It is simultaneously the best and the worst thing to happen in quite a long time.
It's good if you are searching for the meaning of a word or looking for reviews on the restaurant where you are eating or if you are looking for where you might like to vacation.
It's bad if you have an ailment and you want to figure out what exactly is your diagnosis.
"Oh, look. I must have a cavity!
"No wait! A root canal. I'm gonna have my faced drilled on!"
"Definitely, it's gingivitis. Look at these red, puffy gums."
"I just know it's periodontal gum disease! I'm going to have to have surgery on my face!"
So, needless to say, the internet can also make you a little crazy if you let it.
However, there are a lot of great things out there too.
For example, parent blogs.
Reading on of my many favorite parenting blogs out there, I came across a book, "Raising Your Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka".
This book is amazing, guys. Seriously.
I know what you are thinking. You are thinking there are a MILLION parenting books out there so what makes this one so special.
I'm so glad you asked!
This book is very straightforward, easy to understand and basically just uses common sense.
Let me explain.
This book talks about many different concepts that most people already have common knowledge of. She speaks about 'spirited children' who are normal kids who are just more - more intense, more sensitive, more perceptive, more persistent.
For instance, she talks about the power of labels. She speaks of taking negative labels and turning them into positive ones. Some examples she gave were:
Negative Label Positive Label
It seems like a simple thing to do, and it is, but I think it can have a huge impact. She says to teach yourself these new labels and use them to discipline your children.She says the feelings and images you create with these new labels are totally different from the old lousy labels.
I have discovered that since I am using more positive labels it has helped how I view my kids, therefore I am much more positive in my interactions with them.
Another concept she covers are Extroverts vs. Introverts.
Now, as a former Psychology major, this concept is old hat to me. However, looking at it from a parent's perspective as how it relates to my kids, I see this concept in a new way.
She explains that Extroverts and Introverts get their energy in different ways. Extroverts recharge by being around people, talking with people and interacting with people. On the flip side, Introverts recharge by having time alone away from people, maybe to read a book, play a video game or watch some TV.
She says that the child who is an Extrovert who follows you around all day and always wants your attention is not trying to drive you crazy. They are simply Extroverts and that is how they recharge, by being around you. Extroverts think by talking, are outgoing, tend to talk more than listen and want to tell you about their ideas right away.
Likewise, the child who is an Introvert prefers to watch before joining an activity, likes doing things by themselves and becomes grouchy if around people for too long.
Again, so simple but very profound. I realize my kids aren't trying to drive me crazy by wanting my attention all the time, but as Extroverts it is part of their personalities. As a result, I am more patient and less snappish (is that a word?) with the kids.
One of the big issues she tackles is sleeping. She says many books mention the "cry it out" method for sleeping. This will not work for spirited children. Some children get more upset and can cry for hours at a time or get so upset they throw up.
She states some kids need more help getting to sleep. Some kids may need to have their back scratched or have 5 stories read to them or need you to snuggle with them. All of these methods are acceptable. Different stratagies work for different kids.
Other ideas are not taking a bath too close to bedtime as it elevates the body temperature and it will take a while for a spirited child to relax as their body temperature regulates. Another idea is keeping the TV and the iPad/iPod/etc. off before bedtime as these things tend to get spirited children wound up.
Hubby and I discovered that keeping the boys away from the TV and electronics before bedtime does help them relax and fall asleep faster. We also find that if we give them a bath right before bedtime that it takes them a lot longer to fall asleep.
After reading this book, I thought, "Well this explains a lot!" Gotta love those light bulb moments.
If you are looking for a good, straight forward approach to parenting with real world solutions, I would check out this book.