Sunday, October 26, 2014

Book Review: The "Perfect" Parent

OK, peeps. Here is another book review.

Seriously. Where was this book 8 years ago when I first became a mother? Wow. So good. I've had to learn the hard way sometimes on this parenting journey...and that's OK, because for the most part I've come to learn from those mistakes and grown in a positive way.

But if you want to have some help along the way from someone who's been through it, has learned the lessons and has the ability to write them down in an "Oh, I totally get it!" sort of way...then you must read Roma Khetarpal's new book "The "Perfect" Parent: 5 Tools for Using Your Inner Perfection To Connect with Your Kids."

If you're like me and are swamped from head to toe with kids and activities and making food for them don't have much extra time. But don't worry, this book is so easy to read. It's interesting, concise and doesn't drag on and on before getting to the good stuff.

Roma has included the perfect balance of personal experiences, others' personal experiences, evidence based suggestions for your parenting toolkit and easy to understand tips for making parenting easier and more satisfying.

I consider myself to be a pretty mindful person already, but guess what? I totally was missing out on some pretty cool ideas for dealing with difficult situations (like tantrums, that oh-so-lovely preteen defiance and those moments when you have nasty knee-jerk reactions to yet another thing your kid does that you don't like!). I won't give these ideas away because it's one of those you have-to-read-the whole-book-to-get-it sort of deal (really, it is, but it's worth it). What I can share is a short-list (kindly, provided to me by Roma's lovely publicist) of the important key points covered in the book. This will give you an idea of what you'll get from the book:

  1. What is a parenting makeover and why we need one
  2. How perfectly happy, relaxed individuals become stressed out parents
  3. The five tools of communication and how can they help assuage a parent's doubt, guilt, worry and fear that often accompany the challenges of raising a child
  4. How we empower our children when we understand ourselves
  5. Why it is relationship-changing when parents treat children as individuals, listen to and understand what they say, while maintaining control over their own emotions
  6. How to use our internal Parental Guidance System (PGS) to build a solid relationship with our children
  7. How parents can simplify the parenting experience and amplify the enjoyment (it is possible!)
  8. The challenges in bringing up emotionally healthy children in a hurried world
  9. What defines good communication between parent and child
In particular, I really identified and needed to hear the advice from #2, 3, 6 and 9. Ah, all her advice was great, it's just I needed certain things more at this exact point in my parenting journey. I'll probably read it again when I'm at the brink of the teenage years, oh boy, that's not that far away!

But the best take home message this book provides is that we don't need to do it ALL to be the "perfect" parent! We just need to love and communicate and it all falls into place. Well, at least that's what I got and I'm sticking to it!

I hope now that I've begun using these 5 tools (and in some cases refurbished some of the things I was already doing), it replenishes my patience stores and brings out more of the best in me. Because really, I'm a happy, go lucky, patient person. I just haven't been feeling a whole lot of that lately (see, #2 above? it does happen!!!).

So, if you're thinking about having kids, pregnant, or already have a kid, or a few...this book is for you. Heck, even if you're a grandparent, this book would be so helpful.  I loved this book and I think you will too.

OK, now I'm off to get some sleep while the teething monster, I mean baby, sleeps.


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