I am a gentle parent. I am a conscious parent. I put a lot of work into keeping calm when dealing with those tough parenting moments. I try to always hold the space for my daughter to simply "be" who she is in the every moment. But...
My default button is impatience and a penchant for raising my voice. *Sigh*
It takes a lot of work to keep myself in check as a peaceful, supportive parent. When I do veer of course, my daughter is sure to remind me of the error of my ways. For days on end. Days. On. End. Impatience and raising my voice does NOTHING to strengthen my relationship with my daughter.
I read and research. A lot. I have read all of the gentle parenting resources out there. I have taken a little of this and a little of that and tried to bring it together into a parenting style that works both for me and for my daughter. Yet, I still have not perfected the art of patient parenting.
I have been waiting anxiously for Dr. Laura Markham of Aha Parenting to write and release a book on peaceful parenting. I love her blog. I find myself nodding vigorously to every post she writes. Her words always give me pause. I digest them. I put them into action. And yet, I knew that she was holding back and had so much more to offer!
Enter Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How To Stop Yelling and Start Connecting.
This is THE book that was missing from my repertoire of gentle parenting resources. This is THE book that I read two times in a row while barely coming up for air. The is THE book that has actually showed me, in a palatable manner, how to be the patient, non-voice-raising mama I knew I could be.
Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids might seem like a lengthy book at first glance but it is divided into three sections which makes it much easier to digest. Each section is broken down further into pointed topics which are designed to help you master peaceful parenting. The division of topics is perfect, giving the reader the opportunity to let the research, the advice, and the real-life application techniques a chance to soak in.
There are so many things I enjoyed about this book. First, while Dr. Laura does not talk down to the reader, she doesn't present information in some esoteric, can't-wrap-your-brain-around-it way either. She is clear and gentle, yet effective in the research and methodology she outlines in the book. Basically, she speaks to your heart in a way that gets it to open up without making you feel horrible about your past shortcomings as a parent.
Second, this book is designed to be used for a long time! Parents of toddlers will benefit just as much as parents of elementary school age children. In fact, the earlier you read this, the more of an opportunity you have to use it as your child grows! Dr. Laura has several sections that she breaks down further based on the age of your child. I love this because as every parent knows, there is NO one size fits all approach to parenting children as they move through various developmental stages. Each age and stage comes with its own unique set of challenges and opportunities. Dr. Laura has given parents the gift of learning how their parenting can evolve alongside their children's growth and development.
My advice is to read the book cover to cover before attempting to implement any of Dr. Laura's techniques. As you go, earmark what resonates with you, perhaps focusing on those areas you really need to troubleshoot within your parenting arsenal. (That is a nice way of saying "earmark the sections that you are having parenting failures with!") Then go back and dig deep. DEEP! Don't take shortcuts. Don't try to rush anything. Take what Dr. Laura suggests and deliberately begin making the changes you feel in your gut you need to make. Then watch your relationship with your child bloom like you never thought it could. Because it will based on my experience.
I have lots more to say about this resource. You can read my full review here: [...]