I read this book on 'attachment parenting' a number of years ago. The book starts out really well by providing a refreshing alternative to what many w...moreI read this book on 'attachment parenting' a number of years ago. The book starts out really well by providing a refreshing alternative to what many would consider mainstream norms for raising children: co-sleeping, no spanking, avoiding separation, extended breastfeeding etc.
I think this is great for new parents having their first baby, but I found some of the principles and advice hard to buy into, especially as your kids reach the toddler stage (like co-sleeping: you get tired of being woken up by a two-year old's ankle in your groin).
Towards the end the book becomes a little repetitive and you get the feeling that there really isn't enough material there to fill an entire volume. The author's views are a little extreme and creates the impression that if you ever (a) left your baby in a crib, or (b) allowed it to cry for more than 5 seconds, or (c) sent one of your kids to a public school, you basically screwed them up for life.
This book will probably resonate with high 'S' personality types, who just want to avoid their children feeling upset.
I think this is a good book if you are a life-long couch potato and the concept of personal fitness is one that you are just starting to grasp the imp...moreI think this is a good book if you are a life-long couch potato and the concept of personal fitness is one that you are just starting to grasp the importance of. Contains a lot of pep talk and some useful exercise programs. You'll probably want to skip all of Bill's meal replacement shakes and maybe move on to a more comprehensive book on personal fitness after reading this one.(less)
This book teaches the fundamentals of how to relate to and interact with the little people that rule our lives.
It touches on six main topics:
1. Helpin...moreThis book teaches the fundamentals of how to relate to and interact with the little people that rule our lives.
It touches on six main topics:
1. Helping Children Deal with Their Feelings by listening with full attention, acknowledging their feelings and giving it a name (so this is what 'frustration' feels like?), and simple strategies for helping them accept and deal with these.
2. Engaging Cooperation by describing the situation that is causing the problem, giving information as to why it is not acceptable, using a word instead of a long sermon to draw their attention to the problem to begin with, and talking about the way it makes *you* feel (It makes me angry when you...). Lastly, the authors recommend writing a short note for older children along the same lines as this sometimes makes it easier for them to process in an unemotional way.
3. Alternatives to Punishment. Stating disapproval and your expectations, giving a choice, pointing out ways to be helpful, showing the child how to make amends etc.
4. Encouraging Autonomy by showing respect for a child's struggle (It can be hard to tie shoelaces...), not bombarding them with too many questions, not being too quick to give answers etc.
6. Freeing Children from Playing Roles (i.e. casting them as stubborn, scatter brained, etc.) by looking for opportunities to show the child a new picture of herself, modeling the behavior you would like to see, and reminding them of times when they were very flexible and focussed as the opposite of the previously mentioned labels for example.
A lot of this may seem familiar but there are many fine nuances that can make a big difference as to the effectiveness of the recommendations. Fortunately, the book is filled with little cartoons, letters from parents, and hypothetical situations to help solidify the concepts and you will get plenty of opportunity to practice by completing the included questionnaires.
There are too many permutations of personality types in even the smallest families for one book to answer all questions and work in all situations. This one suggests a fair and balanced approach, perhaps best summarized by the following quote:
"...we can't go too far wrong if we take time to listen to our children's feelings; or talk about our own feelings; or work in terms of future solutions..."(less)