No one wants to be “that” parent, right? I was recently in
hell the boys gymnastics center for their first class of the year. It was hot, crowded and filled with kids and parents. It’s in this type of environment where you get to see a range of kids behaviors, and parents skill level in dealing with those behaviors. It was ugly people. I wanted to start handing out copies of Dr. Gilboa’s book Get the Behavior You Want…Without Being the Parent You Hate. How’s that for a catchy title?
Now, I am far from the perfect parent. My kids have been known to wrestle each other, hit me, scream and otherwise cause a general ruckus in public. However, I don’t just politely smile at this behavior. In fact, I probably overreact and either remove them from the situation or loudly shut.it.down. I’m sure everyone enjoys the show. But, after reading most of Dr. Gilboa’s book, I can honestly say that I’ve learned how to parent them better. I shit you not.
Now, I say most of the book because, as a mom to four boys, the good doctor knows that no mother can sit down and read a 200+ page book (at least not one on parenting!), so she conveniently broke it down into manageable bites. You simply look for topics you’re dealing with now like – – What About Your Kids Friends?, Teach Your Kids to Get Themselves Clean, Chores: Good For You and Them, Forms: Don’t Fill ‘Em Out!, Get Off the Happiness Hook – – and then she further breaks them down into age groups so I didn’t have to waste time reading about how to get a tween to do chores. Brilliant!
In the following three minute, promotional YouTube video, Dr. G gives advice on everything from The Biebs (yes, she does!) to technology and common parenting concerns:
I have to be honest, when I first heard about the book (and the opportunity to review it) I was skeptical. I don’t take kindly to doctors telling me they’re “parenting experts” even when they have four boys. What won me over very quickly about this book was Dr. Gilboa’s opening statement:
“I’m a parenting expert on my four boys at home and you’re a parenting expert on your kids at home.” Now that’s a mentality I can get behind!
Some of my favorite takeaways from the book include:
On Respect: Dr. G says that as soon as she walks into an exam room with a parent and kid, she knows right away who is in charge! Right? Do your kids listen when you talk? “The difference is in the parents belief in themselves. If you don’t expect to be obeyed they will meet your expectations.” BOOM.
On Responsibility: I don’t know what happens in your house but my boys never want to flush the damn toilet! Dr. G’s solution? “Take stick-on numbers and have your child label #1 toilet paper (use it!), #2 toilet flusher (please, dear Lord use it!), #3 behind the lid so they put it down (I didn’t even bother with this one until I have success with #2) and then continuing with the sink and soap, etc. This actually worked! Hazah!
On Exercise: Yeah so I was going to skip over this one but, this tidbit caught my eye, listed specifically for ages 5-7:
“Brag about your exercise. If you’re fitting exercise into your alone time, make sure your child knows you do, and why you value that.” Thank you for that affirmation doc, I needed that! Could I also add in that I write about exercise, have a blog about it, and a YouTube Channel with workouts? Too much? I need to see a different kind of doctor about that? Fair enough.
On Happiness: Dr. G makes it very clear we should not be parenting to make our kids happy, but instead “…our goal as parents is to raise our kids to find and create their own happiness. What if instead of asking ourselves, ‘Is my child happy?’ we start asking, ‘Is my child learning and growing?’ And I think by “learning and growing” she means setting boundaries, having rules and, generally making them very unhappy (at times) so that they may have this self-created happiness of which she speaks.
It should also be pointed out that the very first bullet point of ‘Why shouldn’t we make our kids happy?’ is BECAUSE WE CAN’T. Truer words…
[Tweet “How do you get the #BehaviorYouWant from your kids? @AskDrG “]
What do you think about parenting books?
Have you read any good ones lately?
If YOU were to write one, what would the title be? Mine would be “Raising Twins Is an Endurance Sport and I Need More Energy Gels!”
I need this book like yesterday! Such great tips….if only EVERY parent would read it….right?!
Kristen, well that would certainly make ME happy! 😉
Ok, the toilet one, I could totally use, because you would think with two girls flossing wouldn’t be an issue, but still they hate flushing. I am not sure if it is the sound or not, but still they hate it all the same and I am usually the one flushing when all is said and done for myself and two other little people around here!
I know! We have this idea that this is a boy thing, but no!
The Respect one reminds me of the dog whisperer. Kids/dogs… dogs/kids… as a childless adult, these small creatures are all very similar to me 🙂 Love the name of your book! I would read it even without kids!
Charlotte, I totally agree! We have two dogs as well…
I love this review, Allie, because you read and sued the book exactly as it was meant to be, and you got something out of it! Which means it’s a book you can reach back to time and time again as your boys reach different ages and stages. So yay!
