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The Low-Pressure Guide to Parenting Your Preschooler from Focus on the Family assists parents in recognizing the difference between controlling and influencing actions when it comes to raising preschoolers. Using a four quadrant grid that clarifies what parents are and aren't responsible for, the book breaks down a wealth of parenting advice into four clear and doable principles.
|Format: DRM Free ePub|
Vendor: Focus on the Family
Publication Date: 2016
Michele MorinWarren, MaineAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Enjoy Your PreschoolerNovember 22, 2016Michele MorinWarren, MaineAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5You need to stop reading those magazines.
Once again, the patient husband had come home from work to find me in a puddle of panic over some detail in the life of our firstborn. Some days I was convinced that I was a failure as a mother; other days I was sure that I had already done irreparable damage to our sons development all based on the opinions of the experts I was consulting. (Thanks be to God that there was no internet access in those days!)
Based on that experience, Im obviously a little suspicious of parenting books. Everyone seems to have a handy list of guidelines, an opinion about whats normal or enough, a foolproof checklist, or a guaranteed plan for successful parenting often with advice that is contradictory, confusing, or impossible for normal people to follow! What would happen if parents decided that instead of doing more and enjoying their children less, that they would do less and enjoy their children more?
In The Low-Pressure Guide to Parenting Your Preschooler, Tim Sanford, licensed counselor and member of the Focus on the Family counseling staff, has offered his Big Four, over-arching, low-pressure principles to help young parents shrug off the pressure:
1. Shrink your job description
The way I understood parenting in my early days was this: (1) Make sure the boy turns out right; (2) Do everything perfectly. (No wonder I was stressed!) By contrast, Tims first rule of parenting preschoolers is: Relax! It is the role of mothers and fathers to nurture and to validate their children. In actual practice, this will look different in every home, but the message children need to hear sounds like this:
Youre good enough!
You belong in this family!
I love you!
Nurturers and validaters (i.e. parents) take time to hold and play with their little people; their voices are gentle and playful; they are focused on enjoying their child rather than rating their own performance or worrying about the what-ifs of the future or the stress of fixing their own past and living chained to by-gone resentments. Naturally, parents who love the gospel will also introduce the sober truth regarding the havoc that sin has wreaked on our relationship with God, along with the off-setting joy that good enough is attainable only through the righteousness of Christ.
2. Make friends with free will.
One of my sons was born with the conviction that life is a multiple choice test and all the answers are none of the above. He and I used to lock horns every day over choices. Many of them needed to be worked out, but honestly? Some of them could have been avoided if I had been more comfortable with this concept. It boils down to sound theology: God made humans to be choosers, and sometimes we make dumb choices. It is not a parents job to make everything in life turn out perfectly, and, as frightening as it is for a parent, it is important that a child be allowed to experience age-appropriate life lessons, and to be given a voice, even as a toddler, in lifes little choices.
3. Step away from the power struggle.
As a new mum, I think I truly believed that I was responsible for controlling every stray atom in our familys universe. Heres Tims wisdom on that:
Trying to control what you cant equals HIGH pressure when it comes to parenting.
Accepting the truth that you cant control all youd like, and focusing on how to best influence, equals LOW-pressure parenting.
For example, we are responsible to see to it that our children cannot put a paperclip into an electrical outlet. This we can control.
We are not responsible for the look on our mother-in-laws face when our son throws a temper tantrum. This we cannot control.
4. Reduce the rules.
Rules that are developed ad hoc and on the fly are usually ineffective. Because they are so critical for keeping safety in and chaos out, its important that rules be few, specific, enforceable, relevant, and most importantly of all worth the effort! If a rule is actually keeping safety in and chaos out, then its worth the battle. If its not, then it can be relegated to the category of good advice, but not mandatory, (see Big Four Principle #3).
Cynthia Tobias predicts that Low-Pressure Parenting will have this effect: You can replace worry with joy as you learn to celebrate and delight in the earliest years of your childs life! I wish this book had been among the piles (and piles) of parenting books (and magazines) that I read when my boys were small. Certainly, I will be passing this gem along to my beautiful daughter-in-law, because Tim Sanfords parenting advice really comes down to some extremely astute theology: God is sovereign. He is bigger than any of the hurts that my grandson will face in his dear little life. My son and daughter-in-love cannot control every outcome or circumstance of their sons days, but the relationship they form with him now will have huge sway over the amount of influence they have with him in the future. So, in these days of parenting their preschooler, I have begun praying for them that they will find grace to do what they can and NOT what they cant.
This book was provided by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. in exchange for my review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 : Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
Kendra3 Stars Out Of 5Low Pressure ParentingNovember 6, 2016KendraQuality: 5Value: 4Meets Expectations: 3This book features four principles to make parenting preschoolers less stressful. They are easily summarized in outline form:
Shrink your Job Description (It is not your job to make sure your child turns out right, and it is not your job to do everything perfectly. The parents' job is to validate (primarily the father) and nurture (primarily the mother).
Make Friends with Free Will (Teach the three rules: You live and die by your own choices; You can choose smart or stupid; and, Somebody or something will make your life miserable when you choose 'stupid.' Give children a voice.)
Step Away from the Power Struggle (Figure out what you control and what you are responsible for and let the rest go. Let your child do the same. Tips for how to practically do this.)
Reduce Rules (Differentiate between rules, advice and suggestions. Principles for instituting consequences.)
Since I have three preschoolers, I was interested in seeing what the author had to say. I've also read a lot of parenting books, and while this one was easy to read, I didn't think it was particularly stellar. While it is definitely written from a Christian perspective, the book isn't Gospel-centered. By that I mean the points could've probably been made with no reference to the Bible in a non-religious positive parenting seminar. (That is not necessarily bad, and probably gives the book a wider appeal.) That being said, there were helpful reminders that I'm sure will come to mind in my parenting, particularly the part about helping children learn to accept responsibility for their actions and not take it myself.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my review.
comfyreading1 Stars Out Of 5NoOctober 30, 2016comfyreadingQuality: 4Value: 3Meets Expectations: 2Maybe I am just being a negative-Nancy about books lately, but I have to say that The Low-Pressure Guide to Parenting Your Preschooler by Tim Sanford, M.A. is probably the most unnecessary parenting book that I have ever read. Since I have a 3 year old, I thought that this book would give me great ideas about helping with tantrums, attitudes, and other overwhelming situations, but instead I got a book full of random ways that you dont have to feel pressure to be a good parent. What?
One of the things that this book told me was that if my child wants to wear sandals in the winter, I should tell him that he can pick boots or shoes. I mean is this not common sense? I understand the struggles of being a parent of a toddler and a preschooler, they are headstrong and very independent, but also need guidance and discipline in order to understand the world around them. I felt that this book basically said everything that a parent should already know, and common sense situations where there is nothing to learn from the situation.
The book also told me that it is not my job to create a person that does good in the world. Again, what? Although I do understand that the author was talking about my childs free will, and how it does not reflect back on my choices as a mom, this doesnt mean that my child is just going to go do whatever the hell he wants because its not my responsibility.
Anywho, I really didnt like this book and do not recommend it for anyone who wants to make good parenting choices for their child and themselves. I give this book 1 out of 5 stars, and I received it from Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for an honest review.