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A groundbreaking guide to raising responsible, capable, happy kids
Based on the latest research on brain development and extensive clinical experience with parents, Dr. Laura Markham’s approach is as simple as it is effective. Her message: Fostering emotional connection with your child creates real and lasting change. When you have that vital connection, you don’t need to threaten, nag, plead, bribe—or even punish.
This remarkable guide will help parents better understand their own emotions—and get them in check—so they can parent with healthy limits, empathy, and clear communication to raise a self-disciplined child. Step-by-step examples give solutions and kid-tested phrasing for parents of toddlers right through the elementary years.
If you’re tired of power struggles, tantrums, and searching for the right “consequence,” look no further. You’re about to discover the practical tools you need to transform your parenting in a positive, proven way.
A clinical psychologist specializing in child development and parenting, and founder of AhaParenting.com, Markham turns some commonly touted advice on its head, but not without first building a convincing case for her assertion that peaceful parenting is based upon unconditional love and connection. The book is divided into three "big ideas": regulating yourself; fostering connection; and coaching, not controlling. In Part One, she helps parents learn how to be mindful, patient, and manage anger. She then moves on to the importance of connection, the cornerstone of her parenting approach. A secure connection, Markham maintains, helps a child feel safe enough to explore the world, while pushing emotional independence creates needier children in the long run. With preventive maintenance such as "special time," in which the parent gives the child 100% of his/her attention for an allotted period, Markham lights the way to better-behaved kids. In Part Three, she reveals how punishment including the popular use of "time-out" actually promotes bad behavior and lowers self-esteem. Instead, the author shows parents how to offer "loving guidance." She also advises avoiding the "slippery slope of disconnection" linked to "self soothing" which, she says, teaches babies that their needs will not be met and increases stress hormones. In this compassionate yet practical text, Markham deftly leads parents down a gentler, kinder path to raising emotionally intelligent and happier children.