Since I became a parent, I realised there is a galore of parent resources everywhere. Just for books alone, there are books for pre-birth, infants, toddlers, children and teens. And, the books are sub-divided into every possible need of the child-food, financial literacy, music, emotions etc. The list is e.n.d.l.e.s.s.!! I told myself I will leave the reading to my dear wife, since there’s really too many to choose from!
So when friends at McGraw-Hill companies gave me a parenting book to review, I realised this is it. My virgin reading experience on parenting.
The book: Raising Resilient Children by Robert Brooks and Sam Goldstein
What a surprise! It was a very easy read! The authors (both medically trained) explained simply , described clearly and gave excellent examples that I could identify with. And, I’m actually applying the advice given and praying hard my kids will be resilient.
As doting parents, we feel that one of our core responsibilities is to be a problem solver for our kids. Think about this: Your princess comes home upset that no one in school wants to play with her. Our first reaction?
A. Tell her that her friends are being silly. Tomorrow, they will play with her.
B. Find out if she threw tantrums or showed undesirable behaviour. Teach her how to be friendly.
C. Ask her to stop crying. Distract her by changing the topic
D. Engage her in a discussion about possible solutions
What would you choose? If it’s A, B or C, it is natural! It’s an instinct we have to quickly tell her a solution. (Even Option C! Cos we do that when they go on and on whining!)
Option D is the way to go, so that we do not rob the child of an opportunity to strengthen her own problem solving skills. This would prepare them to meet future challenges!
Studies have shown that resilient children are successful in meeting challenges and pressure. They are aware of their weaknesses but also recognise their strong points and competence. They grow up confident, with great communication skills with their peers and adults. AND most importantly, they are able to define the areas in their lives which they should focus their attention on and recognise situations when they have little influence over.
The book goes on to give little steps parents can take by explaining the children’s mindset, their needs and frustrations. Each step is filled with real-life examples on parents’ and kids’ reactions. It was an eye opening experience, because I realised I would have made the same mistakes those parents made! Hahaha!
The points listed are stuff we have all heard before:
– Let the children make their own decisions
– Be empathetic
– Appreciate the kids
– Promote self-discipline
– Set Realistic goals
– Etc etc etc
But trust me, you would have no idea that there are many chances for us to teach the kids these points in everyday life, without doing a lot. It’s all about recognising when to do it and how to hone these skills.
I’m not a reader. Yet I enjoyed the book and would recommend this book to those who can let go and allow the children to be dependent on you making them not dependent.
An asset in our generation, a must-have in theirs!