Whether you are trying to improve your relationship with your children or help them improve their relationships with others, these four books will help. Unlike books that are designed to help you solve specific problems, these teach you the tools you need to be able to solve any problem that you encounter as a parent. The first book, Self-Reg, explains what self-regulation is and why it is so important. The next three are about communication and relationship in emotionally charged situations and teach approaches that help people self-regulate more effectively under pressure.
Self-Reg: How to Help Your Child (and You) Break the Stress Cycle and Successfully Engage with Life by Stuart Shanker
Self-Reg discusses the way stress impacts emotions and behaviours in children and teaches how to help children manage stress in ways that maximize their ability to learn. Without self-regulation, children are unable to learn effectively.
L.I.F.T.: A Coach Approach to Parenting by Kate Arms
The parent-child relationship has a power dynamic that creates inescapable stress. Parents have information and responsibility that children do not have. Children are vulnerable because they need their parents for survival. A coach approach helps parents and children self-regulate, minimizes power struggles, and leverages children’s strengths to make parenting less stressful and more rewarding. Children and parents feel empowered and respected when parents use a coach approach.
The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict by The Arbinger Institute
The Anatomy of Peace discusses how to engage in conflict in ways that help things go better. It is focused on how to communicate in ways that increase everybody’s capacity to stay well regulated. An excellent resource for navigating the inevitable disagreements in family life.
Say What You Mean: A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communicationby Oren Jay Sofer
Say What You Mean has strategies for speaking clearly and listening well that can be used when under stress. If you want to stop shouting when you are angry at the kids or you want to be able to listen calmly when the kids are shouting, the practices Sofer teaches in this book will help.