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Book recommendation: Raising Human Beings

Well, that's a title that covers the total experience of parenting isn't it?!

Raising Human Beings

By Ross Greene

This fantastic book is about creating a collaborative partnership with your child. And essentially what that means is jointly solving problems with your child. Problems can be anything from your kid not brushing their teeth to using their phone too much, to doing risky stuff with their friends!

It gives parents a way to work together with your child to come up with solutions that suit both people, that will be effective in making things calmer at home. So rather than using authoritative parenting, where you decide what's going to happen and lay down the law - this book teaches a way to still remain in charge of your kids and the family, but use a more two sided approach so that you're both contributing to the solution.

I think it's really useful for parents who struggle a bit with getting the balance right between encouraging their child to do what they're told and their child's need to be independent. Or do things for themselves.

It helps parents learn how to balance having the discipline, but also leaving room for your child to be independent, and have a little bit of choice and control about how they want to do things. So it's going to be really useful for kids who are perhaps middle to upper primary school age and definitely for teenagers!

It's really easy to read and has some examples to help get the ideas across. It has a lot of really clear statements that can change your perspective from how you've been seeing things already.

Here are some of the messages that really stood out for me:

  • “Sometimes getting your child to do the right thing involves more LISTENING than LESSONING”.

  • Parents often try to solve problems by doing something TO a kid. Ross Greene states that it can be much more effective to try to solve a problem WITH your child.

  • The time parents often try to fix problems is when they’re happening. This is the heat of the moment when everyone is upset. Nobody thinks clearly then, so it’s kind of the worst time to be solving problems.

  • Work on up to three unsolved problems at a time – any more is too much for kids.

The book talks about kind of the way parents typically do things and then talks through what some different options are. And your options include deciding what's going to happen and laying down the law or taking a more two sided problem solving approach.

Greene talks a little bit about trying to be on the same page with your partner in parenting, and also some ideas about which partner might be the best person to start out with this different way of parenting. And then how you can come together in it.

So, key takeaways – it’s an easy book to read, or listen to, with clear advice and examples to make it easy to understand. It’s centred around working together with your child to solve problems, in a way that creates a strong relationship. And that’s the key to getting things right in parenting! You can read more about bonds here.


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