This is a very special (audio) book. It has transformed my relationship with my son and influenced how I listen and communicate in my professional life.
This book gets overwhelmingly positive reviews and I am writing this review to help other parents find this wonderful book.
My wife and I were very proud of our positive parenting. We had received many positive compliments from friends and strangers regarding our positive parenting. Unfortunately, when we hit a rash of poor behaviour when our son began attending school, we began to question ourselves and our parenting techniques. This uncertainty lead to a downward spiral of 'old school' discipline based parenting, turning every disagreement into a battle that had to be won. Instead of helping my son's discipline, it worsened. Each time it worsened, we decided we needed more discipline. The cycle continued until I found this book.
This book was similar to how we had initially decided to parent our son, but the devil is in the details and the notion that every interaction with my son could be an opportunity for him to communicate HIS thoughts and develop HIS decision making skills and confidence was a subtle yet extremely powerful shift in thinking. Its not only about me showing love and positivity to my son, its about ensuring he feels confident and positive about himself. Yes, there is a difference.
I have developed much more patience and understanding, as a result of this audiobook. There is no question that the daily interactions with my son take much longer, especially initially, though I have come to realize that this extra time is really important and essential to being a good parent. Like most things in life, long term effective solutions are always more time consuming and complex than short term quick fixes.
That being said, my son has now developed very effective problem solving and communication skills. These skills have have allowed us to spend our time and attention learning and sharing thoughts on how to solve problems; instead of locking wills and trying to defeat one another in a battle of wills.
After adopting the techniques in this book, I can honestly say that I have experienced a very special transformation in the relationship I have with my son. I am in awe of his creative problem solving skills, he surprises me daily, and we have developed an even deeper bond of love and support.
I recall thinking, as I listened to the audiobook, that a number of the examples seemed very hokey and the descriptions of how children would react to simple questions as a little too perfect. Yet once putting the techniques into practice, I found myself often reaching for paper to write down the incredible responses my son would have to the simple questions.
There is an example in the book, where it advises parents to consider the power of saying 'you must be proud of yourself', rather than 'I am proud of you'. I have seen a number of negative or mediocre reviews that cite this as a criticism. While I still mix in the odd 'I am proud of you' I will never forget the look of contemplation, nod of agreement and then smile of satisfaction my son's face when I first said 'you must be proud of yourself'. I could tell that he had not really thought of his good behaviour in terms of what it meant to him. Its now something he has developed strongly within himself.
He now thinks of himself as brave, loyal and kind. He sees every day as an opportunity to learn new things and solve his own problems.I don't expect that my son will always do what I want but I can count on him to confidently tell me why he acted a certain way and listen.
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