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ParentWise    by Loren Buckner Amazon.com order for
ParentWise
by Loren Buckner
Order:  USA  Can
Booklocker, 2010 (2010)
Softcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Carrol Wolverton

Okay to hate your kids? Loren Buckner, seasoned therapist, is not afraid to discuss the tough topics. She says it is okay to hate, just as long as it's not permanent. It's easy to see bad situations in other's children, tough in your own. However, even in terrible circumstances, that unconditional love must remain. We must return to that acceptance.

She has angered patients by suggesting that their own behaviors may be contributing factors and has lost clients by doing so. It's true, however. Our first embedded response is apt to be our parents', whether recognized or not. Kids are going to experiment but don't know enough to understand the consequences. They don't know to ask for help. Underneath, they always blame themselves.

Remember that your children are watching you. Even if you get the eye roll, keep talking, keep communicating calmly. We all make mistakes. Don't beat yourself up over them. Learn instead. Worry helps nothing and only affects your body and relationships. Shake it out and forget a situation? Doesn't work that way, even if Daddy or Grandma says so. Know that criticism is a self-defense mechanism often more about the criticizer than the child.

One big point is to base your self-esteem on what you think, not what others think. This is tough to do. Kids, unfortunately, consider their peers' opinion as law. When you are about to lose it, distance yourself. Walk away until calmer. Use the time to think through a situation, read a book, or eat chocolate (I like this one). Let the feelings of guilt, worry, loss, disappointment, and anger wash over you. Don't run or deny. They will catch you and exact their toll. Forgiveness is for you as well as your children. Talk it out when you are calm enough to discuss.

Buckner lists twenty intentions. These are areas of focus where you may wish to examine your background and consider improvements. Talk about your feelings in the 'I' mode, not the 'you' mode. Lastly, it's okay to be a good enough parent instead of the perfect parent. Consistency and love are the keys. Use this book to put child raising in perspective, to calm yourself, and to guide your efforts.

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