I’ve always been a fan of good self-help books especially when it comes to parenting. There’s nothing better to ease your fears at 3 am then a book telling you something is completely normal. When I was pregnant it was What To Expect, When You’re Expecting (and about 100 other books), during the terrible twos and threes it was the fabulous Toddler Taming. Though I have to admit I did think I was done with parenting books until lately.
Unfortunately for my neighbours (and kids) in recent weeks my parenting has taken on distinctly ‘shouty’ proportions. And when I say ‘shouty’ I mean SHOUTY! Trying to rein in a strong-willed five-year old, a determined 20 month old and juggle work and home has made for a very stressed mother. So stressed that our home ‘conversations’ tend to go from normal to 100 decibels in under two minutes.
Feeling massive pangs of guilt about my mothering skills I went on a couple of mum forums and the one book that mums (and dads) kept recommending was How To Talk So Kids Will Listen, And Listen So Kids Will Talk. I was, I have to admit ambivalent that a book could stop me screaming like a banshee but I have to say so far it’s working.
Aside from reassuring me that all kids don’t listen and most parents shout it has some brilliant tips on how to not get sick of the sound of your own voice. Top of my list so far are:
- Don’t ask too many questions especially at pick up from school. Not asking seems to get a wider and more interesting reply than – “Nothing much”!
- Let children find their own solutions to problems rather than overloading them with ‘helpful’ advice which they then often ignore.
- And my all time favourite – don’t keep repeating yourself over and over. Find out if you’ve been heard before you start shouting.
I know they are pretty obvious but these simple things are working like a charm on my shouty habit and strangely encouraging the five year old to listen to me.
So does anyone else have any great parenting books they have tried and tested? Let us all know, I know plenty of mums who would appreciate it.