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!”