Have you ever thought of your family as the love story that never ends, the story that will go on after you are gone, the story you are planting the seeds for?
This book, “Liberated Parents, Liberated Children: Your Guide To A Happier Family” first published in 1974 and then re-published in a more up to date version, was one of my first lifelines as a parent in creating a happy and cohesive, connected family. Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish, who also wrote “How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk,” wrote this book to share the principles of child psychologist Dr. Haim Ginott. The dedication always makes me smile as the books says, “To any parent, anywhere, who’s every muttered to himself, “There HAS to be a better way!”
This is the book we will be exploring this next month if you would like to read along!
The first chapter, entitled, “In The Beginning Were The Words,” the authors as a composite character write: “If what I was doing was right, then why was so much going wrong?” Why does my child…have low self-esteem…fight me at every turn….cling…whine…. and why does it make us crazy?
Dr. Ginott stated that the language he used with children was devoid of evaluation. In other words, he describes what he sees or feels. Descriptive words can often invite a child to work out their own solutions to things. For example, if a child spills milk we don’t yell at that child that the child is stupid and clumsy; instead we say, “I see the milk spilled,” and hand the child a sponge for clean up.
Love is important. Love is everything. But so is action. And love involves words that do not tear people down, but instead build them up. We cannot destroy our children or our family members with our words and expect a happy family. Anger, which I have written extensively about on this blog, can be a catalyst for change, but it has to be the RIGHT kind of anger – we never attack personally. Dr. Ginott gives the example of the messy room, “The sight of this room does not give me pleasure!” or “Clothes and books and toys belong on the shelf!”
No one will love your child more than you do! Use your love, and your words for good. Accept your child’s feelings, and help guide them towards the RIGHT ACTION.
Come follow along with me,
Much love to you all,