I haven’t read a lot of parenting books–I’d rather read fiction–but I had a 4-month solo parenting stint due to COVID, and there was a point in the middle of that stint, after a long, loud, frustrating day, where I thought, surely, there must be a better way. I Googled, and bought this book.
This book is a winner. It’s easy to read, the anecdotes are illustrative and snappy, and the principles are repeated so your foggy parent-brain can remember them, but not repeated so much that it seems like they were just trying to fill the pages.
The principle of their approach is, basically: to communicate with kids, you need to remember that they are kids. Kids need to know they are heard, and they value play and imagination above grown up things like “being on time.” Sounds simple, right? But some of these “simple” things were nothing short of revolutionary for me. One example: when someone is tantruming, first hear their emotions. Literally: “I hear that you are upset because you want ice cream.” Then, empathize and tune into your imagination. One example: “I wish we could have ice cream every day for every meal! I would only eat chocolate ice cream forever!” I have used this exact example, and was shocked when…it worked. The kid was like, “…yea! Me too! *sniffle*” Seems easy, right? But I don’t think I’d ever taken this approach! Does it work all the time? No. But it works a lot, and it puts everyone in a better mood, and I am grateful to have this in my parenting toolbox.
LORD KNOWS that parenting in the times of COVID doesn’t leave you a lot of free time for luxurious reading, so if you’re looking for a truly helpful book for parents of toddlers that you can read in short spurts, this is a good choice.