July 11, 2013 by Admin User
Practical Ways to Stay out of the Parenting Power Struggle
Book Review By: Esther Kim-Almeida, MA. of Raising Children You Can Live With: A Guide for Frustrated Parents
I love that the opening chapter in this book quotes Socrates from 390 BC as saying “Children today are tyrants.” Not only did it give me a laugh, but reassured me that the challenging task of raising kids has been going on for centuries, and I am definitely not alone in what sometimes seems like the excruciating battle arena of parenting. It’s so easy as parents to repeat patterns we learned perhaps in our own families, as well as be influenced by messages we have heard from the culture of how parents “should” raise their children. Even when those strategies are not working, we hold tightly to them because they are familiar, and we may not know what else to do. Many times, we get anxious or flustered when our children act out because it feels like it is a reflection of ourselves. Subsequently, we react using negative control and power rather than responding intentionally with discipline that is positive and effective.
Raising Children You Can Live With: A Guide for Frustrated Parents, is a short, easily readable handbook that is packed with practical ideas (even scripts) of how to interact with your child in ways that will cultivate cooperation, respect, understanding, and at the least, compromise. It targets parents of tweens and teens, although the concepts definitely apply to younger children as well. In the first half of the book, Raser discusses vital components of a healthy parent-child relationship such as the Personal and Business side of parenting, being conscious about the interactional dynamics between you and your child, and making intentional changes to the positions you take when relating to your child. In the latter half, Raser tackles 12 common issues like lying, blaming, violence, depression, peer pressure and more, by providing specific examples and tips on how to strategically interact with children about these topics.
This book appeals to the democratic culture we live in because it fosters mutuality in relationship and a sense of autonomy in the child which are important life skills that children need in today’s generation. I recommend this book for any frustrated parent or teacher who is ready to try something different to effectively reach the mini-tyrants in their lives!