Best of the Web: How to be a calmer parent, and more

Parenting without the conflict and arguing, the 1947 picture book that enriched a family, and how your aggressive driving affects your kids.

Our selection of thought-provoking and useful resources from around the web on educating and raising children, and supporting families.

How to be a calmer parent and stop arguing with your kids

(Michaeleen Doucleff, TIME)

Is your family life interspersed with parent-child conflict, intense and stressful for everyone involved? As this extract from a new book explains, there is a better way.

The author, a journalist and mother, has examined how a different, calmer approach to parenting is practised around the world, in different cultures. These are families where children are helpful and respectful.

She calls it TEAM parenting. There are four main elements: togetherness, encouragement, autonomy and minimal interference. It’s a parenting style that minimises conflict and fosters cooperation.

It’s an approach, she writes, that Western parents have forgotten. ‘We’ve forgotten how to motivate kids to do chores without nagging or bribing, how to discipline without yelling or time-outs, and how to relate to children in a way that builds confidence and self-sufficiency.’

This is a must-read for parents looking for a different way.

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We read books to my daughter from birth, which enriched all our lives

(Donna Ferguson, The Guardian)

This is a beautiful story about the power of reading to our children, and the joy and fulfilment that flows from it.

The author had a difficult pregnancy, and was so concerned that she wouldn’t buy anything ahead of the baby’s arrival. ‘Buying something for her felt too bold – as though I was assuming the pregnancy would be all right, that the birth would be fine, that she would be okay.’

The turning point was a 1947 picture book she fell in love with, featuring the poem Goodnight Moon, staring a bunny that says goodnight to everything in the room.

When her daughter was born, reciting the poem became a nightly routine, bringing parents and child closer together. That nightly reading became routine. Her daughter, now aged nine, is an avid reader.


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How your driving aggression affects your kids

(Shona Hendley, ABC Everyday)

It’s the Jekyll and Hyde moment that occurs when you slide behind the driver’s wheel. Outside of the car, you may be a calm, reasonable individual. But as soon as the ignition turns over, a red haze descends.

It’s poor, dangerous behaviour – and if your children are in the car with you, it’s affecting them and the way they behave.

As one expert quoted in this article notes, children are like sponges, always watching and learning.

‘Experiencing a parent’s anger in the car on the way to school can set things up so that if something goes awry for them in the playground then they are just that bit more likely to respond in the way they observed their parents do that morning in the car.’


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