As a parent to many, I am all too familiar with the pressure to be the “perfect” parent. I have said that raising children in my 20s was far easier than raising children in my 40s, and with good reason–parenting these days seems to be a competition and our loss of the true goal: raising happy kids.
For me, parenting seems on fast forward with technology and all the extra-curricular activities. It seems far more complicated than it was when I was raising Jake and Zac. With my older children, it felt like, dinner on the table and getting the kids to school on time, and I was winning. Added bonus if we didn’t’ catch anything on fire, there were no trips to the emergency room and nobody called anyone a name. Now, those things seem just part of the mess–and I think they are more challenging to accomplish!
Everyone has a different method of dealing with the madness–attachment parenting, free-range parenting, mindful parenting, helicopter parenting. Which method of parenting works for you?
I don’t know much, but I know that whatever method you are doing, the result is the same for all of us, we just want our children to be happy.
The Happy Kid Handbook by child and adolescent psychotherapist and parenting expert Katie Hurley is a great hope. She shows parents how happiness is the key to raising confident, capable children. It’s not about giving in every time your child wants something so they won’t feel bad when you say no, or making sure that they’re taking that art class, and the ballet class, and the soccer class (to help with their creativity and their coordination and all that excess energy). Happiness is about parenting the individual, because not every child is the same, and not every child will respond to parenting the same way. By exploring the differences between introverts, extroverts, and everything in between, this definitive guide to parenting offers parents the specific strategies they need to meet their child exactly where he or she needs to be met from a social-emotional perspective. A back-to-basics guide to parenting, The Happy Kid Handbook is a must-have for any parent hoping to be the best parent they can be.
I’ve read plenty of parenting books and the common equation for most is the author feels they know the answer. They have the path to perfect parenting and perfect children. It doesn’t work that way. ALL six of my children are their own person. I am constantly amazed at how children with the same genetics can be so different. What worked for Jake, did not necessarily work for Zac. What didn’t work for the Beauty Queen, works well for Miss M.
The Happy Kid Handbook: How to Raise Joyful Children in a Stressful World is different. The author, Katie Hurley, believes “One-size-fits-all parenting simply doesn’t exist in this world” and that you have to adapt for each child, that you can’t parent every child the same. It’s brilliance and so simple, “if we want to raise happy kids, we have to parent the kids we have.”
Hurley discusses children and their needs, parenting for the introverted, extroverted or somewhere in between child. Her book helps the extroverted me, understand and gives me ideas for raising my introverted child, and a glimpse at how I can better help my extroverted children.
I feel this book offers an opportunity to open discussion topics centered around your child–understanding their differences, their emotions, help them be more verbally expressive, and practical suggestions that can be tailored to fit your unique family.
I received The Happy Kid Handbook in exchange for this post.