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Mama improvement project

by Jean Van't Hul
February 18, 2010


This parenting business is crazy hard! At least for me right now. The parent I am and the parent I want to be are so far apart. Yes, I’m good at encouraging art and creativity. But there’s so much more to parenting than that! And when I find myself saying the same thing over and over again to Maia (generally some variation of “calm down” or “be gentle with Daphne”) with no discernible result, I know that I need to improve my parenting skills.

I’ve been reading a few of the books that you recommended after I posted about my challenges with Maia earlier, including:

Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for Parents Whose Child is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, Energetic by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka

How to Talk so Kids Will Listen & Listen so Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish


Taming the Spirited Child: Strategies for Parenting Challenging Children Without Breaking Their Spirits by Michael H. Popkin

I think the best thing I got out of Raising Your Spirited Child was a greater understanding of the needs of introverts vs extroverts and how much this affects Maia and me. As an extrovert, Maia recharges by interacting with people (usually me, by default). As an introvert, I recharge when I am alone.

Taming the Spirited Child really clicked for me. It both perfectly describes what we are going through, yet is full of concrete parenting skills to apply. I think these skills would work for any parent, not just parents with CAPPS kids (Curious, Adventurous, Powerful, Persistent, and Sensitive). The book is full of acronyms! I’m on my second time through this book now and Harry is reading it as well.

And (a big AND), I just read How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk. Wow! Why have I not read this before?! It’s been around forever. Why didn’t everyone tell me to read this the second I conceived? Why was this not handed out at the birth center (first kid) or the hospital (second kid). SUCH. A. GOOD. BOOK! So have you all read this already? Several of you recommended it to me when I was asking for parenting book ideas. I’m going out and buying my own copy of this one. I need it on my bookshelf!

Okay, here’s my dilemma now. I’m in information overload. I feel like I just read three amazing books, filled with excellent, concrete ideas that I could use everyday and I’m already applying some of them, but there’s SO MUCH that I don’t remember and so much that I will probably have to practice over and over before it comes naturally.

So how do I do this? Reread the books and take notes and post them all over the house? Any ideas?


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