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WEBCHAT GUIDELINES: 1. One question per member plus one follow-up. 2. Keep your question brief. 3. Don't moan if your question doesn't get answered. 4. Do be civil/polite. 5. If one topic or question threatens to overwhelm the webchat, MNHQ will usually ask for people to stop repeating the same question or point.

Webchat with psychotherapist Philippa Perry on her bestselling book: The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read on Friday 12 April at 1pm
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BojanaMumsnet · 10/04/2019 14:52

Hello

Philippa Perry’s new book became an instant Sunday Times Number 1 bestseller - described by her publisher as a “parenting book for people who don’t buy parenting books”.

Philippa Perry has been a psychotherapist for the past twenty years. She is also an agony aunt for Red magazine, a freelance writer, and a TV and radio presenter. She has worked on several documentaries, and has also written two other books.

The publisher says “The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read (and Your Children Will Be Glad That You Did) contains practical advice including learning how to:

  • Understand how your own upbringing may be impacting upon your parenting style
  • Contain, express, accept and validate your own and your child's feelings
  • Understand that all behaviour is communication
  • Break negative cycles and patterns
  • Accept that you will make mistakes and what to do about them”

    Please do join us on Friday at 1pm or if you can’t make it, please post your question here in advance. Please bear in mind our webchat guidelines (including one question each - follow ups allowed if there’s time). Also following recent chats/guest posts we’ve updated our guidelines to let people know that, if one topic is overwhelmingly dominating a discussion with a guest, mods might request that people don't continue to post what's effectively the same question or point. Rest assured we will ALWAYS let guests know that it's an area of concern to multiple users and will encourage them to engage with those questions.

    Thanks
    MNHQ
Webchat with psychotherapist Philippa Perry on her bestselling book: The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read on Friday 12 April at 1pm
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ElizabethMainwaring · 10/04/2019 17:03

I can't see this going well at all.

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Home77 · 10/04/2019 19:53

Why not? have just read the book.

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Aerop · 11/04/2019 05:55

What did you think of the book, Home77z ?

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Home77 · 11/04/2019 07:21

I liked it..but then had a bit of a dysfunctional upbringing myself so maybe found it more useful that others would? It did reflect the way I try and do things really, as well.

I liked that it was about the relationship between parent and child rather than tips to manage children. (which some parenting books can be like).

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Oblomov19 · 11/04/2019 07:27

Haven't read the book. Is it worth reading? I've read many reviews. Struggling to understand what the point is. Seems like stating the obvious, basics, which might help dysfunctional upbringings but but much use for normal parents?

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Home77 · 11/04/2019 08:22

I've older children and felt might have been better to read as a new parent or before having a child. Some of it did seem a bit obvious but then mine are older now. It looked at how you manage your feelings and help your child contain them, rather than reacting hysterically or telling them to stop feelings (as we want our children to be happy) so maybe useful for parents struggling with that?

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TresDesolee · 11/04/2019 16:18

I’ve read it - I think it’s great. My sons are teenagers so there were quite a few ‘argg’ moments where I wished i’d done things differently, but to be fair I already wished that!

Not really on the parenting tip but: Philippa, what would you say is the difference between psychotherapist and counsellor? (I’m doing counselling training at the moment) Is it about the unconscious/subconscious? Why did you pursue psychotherapy as a career? And do you think there are rather too many middle-aged women doing it (I speak as one I hasten to add but the predominance of people in my demographic doing the training is quite striking) or do you think there are good reasons why it seems to attract that crowd?

Thank you! Really enjoyed the book.

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AdmiralSirArchibald · 11/04/2019 19:29

So much of this book resonated with me as a parent of two and as a teacher. Particularly the concept that it's not about winning, you are all on the same side. The parenting thing I struggle with is being interrupted, or having to stop what I'm doing for the children. I also can't tolerate whining! Any tips on managing these things?

