-based parenting classes both in Telluride and Norwood.
"There are three or four key principles to the Love and Logic philosophy," said Anderson, with one of the most important being a consistency of consequences. "It's almost impossible not to be administering some sort of consequence for a child's misbehavior, and often it comes across as anger. Rather than learning from their actions, they are mad at you and think you're mean. It's important for them to figure out the consequences for their actions."
Another important principle is for parents to support their children in making their own choices and decisions whenever possible. "Often we as parents become over concerned about problems that really are a child's to solve," explained Anderson. "For example, problems with peers or getting homework done. If we start lecturing and have so much concern, they often become under-concerned. We need to come up with strategies so they understand they will experience consequences for their actions."
Showing empathy while enforcing consequences or supporting kids to make their own decisions is a third principle of Love and Logic. "We need to do it in a way that sincerely relates to the consequences they face," said Anderson.
"It's also important for parents to share control with our kids about things we can afford to share control with, and maintain strict control for bigger things," said Anderson.
Anderson stressed that Love and Logic is not just for parents in trouble. "I don't know any parents that don't need help," said Anderson, and some are simply "frustrated with the overall tone in the household. Any parent that would like the tone to be more even keeled can benefit from this talk."
Anderson admits she has learned a lot from teaching the classes as well. "When I am most aware that I need to stop and take stock of the situation is when I've repeated something seven times," said Anderson. "After seven times, it's obvious there is no consequence. I have to look at how I can step back and enforce something rather than lecture. Fay has a lot of creative ideas on enforcing."
Fay's talk will kick off the next series of parenting classes offered by Anderson's San Juan Parenting Education. "We tried to get him last year to speak before our first series, but his first opening wasn't until January 2005," said Anderson. "He is in demand."
The next parenting course starts, Tuesday, Feb. 1, and runs for seven consecutive Tuesdays. The first session is on creating a strong bond of attachment with your child; the second is on positive communication; and the last five follow the Love and Logic philosophy. "I call this our 'General Parenting' series," said Anderson. "It's geared to parents of kids of all ages."
Registration for the series is not required, and parents can take all or part of the series. More information is available from Anderson at 728-1823.