In keeping with what has been the blog’s theme for the past two months–child behavior and child discipline–here are things you should know before I answer the question above.
Shelly Birger Phillips has extensive knowledge in child development and parenting theory, and she has tons of hands-on experience as a pre-school teacher, nanny, and last but not the least, a mom.
From the title itself, Cracking the Kid Code aims to arm parents with knowledge to help them deal with defiance, tantrums, and other challenging situations that arise when dealing with young children.
It offers insights on why children behave (or misbehave) the way they do, which are based on studies and the author’s experiences. This way, parents can navigate a tricky situation (e.g. a major meltdown) better by choosing more effective responses. The book also offers fun and clever activities on how to get children to do certain things, such as household chores.
The book is a light read at 57 pages (electronic version), though, it seems to need an editor since there were some noticeable punctuation errors. However, the latter does not take away from the book’s message, which is what I’ll get into next.
When I read parenting books, I always watch out for certain ideas that blow me away. So now the question is: Did the book leave me feeling enlightened? With hundreds of light bulbs going off?
The book has a child-centric theme because it (1) attempts to give parents a glimpse into children’s perception of the world, and (2) teaches parents how to respond to such perceptions.
That said, Shelly presents a unique way of viewing the concept of misbehaving. Of course, I will not discuss what that is now, so you’ll have to read the book to find out more about this. All I will say is that it will change the way you see your children.
Although the book is child-centric, it doesn’t suggest that parents indulge children’s every whim. Far from it!
The book uses positive encouragement and reinforcement, which is something that I’m sure you prefer to do.
Cracking the Kid Code also teaches parents how to use two powerful behavior shaping tools: the word “no” and a parent’s (positive) attention.
While reading the book, I had a lot of “ah-ha” moments; after reading the book, I had a sense of renewed respect for children because now, I feel that I understand them better. And all thanks to Shelly!
Has this book changed my life?
Although I sometimes revert to what I feel is convenient parenting (using anger and threats as tools to get kids to follow), now, I am more conscious about analyzing why my child is behaving in a certain way. Why?
Because digging deeper into a particular behavior is essential to effectively resolving an issue, without resorting to negative discipline methods. This is something Shelly shows parents how to do. And yes, the method takes a bit of work, but it’s all worth it!
So, should you read the book?
I can assure you that the time you spend reading this book is time well-spent. If you want to understand or “decode” children, then this is a light, easy read that will leave you with a treasure trove of useful information you can apply immediately.
What are you waiting for? Get the Kindle version of Cracking the Kid Code here.