I think one of the biggest challenges for me in parenting is balancing the demands of parenting with the demands of work. Going part-time has helped, but I still struggle with guilt, both at work and when I’m with the children. I’m sure this is a struggle all working parents can relate to.
So when I was offered the chance to review The Working Parents Guide to Raising Happy and Confident Children by Nadim Saad from Best of Parenting, I was really keen.
I read very few parenting books. To be honest, I don’t read a huge amount these days. After the reading I do for work (I’m an English teacher, so reading is my bread and butter), I read blogs and occasionally novels. I rarely make time for non-fiction.
However, The Working Parents Guide to Raising Happy and Confident Children isn’t designed to be read from cover to cover, in long sittings. Instead, the author encourages you to dip in to the sections you feel are relevant to you. And there are a lot of sections!
There are 7 Chapters:
What Parenting and Leadership have in common
Becoming a Conscious and Strategic Parent
Communicating Effectively to Meet Children’s Needs
Leading by Example, Motivating and Inspiring
Building Trust and Communication
Fulfilling Children’s Potential
There are also 20 tools which apply to various chapters, including fairly simple tools such as Planning Ahead, Creating Routines, Limited Choices and Asking Questions, as well as more complex tools such as Family Culture, Emotion Coaching, Growth Mindset and Family Contribution.
I really loved the ‘Tools’ approach. The tools are practical, and backed up by research. In fact, I would say this sums up the book quite well. Although the titles might come across as slightly business-speak, the material isn’t at all. The material is useful and applicable. I can imagine using these tools for a long time to come.
Of course, my children are young. Routines, limited choices and planning ahead are critical for me at the moment, and it was encouraging to see the experts putting so much value on these things. But over the next few years, as we navigate the tween and teen years, I can see how the later tools, like Growth Mindset and Problem Solving will be really useful.
The 5 Week Programme
One of the best aspects of the book, in my opinion, is the 5-week programme which you find towards the back of the book. This takes you through each of the tools and helps you to apply them to your family setting in a logical manner. Lots of the tools are interlinked, so if you’re really struggling and don’t know where to start, this is a great programme. I think we’re doing most of the early weeks fairly consistently, so it was really good to see how we could improve and what we can be thinking about for the next steps in our parenting.
There is also a section for Troubleshooting top 20 parenting challenges. This section gives a list, from Refusing to Co-operate to Shopping Struggles to Tantrums and Back-chatting, of challenges parents face. Each challenge has ‘Quick and easy solutions’ and ‘Solutions requiring a little more time.’ You then find the tools for each section.
What’s the verdict? Not just for Working Parents
I think there is so much wisdom in this book, and it… somehow… feels ‘right.’ It does resonate with my experience of parenting. Routines and consistency are my keywords in parenting, and I think the author of this book would say similar.
However, I think the title is misleading. This is really good advice for ALL parents, not just working parents. The book does make some concessions – yes, working parents naturally have less time with their children – but the advice is general parenting advice.
There isn’t a section on the guilt of working parents, or how to alleviate that ringing screaming in your ears when you drop your toddler off at nursery. There isn’t a section on whether it’s healthy for your children to see parents working at home, or how to separate work and home life. That’s the kind of thing I would expect to see in a parenting book aimed specifically at working parents.
That said, The Working Parents’ Guide to Raising Happy and Confident Children is an excellent parenting book with lots of useful, easily applied advice for each stage of parenting. You can buy it from Amazon here.
I was gifted a copy of the book for the purposes of this review. Amazon links are affiliate links, which means if you buy the book through my link, I earn a small amount of money, at no extra cost to yourself.