I’ve been reading a parenting book, as my son is going through the stage commonly known as the ‘terrible twos’. I’d noticed that he behaved worst when I was cross or tired, and suspected that the problem was with me not him… Lo and behold, one parenting book later I was confirmed right – and also reminded to go easy on myself as I was only human. Excellent.
I got to pondering how much of the advice is really specific to children, and how much is generally useful. The key elements are praise, listening, giving consistent feedback, respecting opinions, showing empathy even when saying no, and having the confidence to lay down your own rules and hold to them. They all sound like transferrable skills to me.
I have a sneaking suspicion that if I’d read the parenting book when I was a teenager, my life now would be quite different. And yet in the assorted books I’ve read or courses I’ve taken about people skills and assertiveness, no-one has ever given such clear, practical advice. I wonder why?
The book, for anyone who’s interested, is here, and I cannot recommend it enough.