“My son says he doesn’t want to brush his teeth. What now?”
“What happens when I’m arguing with my child and all of a sudden I realize she’s right?”
These were some of the questions posed to Michelle Nicholasen and Barbara O’Neal at the Inly Parents Group INSIGHT event this week. They are the co-authors of the book, I Brake for Meltdowns: How to Handle the Most Exasperating Behavior of Your 2-5 Year Old. They talked a little bit about how they came to write the book, and then got down to the business of fielding questions from parents about meltdowns and more.
About I Brake for Meltdowns:
From “Public Meltdowns” to “In Search of Sleep” to “Dinner Disasters,” this book covers every bugaboo by category—including biting, teeth-brushing, refusal to wear a coat, and what to do when your youngster won’t hug Aunt Marge. Handy action points, suggested language, and “Been There” sidebars point the way to resolution.
Michelle gave Inly parents some background on how the book was born. At the time, she was the mother of five children under the age of five and dealing with her share of parenting challenges. She found solid advice on the developmental stages of children in the parenting books, but she felt there weren’t good resources on the “nuts and bolts of the daily hurdles.” She was impressed by the way Barbara (her children’s preschool director) spoke to children and the words she used to diffuse potential meltdowns, so she pitched the idea of writing a how-to book that had real answers for real situations.
The Q&A was a lively discussion of general questions about power struggles with children (how to avoid them and how to get out of them); questions about whether offering rewards is a good idea; questions about whether “time outs” work; and questions about establishing boundaries for your family.
Recommended reading from Inly
Following are some titles pulled from the Inly Parenting Reading List that address many of the topics brought up today.
- The Blessings of a Skinned Knee by Wendy Mogel
- Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A’s, Praise and Other Bribes by Alfie Kohn
- The Over-Scheduled Child: Avoiding the Hyper-Parenting Trap by Alvin Rosenfeld and Nicole Wise
- It’s not fair, Jeremy Spencer’s parents let him stay up all night!: A Guide to the Tougher Parts of Parenting by Anthony E. Wolf
- How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber
And a great picture book to read to your child who refuses to do the thing you ask them to do:
- Contrary Mary by Anita Jeram