This post is sponsored by Kim Fredrickson. All opinions are honest and come from the author, Susan Croox. This post contains affiliate links. For more information visit my disclosure page.
We all want to be a good mom. Different parenting styles mean that we will have different strengths and weaknesses, but one thing is consistent: we all desperately and passionately want the best for our kids. That’s how God made us! However, sometimes even though we know that the way we are doing things isn’t the best way, we don’t know how to break the habits or respond differently in situations. That’s when the most valuable thing we can receive is wisdom from someone who has been there and done it successfully.
Author Kim Fredrickson is a licensed marriage and family therapist. She’s helped so many do family a better way, and now, lucky for us, she has a book! Kim’s book Give Your Kids a Break is a refreshing perspective shift that teaches parents to be compassionate to themselves and their kids.
Kim draws on many other parenting resources to support her approach to parenting. She believes that ignoring kids’ emotions instead of helping them to process what they are feeling can be detrimental to their development. The thing that I liked best about this book was that Kim provides a myriad of concrete examples to apply her techniques. For example, she talks about a situation in which one of her kids was upset and starting to hyperventilate. Instead of telling him to calm down, she said, “lie down and start taking slow breaths.” Her practical approach to giving parents information that will actually get them results – kids listening, obeying, opening up – is helpful because she shows you how to apply all her principles.
Kim makes statements like “damage occurs when a child’s emotions are disciplined rather than their actions” that really encourage you to examine your parenting style, but she doesn’t leave you there! Kim teaches us to empathize with our children and understand how they are learning to process their emotions. For me, this really hits home because my daughter whines a lot! She frequently exhibits frustration. I’ve learned to acknowledge the legitimacy of what she’s feeling instead of jumping to discipline the “bad attitude.” It’s a process, but I really believe this is helping me to be a better parent.
Kim also mentions the importance of giving each child one-on-one time. This can be very challenging for busy moms, but she gives us practical ways to make this work. I’ve been implementing this with my kids, especially my daughter, since she’s attention-hungry. Even though it doesn’t happen every day, it’s crucial for both of us.
Kim gives us valuable parenting advice such as asking your child if what they need in a specific situation is for you to give input or advice or just listen. Sometimes kids don’t need you to fill them with information, they just need your empathy and compassion.
This book offers jewels like this one: when your child is going through an unusually difficult time, don’t jump straight to telling them everything will be okay. Take the time to acknowledge the pain they are going through first before offering them hope. Otherwise, “your children will feel like you are sugar-coating their pain and they won’t be able to take in the encouragement.” I really had to discipline myself to apply this when my daughter lost her first tooth and was terrified. She couldn’t listen to me tell her that everything was going to be fine. I needed to empathize first.
Kim also offers words of wisdom on other family issues, such as chores and allowance. Her advice concerning chores is brilliant. She suggests: “Frame chores as each of us ‘doing our fair share’ as opposed to ‘helping Mom and Dad.’ They need to see these chores as a normal part of contributing to the household.” I love how she encourages us to prepare our kids for the real world with things like chores and allowance.
If we really think about it, we know this statement is true: “It is very important to dole out consequences without anger. We are not punishing them, we are instructing them about consequences and responsibility. If we share consequences with anger, the focus comes off of themselves and their actions and refocuses on how ‘unfair’ we are.” I remember this as a child: not being able to hear what my mom was speaking because I couldn’t get past her anger (even though I’m sure I drove her crazy).
The advice in this book rings true, because the reader will realize that he or she would prefer to be treated the way Kim recommends we treat our kids, like a real person, with real emotions. She also encourages the reader to be compassionate with themselves, including examples of positive self-talk with every chapter.
Give Your Kids a Break is perfect both for new parents and for those of us, like me, who are a little bit farther along on their parenting journey. If you’re interested in learning to parent with compassion, this book is a must-read. The book releases October 27th, and you can pre-order your own copy on Amazon for only $2.99 here!