With all the parenting information out there and the constant pressure to be the “perfect” parent, it seems as if many parents have lost track of one very important piece of the parenting puzzle: raising happy kids.
Parenting today has gotten far too complicated. It’s never been the easiest job in the world, but with all the “parenting advice” parents are met with at every corner, it’s hard not to become bewildered. It seems that in the past it was a good deal simpler. You made sure there was dinner on the table and the kids got to school on time and no one set anything on fire, and you called it a success. But today everybody has a different method for dealing with the madness--attachment parenting, free-range parenting, mindful parenting. And who is to say one is more right or better than another? How do you choose?
The truth is that whatever drumbeat you march to, all parents would agree that we just want our kids to be happy. It seems like a no-brainer, right? But in the face of all the many parenting theories out there, happiness feels like it has become incidental. That’s where The Happy Kid Handbook by child and adolescent psychotherapist and parenting expert Katie Hurley comes in. She shows parents how happiness is the key to raising confident, capable children. It’s not about giving in every time your child wants something so they won’t feel bad when you say no, or making sure that they’re taking that art class, and the ballet class, and the soccer class (to help with their creativity and their coordination and all that excess energy). Happiness is about parenting the individual, because not every child is the same, and not every child will respond to parenting the same way. By exploring the differences among introverts, extroverts, and everything in between, this definitive guide to parenting offers parents the specific strategies they need to meet their child exactly where he or she needs to be met from a social-emotional perspective. A back-to-basics guide to parenting, The Happy Kid Handbook is a must-have for any parent hoping to be the best parent they can be.
With an attitude that "happiness is a choice we make" and the belief that what parents ultimately want for their children is for them to be happy, child psychotherapist Hurley's debut urges careful observation of children's personalities in order to meet their needs and support their growth as individuals. This practical and highly workable handbook details a broad selection of delightfully creative strategies for helping kids learn from play, manage strong emotions constructively, learn to forgive and empathize, build assertiveness, and accept difference in themselves and others. Her guidance on reducing stress and mediating anxiety and frustration targets both kids and parents, though many exercises are primarily oriented toward the child's mind. Nonetheless, parents will find themselves strongly tempted to try Hurley's instructions for "balloon breathing," literally walking in another person's shoes, and symbolically throwing old hurts into recycling bins. Her book is highly recommended for people who seek a parenting orientation rather than a method but still want a substantial toolbox of specific activities to use in understanding and connecting with their children.