I found out about this book sometime back, while surfing the net. Curiosity got the better of me and I purchased it. To put it plainly, I discovered that this book more than meaningful, albeit readable.
The book addresses so many significant questions and enquiries that people who are raising kids have. It is never too late to be a loving parent to your children – no matter however old you are. At least, this is what the book is all about.
This book is categorized as “parenting,” as opposed to broken or dysfunctional family issues, which is probably the reason why many people may not have discovered it earlier. Many people acquire new parenting experience and insights by observing their child’s growth. They also obtain this by reading about child development.
In a kind, smart, yet superbly direct way, the book clarifies how being a kind and loving parent is all about. The book also offers comparisons and parallels to demonstrate that. Differences, for example, “unequivocal versus restrictive child rearing,” indicate “good” and “bad” examples of parenting.
This is demonstrated in a style that lets the readers make the conspicuous decisions about what works and what doesn’t and the reasons for both. Subsequently, the readers see a fresh approach towards parenting, that is loving yet affectionately firm, steady, and most of all makes them feel good about it.
This “feel good” component is for parents and the readers. Essentially, we “simply do what makes us feels great.” Sadly, we were raised to doubt our gut senses, not follow-up on them. This book stresses that it is so imperative to listen to what our gut is letting us know, a little bit at a time, one activity through one confident, self-assertive voice. Only then, we start to discover that things won’t really go to pieces in the event if we speak out, or voice our opinions.
The charts outlined in the book are very useful. They offer great and bad examinations of distinctive and differentiating styles of parenting. From unbending to discriminating to non-negotiable, to negotiable, to marshmallowy to abandoning.
Given below is a fantastic example;
Situation: A pre-school kid is eating candy.
Unbending nature: Grabs candy from the kid and says, “You ought to never eat candy. It’s terrible for you.”
Critical: Glares and says, “You snitch, where did you get the candy?”
Non-negotiable: Gently takes candy from the kid and says caringly, “I will give you candy twice every week.”
Negotiable: takes the candy and says, “Grandpa will surely bring candy. You decide when to eat it. Until then, I will help you store it and you can give some to your buddies.”
Marshmallowy: Ensures that the candy is not taken, but says, “My small sweet tooth, how can I ever keep you off the candy.”
Abandoning: No rules or laws broken. Candies and sweets always accessible. Parents do not notice what the kid eats. Parents eat fast food and sweets rather than nutritious food.
In the Nurture segment, the authors have discussed about different associations and responses to CARE and support. Mentioned below is an example taken from the book:
Situation: Wife approaches spouse for help with kids.
Abusive: Hits and mocks wife when she requests help.
Conditional CARE: Spouse says, “I shall help you with the kids, the day you make more than I do.”
Assertive CARE: Spouse says, “Children also require equal care and consideration from fathers.” Participates and contributes in all functions of the kids development.
Supportive CARE: Consults wife about childcare. Applauds her in front of kids.
Overindulgence: Gives extravagant presents as opposed to lending a hand.
Neglect: Works long hours at extended periods of time, travels, spends extended periods at the bars, sports, gets back home late, and leaves early.
One can conclude at how useful and helpful these character scenarios are. This goes to further illustrate how many positive and negative characters are out there. The types with “CARE” at the end are the “moral and upright” ones.
It is obvious that if our families had not behaved the way they did, most of us would not possess many of the abilities that we now have. In short, most of our families were somehow functional. Some of them even lived up to their expectations. A negative label is a liability that will not help anyone.
The book discusses and examines the significant roles that “Recognition, Certainty, and Stimulation” play. It also shows how to determine, whether any of the above three “roles” are in harmony or whether they are out of balance between our kids and us.
Recognition — the hunger or our need to be recognized. Take a look at me! See what I am doing! Appreciate it! Recognize me for what I am doing!
Certainty — the yearning for physical, social, and mental or psychological frameworks that keeps us safe and help us foresee any dangers through anticipation. Who is in charge here? It gives us a level of consistency that makes us feel calm, so that we can depend on trust. This helps us to develop safely and securely, and learn at the same time.
Stimulation — the longing for that contact that is imperative to all living beings. Let us get down and do something. Give me the physical contact, touch, variety in diversions, new encounters and experiences, which demonstrate exciting and intriguing things. No repetitiveness or monotony as we are constantly growing!
We want and need to be better and behave better. What we have seen here are constrained examples of parenting. In addition, we are also accustomed to a certain level of chaos, both internal and external.
It’s the book’s scenarios and situations, charts, outlines and examples, sample conversations and graphics that make the book so useful. In fact, readers would profit more if there were more explanatory notes that help to clarify and interpret the graphics.
TRY NOT TO BEAT YOURSELF UP — LOOK FORWARD
Be positive, cheerful, hopeful, and always look forward. Try not to be negative in your outlook. Do not constantly think, “Shucks, I have messed it up again.” Don’t think that you are a lousy parent, but instead, be more proactive and kind to yourself. Be cheerful and always feel that you can make a change for the positive, which will matter extraordinarily to your kid.
In short, start becoming that role model that your kids always hope for. Exemplify positive change, look forward, and remember that you cannot undo what’s done – so let it be and move forward.
The key to good parenting is moving forward positively by combining healthy, solid practices in your work and behavior.