Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings: How to Stop the Fighting and Raise Friends for Life
Do your children occasionally squabble, or even (gasp!) fight? Of course they do. Here Laura Markham offers a parenting style to both minimize children’s conflicts and enable those that do occur to be teaching experiences, where children learn successful conflict resolution and other skills.
First, parents must model emotional self-regulation. Parents also ensure they have a warm, positive relationship with each child. Finally, a peaceful parent coaches, by offering empathy. Sound easy? It isn’t, and Markham admits as much; but the rest of the book offers specific scripts for common incidents, and a lot of role-playing practice. The last third even discusses helpful ideas to help older siblings adjust to new siblings and minimize jealousy and conflict before they arrive.
The lessons and advice seem a bit overwhelming; it is difficult to change old (bad) habits. But Markham’s advice is easy to understand and backed by copious and compelling research, especially regarding why conventional child-rearing tactics often fail or even create lasting harm. The book resists shaming, instead urging parents to start a little at a time, but start somewhere, and assures parents that the efforts will pay great dividends in a happier, more peaceful home.