Updated: Jul 14
I’ve given myself a summer reading challenge – to be honest I’m not very disciplined, so it’s a way of making myself read through to the end, and not just put the book down half way through chapter 2 (or 3, if it’s really good)…
To start off with an easy one, I picked up ‘Les 50 règles de l’Education Positive, by Bénédicte Péribère and Solènne Roland-Riche. Bénédicte and Solènne are both Positive Discipline trainers, but I didn’t know this, or them, when I first spotted the book. I just thought it was small enough for me to actually finish it. (as I said, I'm an undisciplined reader!)
I realise it's a little incongruous to be blogging in English about a French book, but maybe if we all ask, they'll translate it!
Bénédicte is a clinical psychologist by training, and Solenne works in education innovation, creates 'serious games', and teaches Positive leadership to managers.
The book is small enough to fit in your pocket, so useful for metro journeys - you could read an idea on your way home from work, and, because each 'golden rule' comes with ideas and advice on how to put it into practice, you could try it out that evening.
Anyway, lets get into what the book actually says. I love that their first 'rule' is that we need to banish the myth of the perfect parent. By allowing ourselves to make mistakes, day in, day out, we give ourselves permission to become the parent that we want to be. If we strive for perfection, we'll either do nothing, or feel guilty. And as parents, we already carry too much guilt. Adler (the psychologist behind Positive Discipline) talks about the 'courage to be imperfect - that's what we're looking for (and so at the moment you'll find me trying to put that in place by doing Facebook and Instagram lives - totally out of my comfort zone!)
The third rule is about accepting that parenting is HARD WORK! They quote Nelson Mandela: “After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.” When we've dealt with one parenting challenge, very soon another one comes along. Our parenting path is both wonderful AND difficult, we are not on a short or easy journey. One tip they suggest is reframing our thoughts, so instead of saying "I have to cook the carrots" we could say "I choose to cook the carrots because I want my family to eat home-prepared meals." When we realise we have choices, then we take responsibility for our choices, and we can find gratitude for the choices we make.
And then there's a rule on collaborative problem solving, one on taking care of ourselves, one on....
So - why do I love this book
1) it's only as big as my hand, so I can fit it in my workbag and read it on my commute
2) each of the 50 ideas contains inspiration, food for thought AND practical implementation - by making it concrete, we can put it in place..
3) the ideas are both encouraging and realistic
4) one idea a day for the next 2 months= a transformed family..
You can find the book here on Amazon, or in bookstores..