Thursday, September 15, 2016

Book Review: The Child Whisperer

I am not usually one to read many self help or parenting books, but I had heard a lot about this one and found it at our library so I decided to give it a go. I ended up really liking it so I decided to write a post about it. (I was basically talking Leland's ear off all night after I read it, telling him everything that was in it. I think he got a little sick of it so I figured this is a better outlet for my thoughts lol). 

The basic idea of the book is that every person has an "energy type" (different from a personality type). There are 4 types and once you figure out which type your child is you can start to understand them better and why they do the things they do. You can then parent them in a way that is specific to their energy type and they will be much happier and more cooperative. 

Here is a little infographic you may have seen floating around pinterest. It comes from this book and is just a small part of how to identify each child. The book obviously goes into way more detail so it is much easier to determine which type you and your child are. 

So after just reading a little I quickly was able to determine that Esther is Type 1. (I am a type 4 and Leland is a type 2. I really can't figure out what type Adele is yet.). I was surprised how spot on the chapter about type 1's were when it came to Esther, Type 1 children love fun so they want everything to be light-hearted and a game. The are high energy and always on the move. The book gives summaries of what each type of child will be like at each age. She describes type one as being happy, social babies and that was definitely Esther. It may be Adele too but I'm not sure yet, Since Type 1s like playing and imagination so much, playing games and making discipline light hearted is how you get through to them. She says time out's don't really work with type 1s because they crave social situations so much and learn better in social situations. So that made a lot of sense to me since time outs haven't really been working with Esther and she tends to act up more if we put her in timeout. So we've been trying some new methods with her and they seem to be working.

One example of using the methods in this book was when Esther had a dentist appointment yesterday. Last time we took her was an awful experience and she was so scared. This time I kept talking to her in advance about how fun it was going to be and that she would get a prize at the end. I also made it a game of playing dentist and having her open her mouth while I pretended to be a dentist. I told her she would sit in the chair and I would hold her hand, Once we got there she did so great. She sat in the chair and when she was looking a little scared I was sure to smile and remind her about her prize. She let the hygienist do a cleaning on her teeth and let the dentist look at all her teeth. I was so impressed! They were impressed too and said 2 year olds usually never sit in the chair. Maybe it was because Esther could understand more but I really think the methods outlined in this book really made a difference. (Before reading this book I probably would have just explained to Esther what was going to happen and told her what was expected of her while there. That is what I, as a type 4 would have responded best too since type 4's appreciate straightforward rules.)

This book also helped me to understand more about myself and Leland based on our types. Type 2s are really driven by comfort. The book talks about how they love comfortable clothes, bed and everything. This is totally Leland even today. He always changes into comfortable clothes the second he walks in the door lol. The book said type 4s are the most misunderstood children of all of them and that definitely rang true to me ha.

So in summary here is what I liked about the book:
-It was a very positive book, with the main message being to love your children for who they are and not trying to change them.

-It had many gospel themes (the author is LDS though it never says so in the book) such as each person has intrinsic value regardless of achievements or successes and children are born inherently good and don't need values forced upon them, but simply to be guided and to help bring out their gifts that they are already born with,

-I also liked how it wasn't 100% child focused. The main focus was a happy family, not just doing whatever it takes to make your child happy even if it makes you as a parent miserable (which it seems like a lot of parenting books say these days).

What I didn't like:
-Some of the talk of "energies" was a little out there for me. She talks about how she can type people just based on their facial features and that seemed a little weird to me haha.

-Not this book specifically but some of her other books (which I haven't read) come across as very intense/spiritual and could possibly "replace" the gospel in your life if you aren't careful, which church leaders have warned us about with self help books in general.

Anyways I liked the book for opening my eyes up to new solutions for parenting and I liked how it subscribes to the idea of parenting each of your children according to their specific needs. I really enjoyed the book and I highly recommend it for all parents!

If any of you have ever read the book be sure and let me know your thoughts on it in the comments!

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