- Title: Optimistic Parenting
- Subtitle: Hope and Help for You and Your Challenging Child
- Author: V. Mark Durand, Ph.D.
- Length: 317 pages
- Publisher: Brookes Publishing Co.
- Website: brookespublishing.com/store/books/durand-70526/index.htm/
- About the About.com Rating
You've probably read plenty of books about techniques for getting your child to behave. Have you ever thought that maybe it's your own negativity that's making the behavior look bad? This book sets out to help you analyze your own thought process and bring you over to the bright side.
You know that therapist visit, the one that's supposed to be about your child but somehow, slowly, insidiously, shifts to become about you and your attitude and your parenting and your beliefs and your delusions? It may be subtext, it may be spoken, but eventually it becomes uncomfortably apparent that you are the one being observed. And you think, Buddy, if I wanted therapy for myself, I wouldn't be in an office full of blocks and train sets.
I certainly agree that parents' attitudes, and teachers', and ahem, doctors', can make a big difference in kids' behavior. The premise of Optimistic Parenting, that the negativity beat-down parents start to feel can get in the way of helping kids behave better, is not at all wrong. I've read other books that have gone over similar ground without raising my hackles. But as I slowly realized that half this book would be devoted to cognitive behavioral therapy for parents, with charts of their own to complete and endless case studies of cluelessness, I felt the same defensiveness I once did in those therapists' offices: If I wanted a self-help book, I wouldn't be looking in the parenting aisle.
Your mileage on that may well vary. If a book that combines exercises for analyzing and adjusting your own behavior with exercises for analyzing and adjusting your child's sounds like a great 2-for-1 deal, you'll find this book to be practical and helpful. Personally, I found it too button-pushing to feel upbeat about.
Is This Book for You?
It's definitely for you if: you know your attitude is hurting your child and your family and you want to change it ... you love reading stories about parents going through the same struggles as you are, told by a professional who can provide answers and advice ... you're up for the challenge of taking notes on your attitudes and emotions.
It may be for you if: you're pursuing a more positive parenting approach and looking for all the ideas you can find ... you need some ideas on changing the environment, with the understanding that sometimes the environment is you ... you're able to skip over advice you don't need or appreciate without feeling ticked-off about it.
It may not be for you if: you're not so good at that "not feeling ticked-off" thing ... you'd rather read about your child's issues than your own ... the only research on parenting you value is the research you live every day of your life.
It's definitely not for you if: you have strong negative feelings about professionals who make you feel negative about your negativity ... you hate lengthy case studies told by a professional who always gets to have the last word ... you feel sufficiently positive and want a book that focuses specifically on your child, preferably in way less than 300 pages.
Table of Contents
- Section I: Hope
- Chapter 1: Optimistic Parenting
- Chapter 2: Confident Parenting
- Chapter 3: Insight into Your Thoughts and Feelings
- Chapter 4: Changing the Way You Think
- Chapter 5: How to Become a Happier Parent
- Section II: Help
- Chapter 6: A Close Look at Your Child's Behavior
- Chapter 7: Emergency Strategies
- Chapter 8: Managing Consequences
- Chapter 9: Replacing Behavior Problems
- Section III: Special Topics
- Chapter 10: Transitions
- Chapter 11: Sleep Problems
- Appendix A: Blank Forms
- Appendix B: Additional Resources