Thank you so much Alison!
If I wrote a parenting book, it would be called “Just Winging It.” So far that’s working out for me! I do really like the point of not making our kids happy – that’s not our job. I remind my kids of that very often!
I think most parents (myself included) would definitely relate to Winging It!
Great post and sounds like a great book. I definitely need to change some things. I know I am way too hard on my boys a lot of the time and would love to learn some new strategies. You are making my book collection grow 🙂
Sue, if you grab the book I would LOVE to know what you think. New strategies can make home a much easier place to be!
Sounds like a good one! Is there a section on getting you teenager to do more chores? Also, will that toilet numbering system work on older teens too because they seemed to have lost the ability to flush the toilet. If it does I am so totally buying it!
I’m sorry, this book ends at about age 12. HOWEVER! I do have some suggestions about getting teens back in the game, try here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLaVCcMOBLdIp8w33TKGLVHBQ8gHX7NJWP
This sounds great. I wish I could say I was the perfect parent but I am so far from it. I’ll be honest sometimes I see other kids behave so well and I am downright jealous. My kids are so sweet but rambunctious too. They like never stop. It’s quite amazing to watch actually but not so fun to parent. The crazy thing is we are all first timers trying to make our way through so guidance like this is appreciated so much.I’ll be sure to tell Josh how much mommy loves her running. (but I think he knows :))
Nellie, I’m certainly no perfect parent either. I don’t think any of us are! They are more fun to watch than to manage a lot of the time, but they respond really well when we find the right way to approach their behavior. I hope if you grab the book, you find it really encouraging!
I like and can relate to the perspectives you shared from the book. I think confidence and consistency go a long way to helping a parent tune into their innate parental wisdom. I will be adding this book to my growing reading list for sure! I think there is something to be gained from reading any kind of book. I usually read a book until I feel like I have found something to validate or shift my perspective. Sometimes I don’t even finish a book because I have gotten what I need before the end. Thanks Allie!
Tara, I very much hope you’ll find a place in this book that shifts something for you and I’m sure you’ll find plenty to validate your work as a mom!
I totally agree on the happiness – no way that we can “make” our kids happy!! I think that the more confident they are the happier they will be. And, I agree that boundaries are required to help with the happiness!!!
Kim you are so right! And we can build our kids’ happiness by teaching them how competent they are to solve most of their own problems! Thanks for your perspective.
I can’t wait to read this!!
Totally love the happiness one. I’m all about my kids being happy. So very much. Mainly it’s that they can achieve that themselves and not from me giving them tons of toys and candy!
Tamara, thanks so much! It is so much better for us and them if they can achieve it themselves.
My parents were VASTLY different from all other parents when I was younger. I always was so mad that they wouldn’t let me do XYZ and they didn’t baby be like my friend’s parents would do. My parents were extremely realistic and my siblings and I were also raised by nannies so we didn’t see our parents all that much. However, since becoming an ADULT, I could not be HAPPIER with the way my parents brought me and my siblings up. I have a very realistic perspective on life, I am not sheltered, I appreciate life and everything it has to offer and I see the big picture on every situation so I don’t sweat the small stuff. Thank you mom and dad for EVERYTHING! Seriously. And honestly, I don’t think they read any parenting books. They didn’t have time 😉
Gigi – this is music to my ears! I’m so glad you took the time to share your perspective, both as a child and now as an adult. Thank you!
This sounds great! I love that point about if you don’t expect to be obeyed, they’ll meet your expectations. YUP. It blows my mind when I see little kids who are obviously the ones in charge in the parent/child relationship. That’s a recipe for disaster!
Carly, It is a recipe for disaster, and not anything that makes kids feel more confident or comfortable either. Kids don’t want to be in charge.
Where was this book when my kids were little?!! All I can think about is the time that they were screeching in the grocery store and I told them if they didn’t stop, we were going to leave. Of course they didn’t listen and we had to leave and then oh-so-helpful lady followed me out of the store to tell me I was overreacting and my kids were cute. Are you serious?! Back then I was too overwhelmed and unsure of myself to say anything; today I think I would have let her have it.
Michelle, that is so kind of you to say! And you should have let her have it – why would she undermine your awesome parenting that way?
I really like the idea of small tidbits of information. I am trying to get through all these baby books and I just can’t. Ok. I can but I just kept choosing The Fault in Our Stars over The Happiest Baby on the Block. It’s just so long and boring! I know, bad mom already! 🙂
Britt, I honestly prefer Fault in Our Stars too! Not a bad mom, a realistic mom – use your reading time as it helps you most!
I kind of love the messaging in this book. Parenting should really come with a manual.
Thank you so much Melissa!