My approach to parenting is simple: The act of having children does not make me a good parent. I must educate myself so I mess them up in the least detrimental ways possible.
It is important to me that I do my part to raise my children to be confident, educated, loving, compassionate and secure. We as parents shape our children’s future in every interaction we have with them. We can chose to continue the parenting practices of our parents or change the course, for better or worse.
I have ordered many parenting books over the past few years and have taken bits and pieces from them. The first parenting book that I read cover to cover was “Parenting is a Contact Sport: 8 Ways to Stay Connected to Your Kids for Life” by Joanne Stern PhD. I finished it just yesterday.
Dr. Stern doesn’t tell you how to deal with situations step by step, but gives excellent examples of how she dealt with issues throughout her own children's lives in support of the 8 ways to stay connected to your kids principles. Also includes are patient stories of how interactions with their parents shaped their lives in a negative way. Some of these stories are heart breaking. I never want my own children to feel like these patients, as a result of how I have interacted with them.
The key concepts in the book support the notion that if you “build a relationship with your children that’s so strong, nothing will sever it”. The 8 ways to build this relationship Dealing with Feelings in Your Family, Giving your Kids a Sense of Belonging, Boosting Your Kids’ Self Esteem and Teaching Your Kids About Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll.
We as parents really do have a profound impact on the future of our children. Much like we have to study for a driver’s license test or a college entrance exam, we should also arm ourselves with knowledge and tools to enable their happiness for the rest of their lives. This book will go a long way toward doing just this.