What Great Parents Do: 75 Simple Strategies for Raising Kids Who Thrive by Erica Reischer, PhD resonates strongly with me because it’s in line with both my belief in the importance of our own self-growth and my openness to continue learning how to be my best parent self. It’s a helpful parenting book of bite-sized wisdom, easily digestible for parents of any age child.
(Personally, I think I’m just starting to get the hang of this parenting gig now that my kids are 12 and 15. I hope that’s because I continue to stay open to learning more about myself and more about parenting.)
As you may imagine, I get sent a ton of parenting books to review. But I hardly ever share any with you. Why? Because while I’m always interested in growing, I am not interested in every parenting book in the world, in particular I’m not interested in books that shame, blame, or feel didactic and one-size fits all.
Helpful Parenting Book of Bite-Sized Wisdom
This book is different.
It fits with my growth-mindset.
Written by a parent and psychologist, this book is based on current child development and cognitive science research and, I imagine, the author’s experience working with families and being a parent herself. Reischer doesn’t believe in a perfect parent, only great ones who learn that parenting is a skill we can learn and practice.
Here’s what else I really like about her philosophy — it’s not all on the kids, it’s on us to make changes, too. She writes, “. . . the next time you find yourself wishing your kids would whine less, listen, more and so on — remember that to change your kids’ behavior, you have to start by changing yourself.” (xx)
The book is organized into 75 short chapters of advice that great parents do (not know but do).
You don’t have to read the book cover to cover. Pick any strategy that resonates with you. Read that.
Each of the 75 strategies presented are also presented with “Try This” section. This is the practical how-to guidance of implementing the strategy and really important.
I think it makes sense to read a strategy, try the ideas, and return to the book to reflect on how it went before moving on to another tip.
What kinds of advice does this book give? Here’s a few tips from the book:
“Great parents practice empathy.”
“Great parents teach kids to feel their feelings and choose their actions.”
“Great parents acknowledge their moods and feelings.”
“Great parents discipline in private.”
“Great parents view kids as little explorers and scientists.”
“Great parents harness the power of natural consequences.”
This is one parenting book I can get behind — it’s useful, easy to read, and spot-on with non-prescriptive, research-based wisdom.