Raising Happy Kids by Elizabeth Hartley-Brewer
Raising Happy Kids is a book that espouses
conventional wisdom about democratic parenting. It measures whether or
not something is effective with kids by whether it will increase
self-esteem, self-confidence and self-reliance. It speaks in favor of
parents retaining their parental role and providing boundaries for
their children. It also is in favor of helping kids get their needs met.
Where this book departs from Empowerment Parenting is that it basically
says that parents’ needs are more important than the child’s and that
parents sometimes must exert their will over their child’s simply
because they are in charge and they are the parents. Many parents
operate under this assumption.
What Empowerment Parenting says is that every person, parents and
children alike, must get their needs met in some way. If parents decide
that their needs are more important than their child’s in a certain
situation and impose their will, then that child’s need goes unmet.
This sets up opportunity for all kinds of problematic behavior to occur
simply because the child is attempting to get his or her needs met in that
Occasionally, parents will need to impose their will
particularly when a child’s safety is at risk. Sometimes parents will
choose to make their needs more important when they are pressed for
time. This will most likely be all right as long as it doesn’t become a
regular routine. However, parents must be prepared to manage the fall
Raising children is one of the hardest jobs you will
ever undertake and there is no instruction manual. We just do the best
we can. Working together with your children so you can both get what
you need in a responsible way is the primary message of Empowerment
Parenting. It will take more time and require more patience, but the
reward of cooperative children far outweighs the effort.
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