Along the journey to be a better parent (which we can all make improvements, and will always continue to be able to), it is worth having a read, a chat with other parents or with the parents closest to you i.e. Your parents.
"There's more than one way to skin a cat".
If I had a pound for every time I'd heard this on this literal trip of a lifetime, I certainly wouldn't be worried about the cost of living crisis.
The truth is that every time you speak to someone they have their little gem, little trick or little tool, that they couldn't do without. I'm intrigued by this. I want to know these tricks. I have some of my own too.
Below is just a small example of the books I have had the pleasure and sometimes displeasure of casting my eye over. Everyone of them again has some must have or must do titbits that have been adopted, developed or expanded into my parenting arsenal, and I'm sure some of you have looked at the image and wondered what some of them have to do with parenting.
Well, with every piece of information you receive from a loved one, take a small piece of it and make it your own. With every literary masterpiece you read on parenting skills and methods, take small pieces of it and make it your own. With every professional Phd or similarly qualified individuals analysis, take a small piece of it and make it your own.
You see, here's the thing. All of the books above have one thing in common, they are all wanting to make sales and influence as many people as possible. They are a new way of thinking, and old way of thinking, or a statistical or medical analysis of what is best. While I have enjoyed reading parts or all of each book, it would be impossible for me to apply everything that is taught. You would do well to soak up the information and use what you can that is applicable to your life style.
My favourite titbit from all of these books is a simple one. The power of choice! I use this everyday and with everyone. Some of you will know it well as you have read it or discovered it naturally, or remember watching Super Nanny in the early 2000's. Children, and adults (mostly) respond to empowerment of course, such as you have the option to continue reading this, or close this page and miss the rest of the post......
Then it works! You see it feels like you have made the choice and so you are in charge. Well you are I guess. Kids work this way too. You have the option to do the washing up after dinner, or vacuum the stairs? The child (or spouse) has been empowered. They are making the decisions, and most of us simply want to do what we want right? Well, right! One of these chores is getting done. It might not be done well, but half the battle is won.
So lets address the medium sized elephant in the room. the book "The 5 Love Languages" by Gary Chapman. This book is designed to act as a couples therapy type book. It addresses topics around sex and marriage and "The Secret to Love That Lasts". Well the languages that it speaks of are:
Words of Affirmation: Saying nice things to each other.
Quality Time: Dinner table talking, Livingroom chats, or catch up in the kitchen.
Receiving Gifts: Daddy, I made this for you at school. (Or the "Grumpy Old Git" mug I received for father day.
Acts of Service: Pushing the round-a-bout faster on demand of a joyous smile.
Physical Touch: A cuddle on the sofa in front of a favourite cartoon or story time.
These definitions are not what the book is getting at by they are applicable. You see, you can take information from most any, how to better interact with people type book, and simply apply it.
Books like "Commando Dad" which is a great no nonsense look at parenting drills are a little more "common sense" and therefore doesn't need much interpretation. It's perhaps just a little less wordy and narcissistic than some of the other books. That being said I found a great bit in Sun Tzu's "Art of War" talking about punishing troops before they are on your side and how this will make them lose their allegiance to the boss. With an open mind, this makes sense a lot of sense.
I am keen to know what it is that makes your day go better, makes your relationships smoother or simply gets the little ones to bed easier?
Please drop into the forum and tell us of your wins and losses