Business offers parenting solutions Having tried the method, this Sparta mom is now teaching others
Wendy Miller talking to a group of parents
By Stacy Maldonado SPARTA — Smile on Parenting is a new business launched last spring by Sparta resident Wendy Miller to offer parents solutions and support while they raise their children.Miller said, “Parents can have healthy control in a loving and peaceful environment. Everyone can build relationships and confidence while effectively disciplining their children.”The backbone of Smile on Parenting is the Love and Logic parenting method that Miller has been using for seven years.She has three daughters, ages 19, 17 and 13. When her eldest hit the tween years Miller wanted to nip the power struggles, arguing, and back talk before their relationship got out of control. So she began reading up on Love and Logic.“It’s a parenting philosophy and a handful of techniques broken down into easy-to-learn and use immediately methods,” said Miller. “It really builds responsibility in children. With Love and Logic, you are the good guy, and the poor decision or consequence the child makes is the bad guy.“Miller admits that at first, Love and Logic was challenging. “The ‘love’ in Love and Logic means you have to stand back and allow your children to make mistakes while lovingly hold them accountable. The logic is the insight children gain from what you instilled. It makes them wonder how the next decision they make is going to affect their life.” She claims it’s also easy to fall back into the bad habits you may have learned from your own parents.After implementing just a few of the basic skills Miller saw immediate positive results. Her husband, Bill, who is not a self-help kind of guy, also saw the positive impact Love and Logic was making on their family and followed suite.The skills the Millers have been utilizing are easily adaptable for boys or girls and for all ages starting with infancy through the teen years and beyond.“I believe every child is capable of being respectful, responsible, and fun to be around.” She also believes that every parent can get there with effective parenting tools, and Love and Logic is the solution used by hundreds of thousands since 1977.Upon implementation in the Miller household the transformation did not go unnoticed by others. Friends and family were asking Miller for parenting advice to help with their own struggles.In 2010, Miller was on the Love and Logic Web site and saw an opportunity to train under the founders in Denver, Colorado at the Love and Logic Institute, Inc. Miller seized the opportunity and took the next flight out. Today, Miller is a user of the philosophy, and also an Independent Facilitator to teach this method to others.Currently, she offers Sparta residents and the surrounding community throughout Sussex and Morris counties a workshop called, Parenting the Love and Logic Way.“It’s a fun and entertaining six-session series that teaches all of the Love and Logic skills any parent needs for any situation in their home,” said Miller.She added, “There are humorous videos of the founders presenting the basic skills, along with workbooks that enable you to discuss real-life scenarios.” Miller believes the added benefit of meeting each week is trying out your newly acquired skills and then having conversations with other parents who are in the same boat as you. “Doing this locally enables you to also build a network of support.”Miller said Love and Logic is helpful to teachers as well. “Much of what we learn can be applied in the classroom.”She also believes that parents with children who have chronic medical conditions or special needs can benefit. “This applies to you just as much as to everyone else.”Miller is offering one-time workshops at the Sparta Library on specific subjects such as Taking the Mayhem out of Mornings and Teaching Your Child to Teach Responsibility for Their Learning.She is meeting with local pediatricians and therapists who struggle with finding appropriate parenting solutions for their patients.Miller is also available to speak at Mom’s Clubs, PTO meetings, book clubs, and other child-related gatherings. She has much experience working with neighborhood groups of parents and teachers who use the series as a fun, parents-night out. “It’s all about Solutions, Support, and Smiles for Raising Responsible Kids.”The next workshop begins the week of Oct. 6. For more information go to www.smileonparenting.com.