How To Raise A Happy Child (And Be Happy Too) by Heather Criswell and Taryn Voget is a book that aims to provide parenting strategies that will help you raise a happy, independent child while defusing many of the potential flash points in parent-child relationships. Its advice is provided in a straight-forward manner that is partly based on anecdotes and experiences (the sections written by Heather Criswell) and partly based on a more scientific perspective (the sections written by Taryn Voget). Much of the advice will seem to contradict traditional parenting practices, but the book explains why these are not necessarily the best approaches, and why the suggested alternatives work better. This book does take a while to get into, but once you do, you’ll find that it’s jam-packed full of useful advice that you can apply not just to parent-child relationships, but also to almost any social interactions. This is because much of this advice is based around the idea of avoiding drama triangles, and identifying what you can and cannot expect to be able to control in your child’s life. While the style it’s written in may not be everyone’s cup of tea, this is a book that every parent should read at least once as the advice it contains will go a long way to improving the happiness of both parents and children alike by shifting the parent-child dynamic away from the toxic and destructive victim-persecutor-rescue triangle to the more positive and empowering creator-challenger-coach one.
Basic Book Information (2013 Paperback Edition): ISBN: 978-0984454570; Year of First Publication: 2013; Recommended Retail Price (RRP): £14.95/US$21.95; Number of Pages: 418. To purchase this book in the UK, click here. To purchase this book in the USA, click here.
What is this book about? This book is about parent-child dynamics and the importance of getting them right if you wish to develop a happy, positive and empowering relationship with your child. The authors suggest that in order to do this, there needs to be a shift in focus from most traditional parenting approaches to one where the parent understands what they can and cannot control in their relationship with their child, and that by focussing on the former, they can become happier and less stressed in their role as a parent, and raise a child who will be happier and better able to cope with life too. This shift involves avoiding slipping into drama triangles, accepting what are your responsibilities and what are not, realising how both parents and children can get what they want through cooperation rather than confrontation or compromise, and by changing the energy they choose to bring to any situation. This book is supported by additional advice on the How To Raise A Happy Child blog and the accompanying videos.
Why is it important to know? Humans, by their very nature, can easily slip into social dynamics which are damaging to all who are involved in them. These relationships are based around the toxic drama triangle dynamic of victim-persecutor-rescuer, and the end result of such relationships is that everyone ends up feeling unhappy. However, there is an alternative approach that is much more positive and empowering, and that leaves everyone involved feeling much happier. This book explains how drama triangle dynamics can develop between parents and children, starting from a very young age, and how they can lead to both children and parents feeling unhappy. In then goes on to explain how these dynamics can be identified and avoided. By using these approaches with your child, you will not only improve your happiness and the quality of the relationship with your child, but you will also be providing them with important inter-personal skills that will enable them to develop positive social relationships with others throughout their lives. As a result, the information in this book can be thought of as providing a framework for teaching your child how to interact with others in a positive and empowering manner while avoiding getting drawn into negative and destructive relationship dynamics.
What are the key take home messages? 1. You, as the parent, cannot control how your child behaves, instead you can only control the energy you bring to any given situation. If you bring positive energy, you’ll draw a positive response from your child, but if you bring negative energy, you’ll draw a negative response from them; 2. You are not responsible for your child’s (or anyone else’s) happiness, either now or in the future. This means that while you can offer them opportunities, you are not responsible for the decisions they make, or any unhappiness that results from them; 3. Don’t focus on the negative aspects of your child’s behaviours, instead focus on the positive behaviours you want them to learn and display; 4. Provide your child with choices and always honour the decisions they make, even if it’s not the one you’d have like them to choose. If you don’t want your child to choose a specific option, then don’t offer it to them in the first place.
Who are the authors? Heather Criswell has spent twenty-five years working with children and during this time she has developed a wealth of experience and knowledge about how to raise children in a positive and empowering manner. Taryn Voget is the co-founder of the Everyday Genius Institute.
How technical is this book? While this book is filled with a wealth of information, it is by no means technical. This means that the language used in it is easy to understand and the advice offered is provided in a manner that makes it easy to implement in your daily life..
How long will it take to read? This is a fairly hefty tome, but it’s divided into short enough sections that you can dip in and out of it whenever you have a few minutes to spare. However, it’s best read a chapter at a time so that you can ingest it’s contents in full before moving onto the next one.
Are there other books by the same authors? To date, this is the only book written by this pair of authors. However, each have written other books separately.
Links To Purchase This Book
About The Author: This post was written by Colin Drysdale, the creator of How To Raise A Happy Genius.
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