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pipnchops · 11/04/2019 20:06

I'm only halfway through the book but I'm finding it really helpful and reassuring as I have 2yo and a 4yo girls who are most definitely "orchids"! Already I've started to acknowlege their feelings more rather than trying to brush them off and tell them not to worry about it. It is working wonders mostly but I'm struggling with my 4yo who gets very upset about things I can't do anything about and she gets so worked up. Two common examples: she says her pants are falling down when they're clearly not (we've tried lots of different types of pants, she just doesn't like wearing pants at all!) and every time we get in the car she says her seat belt is too tight even though it's fine, I make sure it's as loose as it can be whilst still being safe but she just cries for the first 10 minutes of any journey until she eventually forgets about it or realises I can't do anything about it. So instead of getting annoyed and impatient I'm now saying "I know it feels to tight/feels like they're falling down and that's making you upset, but it's not and you need to wear pants / your seatbelt" this doesn't seem to be helping she still just gets so upset. How should i be dealing with this situation?

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bobinks · 11/04/2019 20:42

Hi - I'd like to post a question please

My DC (8yo) tends to hang back socially, doesn't always seem to know how to initiate interactions with other children and can get upset if he feels he is the 'centre of attention'. Teacher has mentioned a few times this term about building confidence and socialising skills. What can I do to support / encourage social skills?

Thanks

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rubydarling · 11/04/2019 20:44

Hi there
Really enjoying the book, and wish I had had it before.
I have a question, which is have you ever worked with parents who went to boarding school as children? I went at a youngish age, and my DD1 is now about the same age as when I first went. I find myself praising her for independence and really can't bear it when she is clingy. Sometimes I wonder how going to boarding school affected me, and how best to navigate DC's preteen and teenage years given mine were largely spent in an institution.
There are occasional mumsnet threads about the impact of boarding and they can be very very tough reading...

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Eurotrotters · 11/04/2019 21:50

Hello there - I'd like to ask a question :)

My DD (nearly 7) finds it hard to cope with failure or stressful situations. She becomes really emotional and upset over things, which, on the surface, are not that bad - for example if she makes a mistake on her home learning. I always try hard to reassure her and I don't minimise her upset; but I'm wondering if you've any suggestions as to building up her resilience. School (and life) will always have challenges and I'd like her to be able to handle these but still feel able to express her emotions and fears to me, if that makes sense! Thank you.

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Deminism · 11/04/2019 22:09

My parents are great but if I have a complaint it's that I think they didn't really help with my sibling relationship, and set us up as competitors rather than being on the same team. I am really conscious not to do this with my own kids but I am struggling a bit with when to intervene and when to let them sort out their own disputes. Any advice (they are 8, 6 and 3)?

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Taswama · 11/04/2019 22:13

Not read the book, so just place marking to read later.

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NotNowMrTumnus · 12/04/2019 07:45

How can you tell if you think you might have narcissistic traits? My parents (divorced) are both narcissistic and I’m terrified that my children will consider me one too. I try to do the opposite of how my parents behave but the fear is still there.

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Sandrose · 12/04/2019 08:23

Hello Philippa

I have almost finished your book and I think its excellent. I wish it had been around when my children were much younger (they are 11 and 8 now) and I hope that it will help change society's understanding of children and mental health.

My question is around where people can turn if they read the book and realise there is quite a big job to turn around their parenting and/or help their child.

We (me, my husband and children) have been working with a family therapist for 3 years, which we came into due to my older child's struggles with school, anxiety and avoidance.

Though life has been transformed, 3 years on we are still working through the legacy of my husband and my upbringings (though pretty normal), and my son's traumatic and very early birth, which led to separation from us in NICU and later paediatric intensive care.

I don't think we would have been able to do this alone (ie without a therapist) if we had come to your book say 5 years ago. We were very lucky to have stumbled across someone who could help us.

Although I still have a few pages left to read, I don't think your book says a lot about where people can turn if they feel the project to turn things around might be too big to do alone - for example if they suspect that early difficulties in their child's life or their life might make things more complicated than normal, or if their child seems to be experiencing significant emotional and/or behavioural difficulties.

What do you think people should do in this situation? I'm asking really because I think there are people like I was 5 years ago out there and I think it's really hard to find the right help. Everything out there seems to push families towards a diagnosis of some sort to explain why their child is struggling.

Thank you.

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JessieMcJessie · 12/04/2019 08:38

I haven’t read the book yet but am looking forward to it. I have an only child and a tendency to over-think parenting - it makes me anxious that my husband and I have such a weight of responsibility to get this right! Could not be more different to my Mum who had kids younger, long before the internet and with no time to read parenting books. She muddled through OK I think, my brother and I are pretty well-adjusted and have happy memories.

