Transforming The Difficult Child Workbook: An Interactive Guide to the Nurtured Heart Approach (英語) Perfect – 2008/1/15
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This workbook is designed to provide the inspiring opportunity to experience the same exciting experiences of success with your child and transform them to a truly great child.
A bit about our family. My husband and I have been through Love & Logic tranning and PSMAPP training twice as Foster and later adoptive parents. We have two biological children with special education needs; an adoptive son with many learning and behavioral challenges; and an adoptive daughter whom is nerotypical.
I was very annoyed by this workbook. It was incredibly REDUNTANT. There were numerous counterdictions & editing oversights that I think could've been fixed if the authors had spent more energy on just saying something once. For example, it is 214 pages long and the "trade marked" The Nurtured Heart was printed 110 times! It's like they are constantly speaking in the third person. They make some outrageously arrogant statements, such as taking the credit for "inventing" the word positivity. Every idea they introduce is followed by a ridiculously long explanation which I could easily forgive if they didn't re-cap EVERYTHING. They could've seriously cut this book in half and still have included all the content.
It's not total rubbish. If you are willing to stick it out there are a few really good ideas and approaches in here. A lot of the content mirrors Love and Logic as well as Parent Child Interaction Therapy. The biggest difference is instead of 'waiting' for your kid to do something praiseworthy you 'create' triumphs. For my son with extreme rage, when I've seen him boiling I've followed these directions to say something like " I can see how frustrated you are feeling; I'm sure proud you're standing here breathing instead of being destructive downstairs" (well first we weren't downstairs, and second I've caught the meltdown a hair's breath before explosion) but it's enough of a distracted delay to give my kiddo some control to rationalize and let the impulse to succumb succumb to his rage pass.
The credit system, while over complicated, has some good ideas supporting it as well. To not take away points but just freeze the bank allows you to discipline in a constructive way that doesn't derail your kid. It's that fine line where a consequence is desperately needed but 'taking away' anything from my son causes a COMPLETE breakdown due to his past with biological family and the rootlessness of foster care.
So for the two things I gleaned from this book I am giving it three stars. But I wish they would re-edit into a more user friendly format. For me, as a reader I felt like they were full of themselves and reiterating everything because they think their readers are too stupid to retain the information the first time.
I had the privilege of being guided by a clinical psychologist as I was learning this technique, which helped me to stick to it, and correct me when I failed to understand or when I started to do it the wrong way. If I hadn't had that guidance I may not have fully understood the concept, and probably would have done it wrong. It is not about praising your children or complimenting them or telling them they are amazing. Those techniques are becoming popular but really do our children a disservice because it often is something the child really has no control over. The point is to narrate to the child what they are doing (without wrapping it in a compliment), and, if needed, explain why that is a desired behavior. It uses rules, which are concrete and easy for children to understand and "resets" instead of time out. A reset gets the child's attention and gives him the ability to immediately change his behavior, whereas an arbitrary time-out does not accomplish this goal. Children want to be seen, and they want to know they are seen, and loved. You accomplish this by simply narrating what you see and refusing to engage when the behavior is negative. My son will come into the room and I will say, "I notice you have your red shoes on today." They might look at you like you are nuts but they feel good, they know they are seen.
It's way more powerful than I am making it sound here, but there is so much gold in this book. It works for any age and any behavior. I think there is a textbook on this approach as well but get the workbook instead because it tells you how to do it and lays the steps out for you making it easier to apply. Re-read it over again because you will keep learning from this book every time you do. I highly recommend this book!
For us - it was life altering. I read the first 2 chapters, tried a couple things it suggested and saw an almost immediate impact. I'm not exaggerating - that same day, my 5-year old son went from acting out to trying to do 'the good things'. I've recommended it to almost every parent I know because you don't have to have a 'difficult child' to benefit from the concepts and tips/tricks in this book.