In college I took an early childhood education class for one reason: I knew nothing about kids.
Sure, I’d been a kid.
Sure, I’d seen kids.
Sure, I knew some kids.
But I never raised kids. And, I thought one day I might!
Taking that class educated me about child development and equipped me with some great skills for becoming a parent. Of course, I learned a lot on the job, too!
Luckily, you do not have to reverse time and take a college course to gain some parenting prowess. That’s because Nina Garcia, blogger extraordinaire of Sleeping Should Be Easy, has published Parenting with Purpose.
I read Parenting with Purpose and nodded in agreement with the helpful advice. What I appreciate most is Nina’s practical style. She admits she is not a Professor in Child Development; nope, she’s a mom who found some things that worked for her and might work for you.
Parenting with Purpose contains three parts. Part I is all about prevention misbehavior through connection with your child. Nina shares how to:
- Set limits and stick to them.
- Establish routines and stick to them.
- Speak respectfully to your kids.
- Pick your battles
- Invite their collaboration in solving problems
- Give them two choices.
- Model the behavior you expect through your words and actions.
Part II shares the inevitable–what to do with the child who does misbehave:
- Recognize that discipline is teaching and helping our kids to behave.
- Consider the child’s point of view.
- Consider what is your end goal for disciplining your child.
- Ask why. It helps you respond, not react.
- Remember to connect with your child.
Part III explores what to do after the conflict with your child:
- Why you don’t need to discipline immediately (hint: stay calm!)
- Why it’s important to talk about emotions
Nina finishes the book by including 20 Actionable Items You Can Do. I **so** appreciate when authors talk about what to do, but then include HOW you can do that!
Here’s my favorite quote from the book:
“This is why parenting with purpose is so important. You’re not just reacting to your child’s latest antics and trying to get him to stop. You’re intentional about what you want to happen. You’re aware of what’s going on so you don’t react—you respond according to him and the situation. And you help him develop life skills so that the same issue doesn’t keep coming up over and over again.”
What has been the best parenting advice you ever received? What tip or trick do you like to pass along?