In February 2016, I gave birth to my beautiful rainbow baby one fateful leap day morning! It was joyous and her arrival was long anticipated. I expected sleep deprivation, feeding issues, and changes in our family dynamic. I was not expecting, however, how all of these changes would affect my parenting and specifically, my relationship with my oldest (then 5-years-old) daughter. We had just had another battle of wills and her consequence was deserving of the crime, but I will never forget what she said next.
You’re a mean mommy. I’m telling all my friends at school that you’re a mean mommy.
I was heartbroken. Had our relationship strayed so far that she would make such a hurtful comment? So amidst the stress of running a business, caring for a newborn, and caring for the other kids I threw one more thing on my plate. I walked into the abyss and starting researching parenting books. I won’t bore with all the ones I started reading and never finished, but I will tell you the book that ended up sticking.
How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk. (you’re welcome Adele Farber and Elaine Mazlish)
The title says it all and actually a whole lot more. The most interesting finding so far? The parenting book is not to control your kids’ behavior, but most of it actually is controlling your own behavior. Second most interesting thing? There have been a handful of things that I’ve had to process through in my own upbringing while reading the book.
Mom Tribe, Unite!
With the green light from my husband, I posted on Facebook about this book and how it has so profoundly affected my parenting. Then I opened it up for moms to join a live discussion at my house on Monday nights or discuss within a private Facebook group. The response was far exceeding.
Turns out, I wasn’t the only one struggling with my relationship with my children. More encouragingly so, turns out I wasn’t the only one looking for ways to improve.
We had our first meeting on January 9th and have spent each week reviewing one chapter. The format is pretty simple. We discuss the chapter, what we agree/disagree with it, how we’ve applied it or plan to apply it, and help troubleshoot for other moms. It’s super simple and the group discussion is on fire the whole time.
Over the next few weeks, I will attempt to summarize each chapter and include the highlights, discussions from within our groups, and success stories to share. It takes a village to raise a child, and I invite you all to my village if I can be part of yours.
P.S. The rose beside the book indicates that people could choose to come to the book group or watch The Bachelor. I’ll let you decide which choice was the better.