Anyway, I found this book helpful enough that right after finishing I wanted to turn to the front page and read it all over again, but I've already renewed it twice from the library. So I bought myself a copy. That in itself says a lot. I feel like the real test of the book's veracity will be how well its suggestions work when put into practice. I am trying, but still fall far short of where I should be as a parent. Here's some of the things that really stuck with me from Picking Your Battles.
The book describes methods of implementing discipline, being firm and sticking to the rules and standards you have made for your family, without caving into arguments. It helps you discern between what kinds of infractions are merely irritating to you and better ignored, which are impolite misconduct that should be corrected, and which are serious infractions that need to be acted on immediately. It tells you how to teach your child to be responsible, to recognize consequences, to understand the impact of their actions on others. Shows you strategies for managing anger, whether it be at your children, or anger they feel towards you. Points out that anger can be useful, as long as it is not expressed with aggression. Helps you recognize your own discipline strategy and realize if it is effective or not. And so on. Grounded in an understanding of child psychology, the author also tells you how to recognize when your kid is acting the way he does because of a developmental stage, not just because they're trying to be difficult or get under your skin. This is another thing I often need to remember. There's a lot more that I'm not even touching on here, but I don't really know how to describe it properly.
Well, I'm trying to implement some of the ideas from the book: to listen more, guide and direct more than demand and punish, give positive reinforcement instead of negative reprimands, and stem my irritation (I tend to nag a lot). But I think I'm going to read this book over again many times before I am done.
rating: 4/5 ......... 352 pages, 2004