A week ago, I talked about some books I had ordered and my great hopes for what I was going to learn. [I was having a low moment as a mother and found myself groping for advice, any advice, that would work and help me feel more successful as a mother.] Now that I’ve had a week to look over the books, here’s the scoop on what I’ve learned…
I opened the No-Cry Potty Training Solution book first, as potty training is most obvious challenge with Ben right now. I think this is a great potty-training book, and I will certainly loan it to my sister when it comes time for her to potty-train. But with our situation, I found little new advice, much less advice that was of any help. I think with Ben, the only solution is going to be to talk him through it, in great detail, and empower him to figure it out once and for all. Deep breath…
The next book I read portions of was Raising Your Spirited Child. I kind of skipped all the quizzes and stuff in the first section and dove right into the second section where the various elements of your child’s personality are discussed. I did find this book very insightful, though I have only read about four of the chapters so far.
The other book – Setting Limits with your Strong-Willed Child – I have not looked at yet.
All of those books came on Friday so I looked at them over the weekend.
On Monday, I received the two books by Aldele Faber and Elaine Mazlish, How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk and Siblings without Rivalry . So far I’ve only read a couple chapters in each of these books, but as of right now, I would say that if a parent only wanted to buy two books about parenting, these two books would be hands-down the books I would recommend.
The titles are certainly clever, but if I were to say what these books are really about, it would be how to get along with your kids, and how to help your kids get along with each other (both siblings and friends). What they do is help you understand how things are from your kid’s perspective – after all, kids are people too. Once you can empathize with them, you can present the facts of the situation and alternate behaviors in a way that makes sense to them and thus promotes good behavior. The skills you’ll be teaching about how to get along with other people are skills that they will use throughout their lives.
There is a movement in the parenting world that is big on not spanking and, in fact, not even punishing your children. The only alternatives I’ve heard from these people are things like, “Oh, we let our two-year-old climb on the table. Eventually he grew out of it.” Sorry, but waiting for my children to “grow out of” bad behavior is not acceptable to me. Nope. I’m not saying parents shouldn’t punish their children – I’m just saying that these books actually give you workable alternatives to punishment.
I get tired of yelling at Ben. Some days my voice is hoarse by the time Steve gets home. There are days when he gets home from work and wants to know why I don’t have much to say – it’s because I’m so exasperated with Ben hitting Joey, dragging him around by his foot, taking his toys away from him or throwing them at him, going over to his crib while he’s sleeping and saying loudly “Joey’s awake! Joey’s awake!” like a broken record and so forth that I have absolutely nothing to say. I just want to leave and not come back for quite some time. It’s like I have this social deviant who prides himself on being beligerent.
But then there are these times when it’s like we’re on the same team, when Ben is cooperative and playing nicely and I can show him interesting things that expand his little world. I like those moments. I think these books help you have more moments like that. The techniques teach you how to be “on their team” even when you’re disciplining them. I like that.
Of course, I haven’t finished either book yet [and I still do plenty of yelling, it seems], but things are getting better [I do find myself yelling less], and I have great hope for the future. Stay tuned…