"Sit down and feed, and welcome to our table." -William Shakespeare

Friday, July 8, 2011

FFT Friday: Connection Parenting

Connection Parenting: Parenting Through Connection Instead of Coercion, Through Love Instead of Fear, 2nd Edition

One more book review! Sorry for 2 in a row, but I've been meaning to do this one for weeks. I've talked with so many moms who want to be kinder, gentler, and more peaceful with their children. But so often a mother gets frustrated because, hey, "I've still gotta get things done around here!"

Pam Leo writes about WHY connecting with your child before correcting him or her is the key to successful discipline. She writes about getting to the roots of our knee-jerk reactions as parents. She writes about exactly why we resort to yelling at our kids when they don't/ won't/ can't hear us the first three times we ask "nicely."

How many times do I resolve to make our home more peaceful , go to confession on Saturday afternoon, beg for God's help, and by Sunday morning I've already blown it half a dozen times? For me, spiritual resolve without human wisdom just doesn't yield much fruit.

Connection Parenting has been the missing link for me. It was so much easier before my oldest passed about the age of 5.5. Distraction and redirection- those attachment parenting hallmarks- don't work that well with a six year old! Connection Parenting gives me a toolbox full of real solutions for misbehavior and bad attitudes- not just in my children but in myself as well.

I am a better mother when I read a page or two of this book each day. I read this book... and reread this book. And then I read it again. Today at the pool a lifeguard gave me the kindest compliment about my children. I felt so grateful, yet humbled, by her words. I know that I stand on the shoulders of giants, and I am not able to take full credit for my children's behavior. Pam Leo deserves some credit, Dr. Bill Sears deserves some credit, all my La Leche League Leaders deserve some credit, my mother deserves some credit, the Book of Isaiah deserves some credit (yes, that's where we got his name, the Book of the Bible that originally inspired our parenting style)....

Here are some excerpts from the book to whet your appetite for more:

"As new parents we hear, "Enjoy your children while they are little." Yet how much time do we spend enjoying our children? Many parents spend much of the day struggling with their childrn. How has this come to be? What makes parenting today more often a struggle than a joy?"

"When we are enjoying our children, we are spending time connecting with them. We aren't rushing them from one place to another. We aren't anxious, stretched too thin, and circling in busyness."

"When we have a strong connection with our children, we are more likely to notice their early, subtle cues of need, before need escalates to pain. The less connected we are to our children, the less likely we will notice children's cues. If we don't respond to the child's cues, they have to become more emphatic in communicating their needs to attract our attention."

(The above is applied to all ages of children, not just infants.)

"A power struggle is two people trying to get their needs met without connection."

Some skills you can gain by doing the excercises in the book:
-How to decode your child's behavior
-How to listen to your child and get him/ her to listen to you
-How to meet your child's unmet needs and thereby increase cooperation
-How to use words in a different way to increase mutual respect

That last one works great with spouses and other adults, too.

If you have read this book, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it in the comments. If you do read it, let me know what you think.

"Children need love, especially when they do not deserve it."
-Harold Hulbert

"If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants."
-Sir Isaac Newton

1 comment:

  1. sounds great, it's always good to read books like this to remind me of what I really already know but just forget/fail to practice! it's not at the library so I'll keep my eye out for it elsewhere. thanks!