Peter H Brown Clinical Psychologist

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Helicopter Parenting? New Book Advocates That Firmer But Fair Is The Way To Go

There are times when parents have to stay tough and Nigel Latta explains how best to do it

A COMMON question among parents of young children is: ‘‘ When does raising children start to get better?’’ The answer could be that it doesn’t get any better, it just gets different.

MADE TO ORDER: Keeping a firm hand but not rule by fear is the recommended way to go.It’s a theme Nigel Latta explores in his new book, Politically Incorrect Parenting. Latta will soon present a show of the same name on Channel 9.

While the issues he explores are hardly new, this is not your average parenting book. It doesn’t trade on a parent’s fear but on the reassurance that there are ways you can survive, keep a semblance of sanity and still enjoy the company of your little home-grown terrorist.

It’s battlefield wisdom from a therapist who’s seen more than most of us could handle and has some commonsense tools to help ordinary parents who need a hand.

Some of the chapter headings might give you a clue to his approach.

The preface ‘‘Never Mind the Kids . . . Save Yourself’’ is a pretty good hint, but there are also gems such as ‘‘How to Make Time Out and Sticker Charts Actually Work’’. Then there’s ‘‘Why You Should Never Negotiate with a Terrorist’’.

‘‘I just think parenting is such bloody hard work and the last thing you want to do is read a book on raising your children that’s boring and just makes you feel worse,’’ Latta says.

‘‘You want to read something that feels like a bit of time off.

‘‘What I try to do in the TV show and the book is to give people useful things that they can actually use to make things better but also just reassure people that life is not that complicated.

‘‘We all worry about damaging our children if we say the wrong thing, or send them to the wrong school, or don’t read them enough stories. It’s not about any of that stuff because it’s not stuff that matters.’’

Latta fears the modern world has done away with a lot of common sense. ‘‘I understand common sense as wise thinking,’’ he says. ‘‘If people have a problem with their children most will Google it and they come up with 26 million different opinions . . . and a lot of scare tactics.

‘‘Scaring people is a way to sell books because it works, but I just think it sucks. You don’t need to make parents any more afraid because as soon as you have children you start to worry and it never stops.’’

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After helping thousands of people crawl out of what they feared were bottomless pits, Latta has found a common theme running through the vast majority of cases.

‘‘By far the biggest issue is that people just need to toughen up and that invariably gets it sorted,’’ he says.

‘‘People come to me and say they have a four-year-old they just can’t control and I’m wondering if he’s a mutant six foot high fouryear-old.

‘‘And they become paralysed with all this modern doubt stuff that makes them wonder if they’re doing the right thing when really it’s pretty straightforward.’’

For example, what to do with a fussy eater.

Hungry children eat, Latta says, it’s as simple as that.

He has a key message for parents who are doing it tough. ‘‘Get tough on the behaviours you don’t like and praise them for stuff you do.

‘‘Do that and it fixes anything – a few simple things and it’ll all be fine.’’

Source: Tony Bartlett:  The Courier Mail news.com.au

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May 21, 2010 - Posted by | ADHD /ADD, Books, Child Behavior, Parenting, Resilience, Resources | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. The problem most parents have is that they never seek out any training. They make it up as they go along often resulting in disastrous consequences.School is not the best place to give that training. So there is a huge gap in education.

    Comment by anna hemroids | June 25, 2010 | Reply

  2. […] Helicopter Parenting? New Book Advocates That Firmer But Fair Is The Way To Go (peterhbrown.wordpress.com) […]

    Pingback by Why Do Some Friends Disappear When The Going Gets Tough? « Peter H Brown Clinical Psychologist | August 23, 2010 | Reply


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