Positive Parenting, by Rebecca Eanes
[Image courtesy of bookdepository.com]
I learnt a few things from this book.
One, I have to start from myself if I want to have a positive relationship with my child. I probably know this already, but I certainly don’t practise it enough, and I’m glad Eanes has chosen to remind parents how important this is. There are two chapters dedicated to this topic, and one of them talks more about how a positive, loving and strong relationship with one’s spouse needs to be one of the starting points too.
Two, we need to see things from the child’s perspective. No child is born scheming, manipulative or conniving. When a kid throws a tantrum or whines, she’s not trying to manipulate us. It’s usually a cry for help, be it emotionally or physically, and we as adults need to take the initiative to connect with the child and find out the reason for the misbehavior. I know this sounds crazy when you’re at your wits’ end trying to deal with a screaming two-year-old, but I tried it on my daughter two nights ago when she was in one of her “naughty” moods, and while it was not a total success, I did manage to calm down both of us more quickly than usual.
Three, positive parenting is not permissive parenting. Limits and boundaries must still be held. It’s my approach and intent that needs to be changed. The author teaches how one can turn a punishment moment into a problem-solving one, and I intend to try it as soon as I get the chance. (In case you’re wondering, nope, I’m not hoping for my kid to misbehave anytime soon, but I’m sure I won’t need to wait long.)
I like how Eanes always concludes each chapter with a list of questions, a summary of the key points described, and some tips on how to start. Plus, this is a rather thin book, and can be finished in one seating easily. I don’t need the long theories that come with some of the parenting books that’s out there, and I’m glad Eanes simply goes straight to the point and refers us to other relevant books if we want to learn more about the detailed theories or research. It’s the implementation that’s going to be tough.
VERDICT: If you’re trying to restore some peace at home but don’t have the time to read through tomes of parenting manuals, this book might offer some useful tips. But bear in mind that the tips do not guarantee immediate results, because they require a shift in mindset and approach, which is necessary in the long run and not necessarily easy.
For those who want to know more about the book, here’s an overview from bookdepository.com:
Popular parenting blogger Rebecca Eanes believes that parenting advice should be about more than just getting kids to behave. Struggling to maintain a meaningful connection with her two little ones and frustrated by the lack of emotionally aware books for parents, she began to share her own insights with readers online. Her following has grown into a thriving community–hundreds of thousands strong. In this eagerly anticipated guide, Eanes shares her hard-won wisdom for overcoming limiting thought patterns and recognizing emotional triggers, as well as advice for connecting with kids at each stage, from infancy to adolescence. This heartfelt, insightful advice comes not from an “expert,” but from a learning, evolving parent. Filled with practical, solution-oriented advice, this is an empowering guide for any parent who longs to end the yelling, power struggles, and downward spiral of acting out, punishment, resentment, and shame–and instead foster an emotional connection that helps kids learn self-discipline, feel confident, and create lasting, loving bonds.”