Raising Human Beings: Creating A Collaborative Partnership With your Child

Book cover
Ross W. Greene
5
Tuesday, Aug 8, 2017

As I ponder what to say about this book, I'm reminded of two quotes I like from another; Difficult Conversations by Douglas Stone:

People almost never change without first feeling understood.

The single most important thing [you can do] is to shift [your] internal stance from "I understand" to "Help me understand." Everything else follows from that.

Though stated differently, those ideas lie at the core of the parenting approach Greene describes in this book. Parents can best help their children learn, change, and grow--and deal with difficulties and misbehavior--by starting with listening and empathy, then asking for the same in return. Together, parents and children try to fully understand the problem under discussion and craft a solution that addresses everyone's concerns. It is both a step-by-step, formulaic method to follow in each specific instance and a general framework for helping kids grow into respectful, independent, capable people.

Greene builds the framework over the course of the book, developing each step in turn with numerous examples of putting it into practice in different situations. He explores potential pitfalls and failures, and includes a question-and-answer section in each chapter. It's very approachable and easy to understand (though did not make the most scintillating audiobook listening). It's definitely something I would recommend for every parent, educator, and caregiver.

Really, it's something I would recommend for everyone. Though this is very specifically about parenting, not much extrapolation is needed to think of it as something for managers and supervisors, as the roles and scenarios are very similar. And even without the power-dynamic roles, the approach to communication in general is one everyone would benefit from--after all, one of Greene's implementation examples is between not a parent and child but two parents.

Chris K.

Written by Chris K.

Fun fact: Experts estimate that the average cruising airspeed velocity of an unladen European Swallow is roughly 11 meters per second, or 24 miles an hour.