Friday, August 5, 2016

Book Review: RAISING HUMAN BEINGS by Ross W. Greene

Raising Human Beings: Creating a Collaborative Partnership with Your ChildRaising Human Beings: Creating a Collaborative Partnership with Your Child by Ross W. Greene

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I highly recommend this book. It would make a great gift for parents with children of any age – but the younger the better. It’s easier to instill a sound pattern of parenting when the kids are young; although, this book does offer excellent examples of changing parental styles even when the kids are teenagers.

Over the years, I’ve read quite a few parenting books, and one of the things I’ve learned is: you do not have to agree with every single bit of advice offered within the pages. Take what works for you and apply it to your situation.

Ross W. Greene, PhD, has taken experiences from his twenty-five years of being a clinical psychologist and organized his advice in a very easy-to-read format. Instead of compiling pages and pages of never-ending advice and examples all in the same font and line spacing, the author (and editor and publisher, I assume) diversified the text. There are paragraphs where straight information is delivered, there are case studies presented in stories, there are Q&A sections, and there are plenty of subtitles to help keep you engaged with the book. While most of the writing is excellent, Greene does like to start sentences with the word “but” and he loves his creative dialogue tags such as hissed, mumbled, grumbled, and protested. None of which actually took away from the overall content, but it was distracting to me.

While I loved and agreed with much of Greene’s advice, I will tell you that I let my babies cry themselves to sleep in their cribs. After reading this book, if I had to do all over again, I would still let my babies cry themselves to sleep. And yet, I am certainly one to advocate parents considering alternatives to figure out what works best for them.

Greene’s straight-forward method of “Creating a Collaborative Partnership with Your Child” is one that will foster kinder human beings who are able to problem solve with empathy not only while growing up but also as adults.

Some of my favorite ideas and lines from the book:

“Identity achievement refers to a person who has both undergone the identity exploration process and has also developed a well-defined self-concept and identity. She know who she is, what she believes, and where she’s going” (page 24).

“What’s best for him is likely to involve more ‘listening’ than ‘lessoning’” (page 35).

“Your child would prefer to be doing well” (page 39).

“But there’s another reason solving problems collaboratively is hard: many adults haven’t had much practice at it, having been raised by parents who were probably highly skilled at demanding and insisting” (page 81).

“I’ve worked with three-year-olds who had an easier time participating verbally than some seventeen-year-olds” (page 190).

“We live in the information age, and we are saturated with demands for empathy … sadly, that fatigue sometimes causes us to respond with less compassion and empathy in our interactions with our children…” (page 240).

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