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The City Journals

Love + Logic = Laughs at the Viridian

Jun 23, 2017 10:15AM ● By Jana Klopsch

Heather Johnson, CFLE Family Life Educator, taught the free parenting class on behalf of Utah State University. (Natalie Conforto/City Journals)

By Natalie Conforto   |  [email protected]

“Why don’t these kids come with any instructions?” parents often wonder, throwing up their hands in frustration. Parents all agree that raising kids is hard work. Luckily for West Jordan parents, the Viridian Event Center hosts free classes regularly that will help them avoid power struggles and temper tantrums while preserving mutual trust. And the class feels like a party.

Giggles and guffaws could be heard outside the second-floor Parkview Room of the Viridian Event Center on a May evening as parents exchanged stories about the mischief their kids have pulled. Video anecdotes from Love & Logic founders added more hilarity to the class, which sounded more like a comedy club than a library classroom. Free refreshments added to the festive atmosphere.

“This is like a date night,” said Scott Amann, who was there with his wife, Cortney for this final class of the four-week session. The couple had attended the previous three classes as well, in an effort to solidify their team parenting strategies for their four young children. “We had a lot of quarrels with our parenting styles,” said Cortney.

The Amanns agreed that the most helpful tip they learned from the class was to have empathy for their children while allowing the children to own the problems they create.

“Now we try to put the problem more on the child and help them decide and learn to fix it, instead of trying to take it on ourselves,” Scott said. He and Cortney noted that the strategies were working to make their home a happier place.

“It’s a lot less stressful,” Cortney said. 

Allyn Kau found out about the class from a library flyer, and decided to attend to help her 5-year-old daughter. “She’s strong-willed, and she would have temper tantrums,” Kau said. Kau has also put the new empathy skill to the test, and has found positive results.   

Kau said, “I think number one is empathy; it just makes a difference in the tone. Also just allowing her to make her decisions, and natural consequences coming from that. We have more fun together.”

Alan Pate said he liked the class “because I was able to attempt to learn some things about how to handle teenaged kids in a loving way, and let them realize that there’s consequences for what they do.”

Pate’s wife, Susan, found an effective strategy in “giving [her kids] two different choices, like ‘would you rather do this or this first?’ It wasn’t, ‘Do you want to?’ The class was really good—I would suggest it for anybody.”  

Even though they’re free, the classes are legit. Heather Johnson, who teaches the classes on behalf of Utah State University, knows her stuff. She is a Certified Family Life Educator and holds degrees in both child development and family life education. Johnson explained that the classes are funded through Utah State University’s Healthy Relationships Utah Initiative “with the purpose to bring research based information to the public free of charge.”

Along with Parenting: The Love & Logic Way, Johnson also teaches Couple Links Classes for Committed Couples and How to Avoid Falling for a Jerk or Jerkette at the Viridian.  “I’ve been teaching at the Viridian since 2012, and just about every month we have a class here,” said Johnson.

There are usually 20-25 participants in each class, but everyone must register to attend. Most classes fill up quickly and have waiting lists. Day and night classes are available, and are always free. Class schedules and registration information can be found at