To hate all 'Parenting Strategies'

(318 Posts)
christmasmum Mon 17-Mar-14 10:41:07

I probably ABU but I absolutely loathe parenting strategy books. Friends recommend them, I foolishly think 'maybe this one will be different' and give it a go.

They all seem to make you want to talk to your child like you're a robot. Does any parent actually say things like this example quote...

You (cheery): It's bath time!
Child: I don’t want a bath. I hate baths. Go away!
You (breathe): It sounds like you’re really mad. You look really frustrated. What’s bothering you most? Can you help me understand?
Child: It’s not fair. You’re always bossing me.
You: So if I’m hearing you right, you’d like to make more decisions for yourself. You feel like you’re ready for more responsibility. Is that right?
Child: Yes!
You: Well, I’m so glad you told me. I had no idea you were feeling babied. Let’s put our heads together and come up with a solution.

If I spoke to my DD/DS like this they'd look at me like I had two heads and STILL wouldn't get in the bath.

I get the techniques, fine. Listen, reflect, don't lose your temper and thrown them in the bath headfirst. But is it realistic? Does anyone actually manage to sound like this with their kids after a long day when you just need them to get in the bloody bath and go to bed so mummy can drink gin?

EatShitDerek Mon 17-Mar-14 10:43:52

I gate those sorta of books. My son would give me a wtf face if I spoke like that to him.

it goes like this here:

Me: Bath time
Son: Don't want to
Me: Tough
Son has tantrum
Me: 1,2
Son: Fine!

And its done!

EatShitDerek Mon 17-Mar-14 10:44:15

I hate those.sort of books*

weirdthing Mon 17-Mar-14 10:44:47

Here's mine (from Oscar Wilde) 'If you want your children to be good, first make them happy.' Within reason I guess (ie no sniffing glue etc) but this has worked for me.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 17-Mar-14 10:47:18

YANBU I don't think these authors actually have kids tbh. An example of my parenting language From DS's younger, stroppier days...

Me. Put your coat on it's freezing outside.
DS. No
Me. Put your coat on.
DS. NO!
Me. You know best.
<Walk outside>
<short pause>
DS. I want my coat on!!

Ithinkwerealonenow Mon 17-Mar-14 10:49:23

EatShitDerek I think that strategy is in the book '1,2,3, magic' grin

You name it, there's a parenting book for it

TheFantasticFixit Mon 17-Mar-14 10:49:24

Me too.

I actually think they are a bit harmful as well as absolutely ridiculous. The times I have heard friends 'quote' absolute crap from these books, especially the baby 'manual' type is unbelievable. What happened to good old fashioned instinct? I think these books have made us doubt ourselves totally and want it refer to an 'expert'.

However, if someone has the answer as to how I can get my two year old to put on her bloody clothes and stop insisting she's a naked Princess today I would be immensely grateful!

Flicktheswitch Mon 17-Mar-14 10:49:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Slothful Mon 17-Mar-14 10:50:28

Heh Cogito and Derek, a few more of those and you have a useful parenting strategy book.

christmasmum Mon 17-Mar-14 10:51:05

I suspect the authors of these books have not met my children.

Or possibly ANY children.

I'd be amazed if any young child knew what half of those words meant...

Weegiemum Mon 17-Mar-14 10:55:51

The problem is usually that the baby/child hasn't read the book!

FloozeyLoozey Mon 17-Mar-14 10:55:53

When DS was a baby, I remember reading a book about attachment parenting (can't remember the name, quite a famous one) and one from Gina Ford. Some of both theories made sense, but I decided to things my own way, that felt right for me and DS.

christmasmum Mon 17-Mar-14 10:56:19

ScarletLady - exactly. If they are still refusing to get in the bath by the time they are old enough to understand what that mother is saying, then I class that 'parenting strategy' as a total fail.

EatShitDerek Mon 17-Mar-14 10:58:10

Just tried the quote from the OP on my son. He wont get dressed when I asked him to.

His reply?

"mum, you need to talk properly, you make no sense"

I do the 1,,2,3 thing. He hasn't called my bluff yet.

WilsonFrickett Mon 17-Mar-14 10:58:24

Well I bow to no-one in my love for how to talk so children will listen and it has transformed communication in our house so ner-ner.

But in the situation you describe I wouldn't use it. It would go

You (cheery): It's bath time!
Child: I don’t want a bath. I hate baths. Go away!
Me: sorry to hear that cos no-one likes a stinker. Now bath, please.
Child: gets in bath <with big sighs and possibly some muttering>

Not everything has to be a palaver.

QueenofKelsingra Mon 17-Mar-14 10:58:37

I am merrily making it up as I go along, and pulling techniques from my own childhood - 1, 2, 3 being the main example. only to be told by smug people that actually that was from some parenting book so I obviously was reading them. erm....no, i just did what came naturally! if some idiot has written common sense down and conned you into buying their book then more fool you!!

i do not need any form of book to tell me how to parent my child thanks.

FloozeyLoozey Mon 17-Mar-14 11:00:29

I also think as parents, we beat ourselves too much over life choices, such as whether we work or no, such as all the hand wringing over after school care in the other thread. Children function as part of a family unit, and while their needs should be paramount, decisions have to be taken so the whole family can function. In my case, I am a single parent, so I've always had to work full time to provide food and a roof over DS's head. I do feel some guilt at him being in after school club four days a week, but DS understands why I work, and I'm not going to cry myself to sleep wondering if the after school club provides nurturing/educational/yadayada care. As long as DS has fun, and they are kind to him, and look after him adequately, that's good enough for me. Some other families are too poor to provide a timetable of varied education after-school activities. Is that ideal? No? Will they grow up happy and stable if their parents look after them correctly and provide for their needs? Most likely yes! Our society is way too child-centred sometimes.

EatShitDerek Mon 17-Mar-14 11:01:51

There's a few parenting books in the charity shop I work in. No one buys them bit loads get donated grin

KatoPotato Mon 17-Mar-14 11:03:33

'It's bath time'

DS aged 4 at top volume... 'No! I am never having a bath, ever again ever!'

'Get upstairs, or the Thomas Shark Exhibit is going in the garage'

Huff puff, upstairs he goes.

Is there a strategy that involves take and play Thomas yet?

EatShitDerek Mon 17-Mar-14 11:06:07

Bribery also works here grin

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 17-Mar-14 11:08:17

I hate all parenting books, I love reading here about the methods that parents use to get children to do what they need to.

There's no correlation between the book-twaddle and the heartfelt urging that I can see. When people spout 'I'm an academic, listen to meee' stuff probably lifted from a largely unread journal, I scroll quickly past and search for the next true, tried and tested nuggets from the mums.

YANBU. Also, I can't stand those methods where you constantly explain things in details to 2 yrs old children, as if it was a university lecture!

christmasmum Mon 17-Mar-14 11:18:05

I read in this book today that bribery was terrible and the child will never focus on the action but only on the reward. I thought - yes, but they do it, right?

EatShitDerek Mon 17-Mar-14 11:19:21

Well isn't that the point of bribery. The reward makes them do it?

If they were focused on the action they wouldn't need to be bribed

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