A couple of months ago, Jennifer Berryman, PhD sent me a copy of her parenting book, A Parents’ Guide to Creating Wonderful People to review for my blog. Like most things in my house, it disappeared, maybe the cats were reading it. That’s all I can figure.
She was kind enough to send me another copy, thank you Dr. Berryman! And it was worth it. A Parents’ Guide to Creating Wonderful People is readable, and gives practical advice as to how to cope with various parenting situations.
I like that Dr. Berryman stresses the importance of modeling in the book. Here is an excerpt:
“Never underestimate the power of modeling. Children are constantly learning from their parents and watch their every move. You might think your child is just tagging along while you run errands, but he is watching you closely and learning to behave just like you do. “
Berryman, P. 108.
I find this to be true of Ari. When I’m at the grocery store, he thanks every single person who even remotely helped us, which I believe he modeled from me. I thank the employee that helped me find the flax seed, or the one who checked us out at the register, or the one that said good morning as we walked into the store. Ari sees me say thank you, and he is always running around saying thank you to all the people that help us.
Berryman’s book is based on concepts that we intrinsically know, but she highlights them, and makes us think about our behavior:
“Never tell your children their bad. Kids don’t need to hear comments like “you’re a bad boy.”
If you dislike their behavior, tell them that. Say “I don’t like it when you hit.”
Berryman, P. 81
This is something my dad used to say to me about adults, actually. He had a boss that would tell the employees “I don’t like what you did.” He wouldn’t attack the person’s character saying things like “You’re a bad worker,” or “You’re a jerk.” It’s one thing to say “I don’t like you,” and quite another to say “I don’t like what you’re doing.” I think Berryman is onto something here.
Now if only Dr. Berryman could teach me to have more patience. I could really use some right now, because I told Ari to clean up his toys 80 times as I’m writing this post and he’s just standing here.
Want to read more from Dr. Berryman? Here’s your chance to win” A Parents’ Guide to Creating Wonderful People.
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