One thing that is common across all cultures, religions and countries, is the challenging parenting, more so now when there is no end to the problems and no dearth of resources to address the issues as well.
Lorraine Esposito in her book ‘The Peacemaker Parent’ is trying to provide the aid in making the process of bringing up the children a little more smoother and less trying. Very rightly she points out the mistakes that we as parents make at some point or the other while being so inundated in the pressures of parenting. As a parent the first emotion you feel while reading this book, is that of not being alone, the realization dawns yet again that we are not the only one, there are many more who are sailing, if not the same, at least a similar kind of boat. The storms that each of us face can vary in the magnitude and frequency but they are not absent all together. What all parents aim for is to achieve short-term results to bring in positive future of our children.
After having analyzed the problem which she we very correctly identifies as starting from the morning stress hours, she then moves on to the steps that could be experimented with in order to overcome the same kind of situations, same kind of responses and same kind of feelings. Throughout most of her narrative she lays a lot of stress on de-stressing the morning time. And there are always plenty of pitfalls while doing this which makes the task of accomplishing it even more cumbersome.
Among other things that she has pointed out in the book, there are some which would surely appeal to every person who is reading this book because as it is the same results must have been derived already by personal parenting experiences – nagging does not help, to acquiesce to irrational demands or behavior of the children is not the solution but the way in which disapproval is made clear is of paramount importance, keeping the instructions simple always has more chances of getting followed, be open to children, they are not wrong always, do not start with any pre-conceived notion about them or about their capabilities. Let them be honest with you and honesty comes out when the child believes that his mistakes won’t cause the parent to think the worst about him. Only then the confidence to confide in the parent comes in the child from within because he/she is sure that the character will not be judged by specific incidents.
However, my questioning mind does not completely agree with the barter system that she recommends for some situations. I have my own doubts regarding this approach, what kind of signals do we send out to the children – it is alright to haggle for each and every action that they do and they should expect something in return for every action of theirs? But this is my personal opinion, this solution may work for some as every household is unique and the individuals involved are diverse.
Having said all this, she maintains that, “Nothing in life can prepare a person for the challenges faced by parenthood. The experience of being completely responsible for another human is only the real teacher” and this is the essence and in my opinion, the fun of parenting. There are some solutions and tools which can be tried for a few things but largely it is the sole responsibility of the individuals involved, no one from outside, not even any book or counselor can do the trick. They can maximum provide the aid and correct the thinking process to a certain extent but the rest of the journey has to be covered by the parents themselves, no proxy works.