I love talking, thinking, reading and writing about parenting. It's my passion and my fascination. I understand that not everyone has the luxury of devoting as much time and energy as I do to seeking out quality parenting resources. To this end, each Monday I'll post about the parenting book I'm currently reading and give you my assessment and recommendations.
What I'm Reading
Today in "What I'm Reading" is Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide by Rebecca Eanes of Positive Parenting: Toddlers and Beyond.
This book is a thoughtful look at how parents can work together to create an intentional, peaceful family culture. Few parenting books address how the partnership between parents sets the tone for the home. Eanes provides thought provoking discussion questions to assist parents in exploring their values and communication styles. I've used these questions with clients in my counseling practice, and I find them gentle, non-judgmental, and insightful.
My favorite chapter thus far discusses how we can see children in a new light. Eanes beautifully challenges how we perceive our children and kids in general, "Children are more than their ability to sleep through the night. They are more than their willingness to instantly obey. They are more than a grade. They are more than a mood. They are more than the behavior they display at any given moment, they are more than what we see on the surface. They are human beings - messy and beautiful, wild and compassionate, and worth getting to know, not just getting to mind" (Pages 115-116).
Early in the book Eanes defines empathetic leadership and discusses its importance to positive parenting, "Empathy is the key that unlocks your child's brain when he is upset and allows your reason to get inside" (Page 17).
Lastly, Eanes is skilled at challenging her readers to improve ourselves in a manner that feels both supportive and compassionate, "...If I expect my children to be kind, gentle, compassionate, and respectful, I must be kind, gentle, compassionate and respectful...to effectively discipline your children, you must first discipline yourself" (Page 33).
This book is great for couples who don't always agree on parenting choices. It's also perfect for any parent who has discovered that punishments don't work and is just beginning to seek a new style of parenting. Eanes's writing is rich with insight even for those parents who are further along the positive parenting path. Her compassion and wisdom remind us that we're all just doing the best we can, and we can all continue to grow together.
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