How can I strike the right balance between over-thinking and not thinking about this at all?

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Marshallchase · 12/04/2019 09:15

I loved the book and I'm really trying to make changes. Voicing emotions seems to be working well with DS, who is 5, but it really isn't working with my youngest who is 2. It's complicated because he has a condition that makes him go unconscious when he's upset or hurt (he has a v good consultant but day to day it's HARD!) Sometimes, when I have to get him in the buggy I have no choice but to offer a bribe or a distraction. Any tips for parenting him without chocolate?

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LonelyTiredandLow · 12/04/2019 09:51

Hello Phillipa, thanks for joining us.

My dd is 7 and was diagnosed with mild dyslexia last year. She was initially happy that there was a reason for her struggling with spelling and I felt we had managed the situation well. However there are now 5 other dyslexic children in her class and she has begun saying things like "I'll just never be any good at English because I'm dyslexic" and refusing to read at home. I've reiterated how dyslexia doesn't mean that you can't be good at English, just that we need to focus on a new way of learning to make it easier. However the teacher also mentioned she has seen a huge dip in her confidence over the last term. She got amazing test scores and the teacher was keen to explain that she had exceeded their expectations - so realistically she is at the top of expected, which given her worries surprised me. I have rewarded her for her scores and reiterated that it shows she is doing really well and her hard work has paid off. What else would you suggest I do to boost her confidence?

I find confidence a hard area as it is so vital yet no one wants the precocious 'know it all' child who can't compromise See Theresa May.

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hoodathunkit · 12/04/2019 11:12

Hi Philippa

I am very interested to understand your perspective on the subject of satanic ritual abuse.

Do you believe that it is a moral panic that is a threat to our democracy that has influenced both the Brexit referendum and the US elections or do you share the view of your colleagues at the Bowlby Centre that satanists are traumatising children by using trauma based mind control so they can take over the world?

I am asking as you trained at the Bowlby Centre, a previously reputable organisation, that has been much derided by Private Eye magazine and others of late for running courses about satanic ritual abuse as if it is a real thing rather than a sequelae of quack therapy that produces false memories.

I am also interested to learn your opinions regarding dissociative identity disorder / multiple personality disorder, a controversial disorder dismissed as iatrogenic by rationalists that is also associated with quack therapy and false memories of satanic ritual abuse.

Also your husband Grayson has appeared in various events alongside Valerie Sinason one of the most vocal proponents of conspiracy theories regarding satanic ritual abuse.

Given that conspiracy theories regarding SRA have played a part in the US elections (false accusations of satanic ritual abuse against Hilary Clinton - known as Pizzagate) and the Brexit referendum (false accusations of SRA against Edward Heath) I think it is important and urgent for all those promoting these conspiracies to place their cards on the table.

Looking forward to your reply

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Forgotmykeys · 12/04/2019 11:15

Hi. Thanks for doing this Smile What's your number one piece of advice for preparing a child for a new sibling?

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Caffeinesolution · 12/04/2019 12:45

Hello,

I'd love some advice on a young adult who's really articulate, lovely person but just cannot take advice and gets defensive (imo) too quickly. I want to be supportive but would like to gently (usually mostly gently) make the point that the advice comes from a good place!

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MotherOfDragonite · 12/04/2019 12:49

I haven't read your book yet but it sounds very exciting and I am looking forward to it.

I am really interested in what you will have to say about how one's own upbringing may impact on how one parents. I have one DD who is 5 and another who is 18 months old. I have begun to feel that I default to either threatening or bribing in order to maintain control, especially when DD(5) is being difficult, and that I could be a better parent if I learned to parent in a different way. I recognise in this some elements of how my mother parented me as a child, and I remember how frustrating it was to have her control me in this way. Yet I am repeating the same pattern! I feel like I don't have better options and so I default to being a bit too shouty and use the withdrawal of fun things or treats as a way to stay in control. I wonder what you might suggest, in terms of how I could address this and become a better mum? Would therapy (for me) be a good idea?

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OmallyCat · 12/04/2019 12:58

Hi.
Do you have any advice on approaching difficult topics (online bullying, drugs, relationships etc.) with pre-teens. Especially those who get embarrassed v easily.

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lavenderdaisies · 12/04/2019 12:58

Hello - do you have any advice on resolving parenting disagreements between you and your partner?

Thank you!

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