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November 16, 2011

Book Review: Connected Parenting Transform your Challenging Child and Build Loving bonds for Life

Author: Jennifer Kolari

A parenting class I took recommended this book and I feel like it has some really great techniques for all parents.

I will admit that I glossed over some parts because some of it was about older children (my little guys are both 2 and half and under) but it made me realize that it might be a good book to pick up again later. Some of the tools are things that I have been trying on my son though and they have proven to be quite effective.

The focus is on mirroring your child's behaviours and empathizing with them. It seems simple right? But of course there is a technique on how to mirror and empathize.

The author wants you to use the CALM method: Connect, Affect, Listen and Mirror.

Connecting is showing your undivided attention (which is hard in today's busy world),

Affect means showing the emotions or feelings to your child through tone, body language and facial expressions

Listen means to actually listen with both ears and not while we are doing something else. Use words to show that you are listening to them. (she gives tools on how to do this and even gives you some words to try)

Mirror: By using the above techniques, you can mirror genuinely what they are feeling, and develop a good connection.

What I like best about this book is that she uses examples throughout to demonstrate things. The only complaint is that some of it is for older kids--but eventually I could see it being useful. That being said, in the parenting class at Becoming Maternity and Parenting Centre, the instructor Ariana who recommended this book said it's good to start this early so you become more comfortable with the skill and it becomes second nature.

It's available at the Toronto Public Library and it's worth a read.

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