As a new mother, one of the things I did nonstop was read baby and parenting books. Now my son is two years old, and still, I find myself drawn to reading material that promise to make me be a better parent. I've read so many that often, I'll just do a quick skim through because I find that a lot of the information is the same from book to book. That's why it was so refreshing to read and discover Whale Done Parenting, a book with a revolutionary concept that I found actually works!
Whale Done Parenting does for toddlers what SeaWorld did for killer whales. You know those super spectacular shows where the whales obey, do special tricks and seem to have absolute trust in their trainers? Turns out, the same training techniques can be applied to kids! The secret is focus on the positive and pretty much ignore the negative. The most important thing I learned was to concentrate on catching your kids doing something right and then reward them for it. Just as animals trust and want to please humans who reward them with praise and recognition, the same holds true for children (and basically the human race as a whole.)
I tried this technique out on my son, who has a tendency to make huge messes with his toys and then refuse to clean them up. In the past, I would scold him while he was making the mess, because I knew that he probably wasn't going to clean it up and I didn't want to get stuck with picking up after him. After reading the book however, I let him go ahead and make the mess - as long as he wasn't hurting anybody I chose to ignore it. Then, I encouraged him to help me clean it up. After much coaxing, he finally put one of his blocks away. I then made a big deal out of that, rewarding him with praise. And now? He's become a great little helper! He cleans up after himself without a problem (usually) and seems happy when I'm pleased with him. According to the book, the same principles can be used for mealtime, potty training, bedtime and naps, sharing of toys, care of pets, and more. The book also shows that the same basic methods can be used in dealing with issues appropriate to older children.
Whale done parenting is extremely easy to read and entertaining. It has a great narrative style that made me not want to put it down. Ever. For that I say Whale Done! For more information about Whale Done Parenting and how to buy it, go here.
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