“Bad behavior is generally a cover-up for an uncomfortable emotion the child is feeling or a need they don’t know how to put into words or even recognize themselves.”
-“Raising the Challenging Child, Minimize Meltdowns, Reduce Conflict, and Increase Cooperation,” by Karen Doyle Buckwalker, Debbie Reed, and Wendy Lyons Sunshine.
I chose to read “Raising the Challenging Child,” because I am raising a challenging child. I know what it feels like to experience the stares and the opinions of my parenting and my child. It can feel hurtful and hopeless, sometimes. I can find myself wishing for someone else’s “normal.” I’ve read countless parenting books, but this one is by far the most helpful. “Raising the Challenging Child” meets parents where they are at, in their practical lives, and gives them attainable tools and easy to read explanations from professional people.
The book is broken up into three main sections: “Be a Leader,” “Dig Deeper,” and “Prepare for Success.” Each Chapter in every section ends with a helpful and easy to read and relate to chart with “Perhaps You’ve Done This …” and “Instead, Try This…” tips for parents. “As parents, we want to protect our children from hurtful comments,” the authors wrote, “but we have to hear the child’s own story (rather than discount or try to talk them out of their feelings) before we can help them accept themselves.” -“Raising the Challenging Child, Minimize Meltdowns, Reduce Conflict, and Increase Cooperation,” by Karen Doyle Buckwalker, Debbie Reed, and Wendy Lyons Sunshine.
In my opinion, the biggest take-away parents, caregivers, and other readers will take away from this book is how to be a better listener to our children. We often forget how important it is to simply be still and listen to them. The author’s provide amazingly helpful ways to defuse tense conversations and situations by asking questions. This book in no way condemns parents for making poor choices, but rather comes alongside them in all of the ways we wish to be better and do better for our children.
Though an easy read, this book is not a quick read. It is packed full of great information, tips, and easy to understand stories to go along with each point. This will be a book that I keep for reference, and will refer to often. “When we make a mistake, a lot of us beat ourselves up, thinking, I should have done this and I should have done that,” the authors wrote, “But the more grace we can have for ourselves, the more grace we can have for our children. The more we can forgive ourselves, the more we can forgive our kids.”
(I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.)