Tuesday, February 02, 2010

My Parenting Library

Usually I tell friends to throw away the baby books. They seem aimed at making new parents neurotic. The one I really liked (Happiest Baby on the Block), I liked because it just validated my instincts. I'm a big believer in the "Go With Your Gut" style of parenting.

And then came Angelina....and now I have a whole library of parenting books. A year ago, I wrote about our Spirited Child. The book, Raising Your Spirited Child, gave us some valuable insight into understanding her character. And let's face it, a child of Frédéric and me is not going to be calm and easy going, not with two intense, passionate parents. It's what I love about Frédéric and about Angelina, but it can be a challenge!

So here we are a year later. Our Happy Hurricane is adjusting (or rather, not adjusting) to leaving her old daycare where she'd been 2.5 years, being a big sister with a new baby in the house demanding ALL Mommy's time, and starting a new pre-school. For awhile there, it was bad. BAD. And then it started to get better, or so it seemed. Then, Papa went away. Sure, Nanny came and that helped distract her a bit the first week, but having returned for two days and leave again for another 4, was more than even Nanny could distract...All her "worst" behaviours came out in full force. Now he's back, and she's coming around again, but we've accepted that "going with your gut" isn't working.

So we've succumbed to the books. See, our "guts" too often lead us to be intimidators rather than emotion coaches. Ten points to whomever knows where that reference comes from ;). My latest book is another by the same author, and reading it is like bells going off. "Of course! That's what I need to do!" as she describes some child doing the same thing Angelina does.

AH, but one actually has to remember all the techniques and actually DO them, which is not so easy in the heat of the moment when your gut is telling you to strike out.

We're learning. Most importantly, we're learning more about ourselves. Frédéric said the other day "she's making us better people." That's because we're learning patience, we're learning to think about what we do, how we react, how we deal with stress. Not that the lessons are easy. I'd say we're earning about a C+ at the moment. But we're trying. Maybe by the time Lenaïc enters this phase, we'll have mastered the lessons and earned an A+.

The book: Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles

Another just finished Siblings Without Rivalry, which, though one sibling is not even 8 weeks old, is already relevant. I highly recommend both.

1 comment:

Marcy said...

Hmmm I've heard of Siblings Without Rivalry and it's on my list to read when we need it, but I may have to check out this Power Struggles book. We're starting to get there, too...

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