Sunday, December 21, 2014

How To Raise Emotionally Healthy Children by Gerald Newmark, PhD

I admit, when I started reading this book, I thought I was reading How to Raise Emotionally Intelligent Children, but it wasn't until I was nearly done that I realized I was reading something else. Nevertheless, I really did like the book and felt like it gave some really good insight. (I still need to read the other one though).

In the very beginning, he states  his thesis:

There are five critical needs each child (and adult) has in order to develop and/or maintain emotional health. Those five needs are to feel respected, important, accepted, included, and secure.

You know what I love about books like this? They tell me stuff that I already know, but in a different way. What Dr. Newmark did for me was tell me what I know, but by classifying it into these 5 needs did something for me as a parent. If you notice, LOVE isn't one of the five needs. He doesn't explain it until later on in the book, but honestly, love didn't need to be there for me to understand that it's not a "need" for a child. Because if a child feels respected, important, accepted, included, and secure, don't they feel loved? Feeling loved is a natural positive consequence from creating an environment where there is security, acceptance, respect, inclusion, and a feeling a importance and value.

What I most appreciated in the book was the appendix where there are lists of ideas of activities and games to do as a family. I have felt a little bit in a rut lately, so having pages of ideas was great. It gave me a fresh view on family time.

We really try to do the right thing, to listen to our children and not push them away in annoyance, to explain things instead of just saying "because we're in charge," etc. But it was a good book to validate our actions and encourage us to continue on. It's a really good book.

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