Parenting without power struggles
Raising happy, resilient kids while staying cool, calm and connected.
Are you as shocked by that last statement as I am?
Sounds a little unreal doesn't it...staying cool, calm and collected as a parent!
I have a thing about parenting books, which is why I probably will never write one myself, as I am a big believer in trusting your instincts and parenting from the heart. I do however believe they are worth reading when you are starting out as a parent to give you some basic knowledge and techniques on how to discipline, to learn effective strategies and parent with values.
I was intrigued by the title of this parenting book and how Susan encourages you as a parent to come alongside your children to help them co-operate, rather than coming at them with threats and bribes. By staying calm and being confident as a parent she teaches you to parent from a strong connection with your child and to create a better parent-child harmony in your home. As a mother, psychotherapist and marriage/family therapist she uses her work experience to teach strategies and skills on how to deal with the challenges you will face with your children growing up.
While I appreciate that she has a wealth of knowledge and experience I could not get past the fact that she has only one child. With the many parenting books that I have read over the years I often find a common occurance: most family therapists only have one or two children. I know that is normal in today's society and that I am not the norm with a large family but it seems to me as if their work puts them off having any more. Being too judgemental? Probably. I have no idea why she has one child and really it is none of my business. Just my personal opinion which I am sure some of you will not agree with but while I do not doubt that she has great knowledge to share, the fact that she only has one child kind of put's me off wanting to take her advice. There is something to be said for the experience of a mother with several children in the home and dealing with power struggles. Sure, you have power struggles with one child, but with a large family I find that power struggles are taken to a whole new level!
I also find it is often easier to see what problems are happening in other people's homes, families and lives but harder to see what is happening in our own homes, families and lives and to make changes to improve them. I can give my friends advice and encouragement but to actually do it myself, whole new level of effort and hard work! Anyway, I read her book and put my personal opinions aside and enjoyed what she had to share.
So after reading her book here are some key points that I really enjoyed:
It is important to be in charge of your children, not in control of them.
Good relationships with your children help create resilience to dangerous, acting out behaviours.
Attachment (connection) to your children makes parenting easier.
A child grows up best when they have a variety of strong and loving attachments to caring adults around them.
It is essential that we sign up to be an important adult to other children.
A child becomes receptive if they feel us coming alongside them rather than at them.
Children open up when they feel we are genuinely interested in finding out who they are.
Kids only tell us their truth if we let them know that we can handle it.
Parents who intervene and give a child whatever they want, do them a disservice.
Children who believe that they can only be happy if events unfold in the way they wish become handicapped adults, unable to cope with disappointment.
When you ask your child to do something, speak as though you are in charge and then walk away with the assumption that they will do what you asked.
One of the greatest gifts we can give our children is to delight in their unique interests, talents and personalities.
A child who is destined for success and joy is celebrated for who they are instead of who they could or should be.
When parents encourage a child to pay attention to the call of their heart they give them a profound gift.
By constantly stimulating our children with activities, we are depriving them of the chance to drop into the present moment.
Our children learn their greatest lessons by watching how we live our lives.
I find in my home, my challenging head butting parenting moments changed when I decided to pick my battles. Having a power struggle over every single issue is exhausting, depressing and horrible. Since I started picking my battles or in other words, deciding what issues were the most important to me, the power struggles started to disappear and the contention in our home also disappeared. I now only pick a few issues that I take a stand on as a parent and the rest of the time I am able to be relaxed and work on developing that closer connection and relationship with my children. I am still working on being cool, calm and collected all the time as a parent but I do believe I am trying my best to raise happy kids.
While this book will not solve all the problems you may have in your home it will give you some strategies and techniques to help improve your relationship with your children and bring a better feeling in your home. Susan does write in a style that is easy to read and she comes at parenting with a loving, caring attitude not one of force. Her book includes real life stories from her work that all parents could relate to.
She covers such questions as:
How can you get your children to do their homework without meltdowns, threats or bribes?
How can you have a drama-free morning where the kids actually get out the door in time for school?
How can you manage your child's screen time without making them want to hide what they are doing from you?
It is available to purchase from Simon & Schuster Here
Susan has her own website you might like to look at Parenting Without Power Struggles.
So tell me:
Do you have power struggles in your home? How do you deal with them?
Do you stay calm and collected?
*I was sent a free copy of this book to review and enjoyed it so I chose to share it on my blog*