What do we want for our children other than a lifetime of health? Confidence and happiness, of course. As parents, it’s probably all we could ever wish for, most especially because these two elements form the basis for so much else – like fulfilment, achievement, success (whatever your definition of ‘success’ may be).
Written by Anthony Gunn, a psychologist and father of two who specialises in empowering people, this book is a little different to the plethora of parenting books on the market. Instead of sucking dry the chronically limited time most parents have – forcing us to wade through great hulking tomes of psychobabble – this pocket-sized guide really is for parents on the go.
Yet it doesn’t skimp on substance.
Split into 40 chapters that purport to help your child succeed, Gunn covers such topics as knowing your child’s brain, allowing your child to struggle, walking your talk, being a pioneer parent, encouraging mistakes, avoiding the IQ trap, allowing your child to feel pain, and finding the middle ground on change.
Raising Happy, Confident Children has no sugar-coating. It is honest, frank, totally approachable and easy to read, opening the childhood experience in such unique, left-field ways, it will stun most parents – especially those whose parenting techniques are not ‘working’ or for those whose children are entering new and uncharted phases, where old parenting styles no longer work.
The author doesn’t skimp on sharing his fascinating knowledge on not only the psychology of the parent/child relationship, but also on children and parents as individuals. The simplicity of Gunn’s ideas are fretworked with many a lightbulb moment, many a ringing bell, many a new concept and fresh view – some concepts braised in common sense (how often do we miss common sense?) and some a priceless education.
Peppered with fascinating exercises that allow you to see children and their worlds from an entirely new (and enlightening) angle, this book is a treat for any parent. Far from alienating and confusing readers, the psychological basis for the book’s content provides an eye-opening perspective that will surely benefit parent as well as child.
In fact, learning to understand our own parental behaviour is key here. If we want to equip our children with all they need to grow into resilient, confident and happy adults, taking a look at our own lives and how they reflect our children’s behaviour, beliefs and subsequent life choices, is vital.
As Gunn references under the heading of chapter 17 – ‘Be the kind of person you always wanted your parents to be.’ This may have been taken from a simple bumper sticker but how more poignant and perfectly relevant could this message behind parenting be? Oftentimes the simplest and most obvious ideas have the most profound effect on our lives.
If Raising Confident, Happy Children is a bumper sticker, the indepth exploration of a successful future for your children is absolutely assured. Fascinating stuff.
Raising Confident, Happy Children by Anthony Gunn is published by Hardie Grant Books, A$19.95RRP.