How many of you ladies like to read parenting books? How many times have you requested your husband read a book only to have it sit on his nightstand indefinitely? Well let me tell you, How To Be The Parent You Always Wanted To Be is one that may actually get read.
Why? It’s short and it has pictures.
Aside from those obvious benefits, it is a simple and quick reminder of how we can effectively communicate with our children and garner their cooperation without force and while making them feel accepted and loved at the same time.
Here are my thoughts.
1. More asking questions, less talking.
While my current phase of life revolves around toddlers and younger, this book focuses on parents of children who can talk back and discuss issues freely. I felt it helped prepare me a little for what’s to come. However, even though my oldest is only 2.5 I have put some of the question asking into practice. They encourage asking questions, listening to the answers, and not trying to point out whether they are right or not. Feeling heard often is therapeutic enough to resolve the issue.
I don’t know if anyone saw that hilarious movie Parental Guidance with Bette Midler and Billy Crystal, but this book totally reminded me of it. Instead of yelling or pitching a fit the parents are encouraged to say “words” when they want their children to verbalize what’s happening. Of course it’s a good idea, but after having seen the movie I just laughed through that section.
3. Anger is normal.
Mothers are no strangers to guilt. When the kids do something bad and we feel angry, even then we feel guilty. This book has a whole chapter focusing on ways to properly handle our anger without damaging our children in the process. My favorite was using the term “run for your life” when you feel the need to really release the emotion in words. Another mother asked her children to teach her how to throw a tantrum so she could just let out all her frustration and move on. The whole family had a tantrum and carried on with their day.
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