Parents have an important task: figure out who their child is—his or her skills, preferences, beliefs, values, personality traits, goals, and direction—get comfortable with it, and then help him or her pursue and live a life that is congruent with it. But parents also want to have influence. They want their kid to be independent, but not if he or she is going to make bad choices. They don’t want to be harsh and rigid, but nor do they want a noncompliant, disrespectful kid. They want to avoid being too pushy and overbearing, but not if an unmotivated, apathetic kid is what they have to show for it. They want to have a good relationship with their kids, but not if that means being a pushover. They don’t want to scream, but they do want to be heard. Good parenting is about striking the balance between a child’s characteristics and a parent’s desire to have influence.
Now Dr. Ross Greene offers a detailed and practical guide for raising kids in a way that enhances relationships, improves communication, and helps kids learn how to resolve disagreements without conflict. Through his well-known model of solving problems collaboratively, parents can forgo time-out and sticker charts, stop badgering, berating, threatening, and punishing, allow their kids to feel heard and validated, and have influence. From homework to hygiene, curfews, to screen time, Raising Human Beings arms parents with the tools they need to raise kids in ways that are non-punitive and non-adversarial and that brings out the best in both parent and child.