I’ve read a lot of parenting books over the years, and books on life in general. Several have wowed me and I’ve written about many of them here, shared their tidbits, and I plan to do more of the same.
The book I am reading right now, in all my spare time (which means while I brush my teeth ~ my dentist loves me) has put a concept in my mind that I have only considered, but have never had the brains to put into words.
Bruno Bettelheim’s A Good Enough Parent http://www.amazon.com/Good-Enough-Parent-Child-Rearing/dp/0394757769
(copyright 1987, by the way, good ideas stick around)
Bettelheim’s idea is basically (very basically, since I am typing this from memory) to put yourself in your child’s shoes. To imagine what they must be feeling and to react to situations with this in mind.
He states that we should not choose and follow a parenting book’s ideals as a straightforward way to do things, a set of rules, but to develop our own insights in order to help us understand our child’s behavior, and our own, adjusting our own behavior to successfully cope with issues that arise.
Looking at life and problems from your child’s point of view and understanding their motivation helps us to help them become the little people they truly want to be. Not the little people we think they should become.
I admit, when I first checked this book out I was enamored by the title. Then, after it sat for two weeks on my bookshelf while I tried to read a bit of the other books I had selected from the library that day, I finally picked it up.
My first feeling was “no way, I’m not reading this” as, aesthetically, it is not a pleasing book beyond the cover (at least my copy isn’t). The text is very small, the leading is tight, the pages seem packed full of words. Not a lot of breathing room, quite intimidating!
Within the first paragraph this book began sharing with me that a child’s level of anxiety is directly related to the anxiety of their parent(s). That even during natural disasters children can be relaxed and having the time of their lives if they see that their parents are not anxiety-ridden and stressed out.
This helped me to understand the value of “keeping things from my children” – things they don’t need in their little hearts, souls and minds. Daily news events, work stresses and things that pertain to adults.
So, I’m slowing working through this book and getting a lot out of it (so sorry to the person who currently has it on hold after me) and will share more later, hopefully.
Love & Sincerely, Katie