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Honey, I Wracked The Kids

By Carine Nadel

I have to admit, when I was asked to read and review Honey, I Wrecked the Kids by Alyson Schafer, I was wondering two things:  One, where was some of this information when I was actually raising my kids?  Two, I wonder if this book will help my daughter in the care and raising of her absolutely wonderful little boys?  Read that as:  my absolutely perfect little grandsons.

Schafer is a Canadian psychotherapist and host of "The Parenting Show" in Toronto.  She's appeared on The Montel Williams Show and has been featured in Parenting and Cosmopolitan magazines.  

Letting us know that today's kids are different, therefore making traditional methods of discipline and parenting almost totally passé, Schafer writes her detailed instructions on a new style of parenting, modeled after her favorite child mentor.  She's decided that using a "democratic approach is both firm and friendly, and it respects the child's dignity and rights while ensuring the same for parents.  It should not be confused with being a permissive parent.  But unfortunately all too often is."

The author explains the social revolution that has been taking place in homes around the nation and gives us reason to pause and consider her methods of using new non-punitive tools for "parenting in the 21st century".  Mixing wisdom with humor, Schafer uses real-life scenarios from her programs, practice and website and explains where the parent "went wrong", what to look for and how to use the Adler methods to change the situation of having a child that "just won't listen or behave."

What makes "Honey, I Wrecked the Kids" unique from other parenting books is the simple method for diagnosing the four root causes on why children misbehave and makes it applicable to every parenting situation.  "Once a parent learns to understand what the motivation is behind their child's behavior, their new democratic parenting tools can be applied and with great success."

Why are kids different?  Why don't old discipline methods work anymore?  What causes kids to misbehave?  What is the new approach Schafer touts?  You'll have to get the book to find out, but I will let you in on what Schafer considers to be the most important thing for parents to consider-they are the "4 Crucial C's":

1.Connected.  The child needs to believe they belong.
2.Capable. The child needs to feel that she/he can manage themselves
3.Count. Children need to believe they are worthwhile
4.Courageous.  He/she needs to believe they can make mistakes and handle the consequences.

Alyson Schafer has also written another best-selling book on parenting called Breaking the Good Mom Myth: Every Mom's Modern Guide to Getting Past Perfection, Regaining Sanity, and Raising Great Kids

Carine Nadel is a contributing writer for Stop by to read Carine's What's Cooking Column on our home page.

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