Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Book Recommendation

Cheri has put this on her blog, but I wanted to add my appreciative second to her choice of parenting book: The Power of Positive Parenting by Glenn I. Latham. He has other books which I love as well:

Christlike Parenting: Taking the Pain out of Parenting


Parenting with Love: Making a Difference in a Day

What's a Parent to Do? Solving Family Problems in a Christlike Way

The last is out of print, but there is redundancy among all the books, and I have a couple copies if anyone wants to borrow. Everything he writes is based on this truth: "Research has shown that the most effective way to reduce problem behavior is to strengthen desirable behavior through positive reinforcement rather than trying to weaken undesirable behavior using aversive or negative processes." What his books do is give practical advice, scripts, roleplays and situational examples of how to put that simple but oh-so-difficult truth into practice. He even includes the inevitable talking back in his role-plays and scripts. He might say something like: Here's how it could go...Here's how it should go...and here's what will probably happen...so be prepared. I actually keep the first book, which is almost like a textbook, with my scriptures, so I can get little bites of worldly parenting wisdom to go along with the other.

They were originally recommended to me by my friend Leslie. His books and insight were her touchstones as she parented her autistic son. She said many times that he saved her as a parent. When Dr. Latham passed away, she was really shaken because he had been kind enough to personally correspond with her about Lukas. To me they represent the best possible marriage of sound, scientifically based thought and the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

So anyway, to make a short story long, yesterday the last book saved me. I had a really difficult parenting situation facing me. I was angry, frustrated, resentful, feeling hopeless because it is a recurring problem, and I just wanted to scream. Instead, I prayed, found one of Dr. Latham's books and started reading. The page I turned to had the insight and the perspective that I needed. He had scripts and roleplays that were, word for word, exactly like the things that were running through my mind. I had enough time before school got out to get myself together, and when the involved child and I talked about it, things went okay. We were able to figure out a solution and are on track for a much better outcome than the imagined one I was dreading yesterday. So, thanks to Dr. Latham, everything is okay today instead of our family being stuck in teenage door-slamming-freeze-out land. Of course the whole point is not changing the kid, but changing myself and the way I respond. So basic. So hard. I am so ready to trade in my natural woman. I know I need her to get where I want to be, but boy she is a pain in the neck sometimes.

5 comments:

  1. how timely. gregory and i just started reading "christlike parenting" together and i've been working my way through the first book since cheri's parenting class. i could have used more christlike parenting skills today. i sometimes wish 2-year-olds went to school, so i could have some calming prep time. i could use it. :) it's nice to know his advice is helpful in the longterm.

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  2. That's a neat post Kellie - I'm so glad you found the peace and strength you needed to work through it. Can I tell you how truly TERRIFIED I am to deal with teenagers in my own house? I know that you are right, it is so much about how I choose to deal with things.

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  3. I'm so glad that you had a resource to help you through a rough situation! I too am very scared of those teenage years, but you are such a great example to me of parenting with love - can I put you on speed dial when Sophie is 16?? ;)

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  4. I have yet to read a single parenting book from cover to cover. So far the ones I've perused present strategies that just seem unrealistic for our family. Then there's the slim book our midwife gave us when Katy was born... she's Christian and helps lots of Mennonite women give birth in their homes. So she passed along a book based on their theology, and the basic premise was "spare the rod, spoil the child" (tempered by an outpouring of love and quality time spent with children). I found it a little disturbing, though it was interesting to see how a different culture approaches parenting.

    Anyway, thank you for the recommendation from an LDS author. I'm definitely going to have to check these out!

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  5. If you truly do have an extra copy that you would'nt mind loaning or mailing out here, I could sure use it!

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Thank you for sharing your insights!