"Parenting doesn't come with a handbook."
...Except, it kind of does.
At least, I think so when we have books like this one at our fingertips.
THE OFFICIAL HANDBOOK OF PARENTING
Okay, so it isn't the official handbook of parenting but for sake of this post, I'm going to go ahead and take it upon myself to title it that.
"How to Talk so Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk" is the holy grail of parenting books in my opinion and although I read it many moons ago when I was in college, it continues to shape the parent I am today.
Mostly, it reminds me that I am not just raising kids...I am raising HUMANS.
Little humans with emotions, feelings, and frustrations, just like me.
The title says it all. This book is all about learning ways to speak more gently to our children in a way that they will feel valued and respected and in turn, they will actually LISTEN.
Think about it- if your boss came storming into your office, nagging at you about something for the fifth time today, how eager would you be to listen to them? Cue eye-rolling and nasty inner thoughts, right?
The same goes for our children.
When we speak to them out of anger or frustration, they tend to shut down and stop listening.
When we nag or lecture them daily about the same things, the more they resist.
When they don't feel heard, they stop coming to us.
This isn't rocket science, people.
SPEAKING = LISTENING
Part of building communication and trust with our children is also learning how to listen to them.
And I don't mean "listen" while you scroll through your phone or continue cooking that famous out-of-the-box pasta of yours.
I mean ACTUALLY listening to them. Sitting down, paying attention to them, and truly hearing what they have to say.
IT'S NOT THEM, IT'S YOU
Oof, that's a hard pill to swallow but I've got news for you...
If your kids don't listen, it IS your fault. There, I said it.
The good news is, it's never too late to be a better parent and to change the habits we are instilling in our children.
Parenting is hard. Raising humans is HARD.
What I've realized, though, is that it is usually hard because of our own doing, our own habits, and what we think we know about parenting.
GET THE BOOK
...and then actually read it.
You (and your children) can thank me later.
Have you read this book? I want to hear about it! Comment below to share your thoughts and share this with a fellow parent that should read this (Hint: that means EVERY parent).