When I was pregnant with J I never read any ‘parenting’ books – there were just so many on the market and it was a bit overwhelming. I’d had lots of advice from friends, and I knew I had lots to go to for advice once he had arrived. I’d heard of lots of parenting ‘experts’ and their books though and there were many differing opinions on all of them – I decided that we’d just go with the flow and we’d get it, somehow!
When we came home from the hospital though I joked that I wish they’d sent us home with a manual – we had absolutely no clue between us and we kind of just muddled through for those first few weeks! (Doesn’t everyone?…) The truth is though, there is no one type of parenting manual fits all, as all of them are different (as are parents – our ‘styles’ are very different and we’re always rowing about how to deal with certain behaviours).
I posted a while ago about trouble we were having with J’s behaviour and it had led to quite an unhappy family life of which we have been ‘suffering’ for the past few months and we were trying absolutely everything to deal with it, but not much of it was working. When I heard and read about a new book on the market, Kids Don’t Come With A Manual, I thought that I may as well give it a shot – what did I have to lose?
This isn’t the usual “from birth-what babies should be doing-what you should be doing” kind of book. It’s more of a toolbox on various methods of dealing with challenging behaviour from toddler-hood onward. The authors of the book, Carole & Nadim, also don’t claim to be parenting experts, they have just drawn on their many years of experience and research of dealing with children, to put together this ‘manual’. There are seven chapters with various tools in each one; just a few of the chapters are ‘how to prevent power struggles and other issues’, ‘how to listen so children will want to talk’, and ‘how to talk so children will want to listen’.
Not all of the chapters apply to us right now but I dived straight in there and read it all as I thought I would then be prepared as & when those situations arise. Each chapter has a blurb of what the child may be thinking, then each tool has the voice of the strict parent (Nadim) and the voice of the all-heart parent (Carole) telling us how they each applied the tool and worked together for a more harmonious household. Some of the tools have already started working for us though I think some may take a little more time. For example using ‘Uh-Oh & time-Away’ instead of the ‘naughty step’, after only a couple of days J has been telling me before I ask, that he wants the door left open. Limited choices is a good one for us too and (mostly) it saves meltdowns. Some of the tools I found we had already been using, so really the book is just about picking & choosing tools that apply to you. There is a handy troubleshooting section at the back for quick reference too. The only thing I’ve found is that some tools are easier to remember how to use than others, but after using them a few times I suppose it wouldn’t be a problem (hence the handy troubleshooting section) – plus there are even pages at the end of each chapter to write your own notes.
Overall I would really recommend this book if you are encountering challenging behaviour. It is really down-to-earth and Carole & Nadim aren’t telling what you should be doing, more what you could be doing differently. For us, so far, it definitely shows to be a worthwhile investment of £12.99 for a happier family life.
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I was sent this product free of charge to review. All thoughts & opinions are honest & my own.
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