Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Parenting Pick: I Brake For Meltdowns

I once had a conversation with a childless friend who, after musing about the wildly differing parenting styles of his friends with children, exclaimed, "You'd think by now someone would figure it out and write a book about parenting and discipline. Then people would know what to do!" In I Brake For Meltdowns: How to Handle the Most Exasperating Behavior of Your 2-to-5-Year Old, authors Michelle Nicholasen and Barbara O'Neal write that when your child is having that highly public meltdown in the grocery store and all eyes are on you - the parent - and how you're going to react, there are basically two types of onlookers. There are the people with children, who give you a look indicating, "I understand. I've been there. Good luck!". And there are the people without children and with no clue as to how you should or could handle the situation or avoid it. Luckily for readers, authors Michelle and Barbara, fall into the first type - the "been there, done that" group. The advice in this book is fairly straightforward and divided into chapters based on specific issues like mealtime, getting dressed, sleeping, and social graces. Specific advice is given in a format that also gives alternatives - just in case that didn't work the first time or with your child's temperment. A "Been There" type of box also gives real-life "it happened to me" parenting stories that illustrate the discipline advice and also comfort the reader. As to my friend's comment about that wonder-parenting-discipline book, doing a keyword search in the library's catalog for "discipline" elicits 253 results. When narrowed to a subject search of "discipline of children" 76 titles appear. With each family and each child having unique styles, beliefs, temperments and situations, disciplines remains a hot and ongoing topic in the parenting and publishing world.

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