I remember my sister-in-law recommending a book called Love and Respect when my husband and I were first married. I have since read, and re-read Dr. Emerson Eggerich's book about the importance of respect and love in a marriage. It opened my eyes to some concepts and ideas that really helped me see things from my husband's perspective.
Recently, I was excited to get word that Dr. Eggerichs was going to be releasing a new book called Love and Respect in the Family, a parenting book that explores a parent's need to feel respected by their children, while balancing the need of their children to feel loved and safe.
The "Family Crazy Cycle" begins when a child does something that feels disrespectful to a parent. The parent then reacts in a way that feels unloving to the child. The child, feeling unloved, acts out in disrespect. The parent, fed up and exhausted by this point, responds in a way that is perceived as unloving. Ad nauseum. Love and Respect in the Family gives solutions and strategies to help parents bring out the best in a child, and to give them coping skills to help them respond in a more respectful manner. It also gives parents insight into their child's thought patterns, encouraging parents how to act in a way that feels loving to the child.
The one area that resonated most with me was empathizing. Too often, when Stinker does something that I had warned her about (like "If you run in those flip-flops, you're going to fall"), or does something obnoxious ("It's your own fault your brother hit you. You shouldn't have taken his toy while he was playing with it"), I often lack the patience to respond with empathy. After reading this book, however, I have tried to make a conscious effort to respond with more patience.
Now, instead of "I told you so," I try to say something like "I'm really sorry you fell. That must have hurt. What shoes could you wear instead to make sure you don't fall next time?" Stinker has really been responding, because she feels like my reactions to the situations are loving and caring.
The only thing that I didn't really like about the book is minor, but at the end of each chapter there are follow up topics that are only available on the Love and Respect website. I haven't really utilized these "bonus answers." I would rather they were in a separate index in the back of the book, or something instead of being exclusively online. Other than that very minor gripe, I found this book to be down-to-earth, useful, and an easy read, and would recommend it to other parents.
*Thank you to BookSneeze for providing me a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions and ideas are my own, and have not been swayed in any way.