Peaceful Parenting is Possible

Parenting these days is not for the faint of heart, particularly in light of the upheaval caused by COVID-19.   If you’re looking for useful roadmap to better family connections,YFC therapist Marianny Arribas recommends the book Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting  by Dr. Laura Markham.  Read Marianny's review to learn why she describes this book as a practical guide to raising happy kids.

In her book entitled “Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting,” Dr. Laura Markham describes a practical guide to raising “happy kids” based primarily on fostering connection rather than teaching new tricks and bribes to discipline a child. 

Throughout the book, Dr. Markham helps caregivers to gain a continuous awareness and understanding of their own emotions, which can guide them to set healthy limits, offer plenty of empathy, and provide an abundance of love to their children. With the turn of each page, parents learn that discipline can often be replaced by connection and care, as long as they (parents) learn how to handle and limit their expression of anger.

The approach described in the book requires parents to take a hard look at themselves and have the courage to assess their own wounds. According to Dr. Markham, “our children stimulate the intense feelings of our own childhoods, and we often respond by unconsciously re-enacting the past that’s etched like forgotten hieroglyphics deep in our psyches.” Our anger most likely comes from unresolved fears and rage of a wounded childhood that can continue to overwhelm us throughout adulthood (and parenthood). Dr. Markham invites us to confront and resolve those lingering ghosts from our past and answer a few crucial questions in the present moment: What is so wrong in our life that we feel so angry, and what do we need to do to change the situation? What is behind our anger? Grief? Sadness? Sorrow? How can we expect to approach your children with kindness if we can’t approach ourselves with kindness?

Ultimately, Dr. Markham’s book offers step-by-step examples and practical solutions for parents to handle their children peacefully, but not without the primary responsibility to manage their own emotions first. When parents learn how to take care of themselves, they can be at peace with life and discover the delights of having a happy child.    Reviewed by Marianny Arribas, MS, MA, LCPC