I read a lot of parenting books. I have a lot of Aha moments while reading, but there are some ideas that I make sure to tattoo onto my brain or tongue.
You know those sentences that you have to stop and read a few times. They may challenge your thinking or solve a problem you’ve been facing. I love when I come across these. By all means, it makes me want to send the author a brain kiss. Without a doubt, if I encounter one of these moments while reading a book, it makes the whole book worth it for me.
While I’ve had several of these moments while reading parenting information, I’ve created a listicle of the 5 that have had the most impact on my parenting style. Without further ado, let’s see if you oooh and aaah too!
1. Brene’ Brown Ph.D., LMSW in Daring Greatly
Who we are and how we engage with the world are much stronger predictors of how our children will do than what we know about parenting. … the question isn’t so much “Are you parenting the right way? as it is: “Are you the adult that you want your child to grow up to be?”
Sidenote: This book is awesome. As crazy as it sounds, I’d eat this book if it meant that I would automatically live out everything this book teaches. I truly believe Brene’ Brown and I were meant to be friends.
When I got to the parenting chapter of this book, the last chapter, I just so happened to be on vacation. So I had time to really think about this snippet and run it by my husband. He agreed that even though it sounded like a no-brainer, the first part was surprising.
Now the part about engaging with the world was kind of an, “Oh darn!” for the both of us because we are introverts. On the other hand, the longer I’m on my parenting journey the more I believe this is more or equally about me becoming the person I was meant to be. The “Are you the adult that you want your child to grow up to be?” part solidifies my thinking.
David O’McKay said something along the lines of, “Children are more influenced by sermons you act out than by sermons you preach.” True that!
Your first responsibility in parenting is being mindful of your own inner state. … Being mindful means you pay attention to what you’re feeling, but don’t act on it.
I wish I had found Dr. Laura before I ever became a parent, but better late than never. I found her not long after I had Luke. Jock wasn’t handling it very well. Before Luke came, I didn’t have many behavior issues that I worried much about with Jock. If I did, I shouldn’t have. I didn’t even know what being challenged as a parent was really like until after I had Luke. Sibling Rivalry – Whew!
This piece of smartness was a breath of fresh air. I thought, “Well the only person I can control is myself. I obviously am not succeeding at controlling my child’s emotions.” This gave me hope. Then, I started on the journey of trying to be mindful.
When I started paying attention to what I was feeling and acting out, Lord have mercy. This is c-h-a-l-l-e-n-g-i-n-g! My first thoughts were, “Oh maybe I would have better luck controlling Jock’s emotions than my own.” On the positive side, it is even more rewarding when you practice and succeed at it. The longer you are intentional about being mindful, the more of a believer you will become. Overtime I have found that it is possible to control my emotions and reactions.
This Is Me Every Time I Hear Dr. Laura Markham
It’s important to make the mental/spiritual shift from viewing parenting as a series of unrelated corrective encounters to viewing parenting a life-long connected process. Since change is most often a process and seldom an event, …
Now if you are unfamiliar with Paul Tripp, I wrote a whole blog post on this book, and you can read that here. I’m pretty certain this man breathes brilliance! I nearly underlined, highlighted, circled, stared, and hearted the whole book.
As for the above quote that comes from the book, I have to remind myself of this often. When one of my children misbehaves, and I find myself thinking, “How many times do I have to say…?” Well, if this was the way it was, God could have the same thoughts about me!
Over time, I have come to realize that these moments of misbehavior are not emergencies. Although sometimes they feel like it. Instead, they are moments of opportunity to coach my child in the way that I would rather him behave.
What do you have the right to expect from your children? I identify three elements: respect for themselves, for others, and for their safety. Beyond these basics, your children own the right to manifest who they want to be, even if this isn’t what you wish for them. Anything more presumes ownership of who your children should be. Your expectations are yours to keep and yours to know, not for your children to hold just because they were born to you.
Of everything parenting that I’ve read, this book has been the most revolutionary. It has stretched my thinking further than I ever thought possible. Put it this way. This book has done to my brain what pregnancy did to my skin! Think Plasticman except for not my body, my brain.
Hear Oprah’s interview with Dr. Shefali Tsabary.
On occasion, I would start the book, and then later restart the book. This practice repeated. Honestly, I wasn’t sure I agreed with Dr. Shefali. At the same time, I was worried that the book could be against Christianity.
I would glance over at the book lying wherever I last left it and cower. I realized I was afraid of the book. The book is so different from anything I’ve experienced that it would take A LOoooT of change in my thinking about some areas of the parenting role. For now, I have begun to blend Shefali’s methods with what I am already doing.
I chose this quote from the book because at the age of 3 I knew I wanted to teach. I never swayed from that. More than anything, I appreciate the fact that my parents supported me from age 3 until now. Whenever others told me, “OH NO, you don’t want to teach…” and gave me all the reasons why, usually low pay, my parents told me to ignore it.
My parents never pushed any other ideas on me. They bought me stuff to play teacher, and when they talked to me about it throughout my life, they said, “When you’re a teacher…” No one planted that seed in me. I was born with it. I would teach for free, and I do with This -N- That Parenting. Never take your child’s intuitions lightly no matter their age.
After studying the book, I can see how, in Oprah’s words, “this book could have a profound impact on parenting and the world. The messages in this book are so important.” I wish I could shout them from the rooftop.
And Last But Definitely NOT Least
What’s the radical solution that Shumaker suggests? “Sharing on demand interrupts play, erodes parent-child trust, and teaches false generosity. Take turns instead.” Sounds reasonable, right? But Shumaker takes this a step further, insisting that the child in possession of the toy should be the one to decide how long his turn lasts. I call this self-regulated turns, because the child decides how long he needs the toy, and then gives it to the other child.
Like the other 4 books, there are so many great nuggets in this book, it was hard to choose just one. I chose this one mainly because I am hoping it goes viral. I believe that if parents open-mindedly think through situations where they demand their child share, it only seems like as Dr. Markham goes on to report, “children will walk away resentful, not feeling generous. Not surprisingly, they’re less likely to share after that.”
Bottom line? All 5 of these books are worth your time.
In my opinion, if there were a Ph.D. for parenting these 5 books should be the core curriculum. I’m thinking it would take me a lifetime before I received my degree, but I would enroll.
Parenting is one of the hardest things you’ll ever be called to do, but it can be easier if you go at it with a growth mindset. I encourage you to appreciate the knowledge others share and use it as an opportunity to positively impact your family culture. Then you will be living with the intention of constantly bettering yourself.
No book or person has all the answers to parenting. Immerse yourself in the ideas that others provide and use what fits your family vision. Steve Jobs said, “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” This is true for our children as well!
I’d love for you to hit comments and let me know how one of these snippets did or didn’t resonate with you!
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Make it a great day or not, the choice is yours! Remember to have fun, laugh and give God the glory! I love you! SS