I’ve been reading a lot of parenting books lately (there’s always room for improvement, right?); what got the ball rolling would probably be HANDS FREE MAMA. Then one day I read this article by Amy McCready about using “asked and answered” with my kids. The idea is, if they ask the same question over and over, say “asked and answered”—no need to keep repeating yourself. The first time you use it, your kids will ask what you mean, but after that, you’re golden. And it works!
So, I checked out McCready’s book IF I HAVE TO TELL YOU ONE MORE TIME. (Have you ever said that one before? Haha.) The book starts out great; it talks about all the other books I’ve read that haven’t worked, like counting to three and trying to get kids to stay in time-out. They work for a bit, but then our smart little ones figure it out. McCready then moves onto some logical, no-brainer stuff that makes sense: spend time with your kids, when/then, and more. As of date, this stuff seems to be working!
Now, here’s the catch—it’s not original. The give-away was a quote McCready included toward the end of her book. The quote came from Rudolf Dreikurs’s book CHILDREN: THE CHALLENGE. I’m reading through CHILDREN: THE CHALLENGE now (none of the libraries in my state even carry it—had to special order it via Amazon) and almost EVERYTHING that McCready uses in this book comes from Dreikur’s book. Am I mad about that? No, not really. CHILDREN: THE CHALLENGE is great, but it’s a bit long winded and hard to extrapolate the critical advice. McCready organizes the same advice in such a way that it is easy to read and—most importantly—memorable. Books like HOW TO TALK SO YOUR CHILDREN WILL LISTEN are great, too, but they throw so much at you that it is hard to retain it all.
At the end of the day, this is one of the best parenting books I’ve read. The advice is practical, easy to remember, reasonable to implement, and pays off in dividends.