The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read: A Refresh On Parenting Advice From A Different Perspective
The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read (and Your Children Will Be Glad That You Did) by Philippa Perry is a must-read for anyone interested in getting sound parenting advice based on psychology.
Perry deftly deconstructs the millennia-old practice of parenting advice with a refreshing take on children’s psychological and emotional development rather than focusing solely on discipline techniques or parenting hacks.
Rather than giving readers ‘hacks’ to raise their own children, Perry encourages them to throw away their assumptions and take an honest look at themselves and the consequences of their actions.
She also explains how being a single parent doesn’t necessarily harm a child; why it’s natural for babies to be clingy; and how your own childhood experiences can teach you valuable lessons about parenting.
So if you’re looking for sound parenting advice from someone who genuinely understands the complexities associated with raising children, you need to check out The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read (and Your Children Will Be Glad That You Did)!
Understanding Our Own Childhood Experiences Is Key To Achieving Compassionate Parenting
It is clear that our reactions as parents are deeply linked to our own childhood experiences.
This is true not only for the way we act around our children, but also in how we process and react to their behaviors.
Oskar, one of the author’s clients, was a great example of this.
He noticed that whenever his son left food uneaten or dropped it on the floor, he became angry.
After reflecting upon his childhood with the help of the author, he discovered why – his own parents used to punish him this same way when he was younger.
Ultimately these associations can greatly affect how we parent, from influencing our emotional responses towards our child to causing us to use overly harsh forms of discipline.
The good news is that understanding and unpacking your own upbringing can help you deprogram these responses, allowing you to move toward more compassionate parenting and foster stronger relationships with your child.
We must recognize when negatively charged emotions arise in ourselves as signs that something more is going on beneath the surface – like unresolved longings or humiliations from childhood – and address them accordingly.
Doing so allows us to view our children through a lens of empathy and understanding rather than frustration and anger.
It Doesn’T Take A Traditional Family Structure To Provide Children With An Ideal Environment
It is essential for parents to create an optimal environment for their children because it is the key for their growth and emotional well-being.
This does not necessarily need to be in a specific family structure; it simply refers to the quality of the relationships that a child has within their home, alongside close family and friends.
Therefore, it is paramount to ensure that these relationships are strong, intimate and rewarding.
A loving atmosphere with mutual respect facilitates an emotional security where the child can learn, grow and flourish.
It’s important to keep arguments healthy, focusing on resolving conflicts rather than trying to ‘win’ the argument.
This helps children build self-confidence while having a positive view of themselves as they do not feel responsible for all negative emotions.
All in all, a good bonding among family members and positive support from close friends give children the environment they need to thrive emotionally as well as academically.
Acknowledge And Validate Your Children’s Feelings For A Healthy Parent-Child Relationship
When it comes to handling children’s feelings, it is important to remember that suppressing them or arguing against them is not the right approach.
This can have damaging effects in the long run because it teaches children to suppress their own emotions and ignore their own feelings.
Instead, parents should validate their child’s feelings.
This means acknowledging and validating their emotions, even if we think something like a tantrum over eating grandma’s soup is trivial in comparison to something serious like an inappropriate touch from a piano teacher.
Simple acknowledgments such as “You’re upset because you really want that ice-cream, right?” can help them feel understood and accepted by mom and dad – which is ultimately what they need during times of distress.
We see this same process being used successfully with Dave’s four-year old daughter Nova who was able to find a new seat quietly when her father validates her feelings about Max taking her seat in the car instead of fighting it or trying to argue and coax her into another seat.
Validating your child’s feelings is much healthier and more productive than fighting against them – even if they may seem silly to us adults.
The Power Of Secure Attachment: Giving Babies The Best Start In Life
When it comes to parenting newborns, it’s essential to give them the opportunity to form a secure attachment.
This means providing consistent emotional and material support, such as not letting babies cry for unduly long periods of time.
If we do this right, our babies will be far more likely to grow up with feelings of trust and optimism.
Giving your baby the opportunity to form a deep, secure attachment doesn’t end there – after several months your baby should become very clingy and only want their primary caregiver.
Although at first this might seem like an undesirable result of over-coddling, it is actually a sign that your baby has created a solid bond with you.
After this stage passes (once object permanence has been established) acting as a parental figure becomes much easier since babies know that even if you are in another room in the house you will come back soon.
However, while they may no longer be infants and toddlers by then, they still need just as much emotional support throughout their childhood and adulthood.
The Power Of Active Listening, Phones And Play For Your Child’S Mental Health
We all want our children to develop sound mental health, and the good news is that there are certain actions we can take to ensure just that.
One of the most important steps is engaging in honest observation with our children.
Instead of simply responding to them, really trying to understand or feel what they’re trying to get across helps us form a deep, loving bond.
It’s relationship building at its best and it’s something you can do with your children well into their adulthood – so don’t underestimate it!
At the same time, be mindful of your phone addiction around your children.
If you’re glued to your phone all the time, it takes away from valuable contact time with them and creates a sense of alienation.
You can help this by giving your children attention when they need it and responding sensitively to their feelings rather than letting them behave out for attention.
Finally, never forget the power of play!
Playing encourages exploration and engagement in their wider environment and encourages curiosity about the world around them.
Whenever possible, show an enthusiastic interest in their activities so they can fully explore their creative side!
We Can Teach Our Children Healthy Social Skills By Setting A Good Example
When faced with a tantrum, desire or conflict between parent and child, it’s easy to slip into the mode of seeing it as a battle of wills.
This way of thinking can very quickly become a losing battle, however.
Rather than looking at these situations as ones in which we must “win”, it’s far better to realise that there are other unseen factors at play when parenting.
For example, in the author’s case with her daughter Flo when she was three, Flo wanted to walk home instead of being strolled and stopped on a doorstep along the way to rest.
The author’s natural instinct was frustration because she wanted their journey home to be quicker, but upon reflection she realised that even this seemingly small issue had more going on beneath the surface.
Flo may have been tired after walking for so long and overwhelmed by all the sights and sounds around her – this realization allowed the author to see things from Flo’s point of view and make a well-informed decision without entering into an unhelpful power struggle where neither party really wins.
It’s never beneficial to take part in power struggles when it comes to parent-child relationships; instead, by developing our own skills such as flexibility, problem-solving ability and empathy we can develop into good role models ourselves and show our children how they can handle conflict in the right way themselves.
Through modelling healthy behaviour we give our children the best possible chance of growing up as functioning adults – something they will no doubt thank us for later down the line.
The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read (and Your Children Will Be Glad That You Did) provides parents with an invaluable guide on how to nurture a healthy and fulfilling relationship with their children.
The book advises that it is important for parents to examine their past behavior, being aware of the signs of tension or frustration that can arise from childhood.
It is up to each parent to assess and modify their own feelings and actions, as this will have a much more positive affect than trying to modify the child’s behavior.
Above all, The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read encourages us to pick up on any attention-denying patterns of behavior when our children seeks our attention and be sure to include them rather than ignore them.
This vital advice helps put families on the path towards better communication, understanding and bonding.