There is a question that parents always ask themselves and is ‘How can I be a better parent?’ We want our child to be happy and to achieve all their goals but also we want to help them regulate their emotions and behaviour and our role is to come up with strategies and options that will help them out.
Emma Grant is the author of ‘The Powerful Proactive Parents Guide to Present Parenting’ and The Confident Parent’s Guide to Raising a Happy, Healthy & Successful Child (previous interview to be found through the link). Both books focus on the parents and the child which makes the book different from other similar ones. One of the main points in this book is to be a present parent and the impact that this has in our children behaviour. There is no one else who can raise a child better that us, their parents. Sometimes we lean on school, friends, tv, social media and more to help us raise our kids while what they really need is us there with them and our love. Parenting is a journey that we need to enjoy.
This book has definitely helped me to be more proactive and to anticipate some of the behaviours of my boys. I read this book during lockdown which I couldn’t be more than thankful for it and Emma has been amazing about answering my questions and always happy to help. Mental Health is so important to parents and we need to look after ourselves so we can look after our kids.
The Powerful Proactive Parents Guide to Present Parenting encourage parents to take actions of their child needs, movements and emotions. This guide as well focus on the parent’s behaviour and how this can affect the behaviour of their child. We should lead by example and influence them with good behaviour as our kids will follow us as we are their role models. I will describe this book as inspirational and written with common sense and no feeling of being condescending at all.
Enough of me talking and I leave you with Emma and the answers that she is sharing with us. I hope you all enjoy the interview 🎤
Can you tell me about the idea behind this book and your motivation to write it?
Over the years, the parents I’ve worked with all encountered the same issues when managing their childrens unwanted behaviour. I discovered early on that- Rules are the key to managing unwanted behaviour and Routines are the key to preventing it. Therefore, I knew I had to write a book that encompassed those two things. That’s how I started out writing my book but there was so much to cover, that it became two books. The Confident Parent’s Guide to Raising a Happy, Healthy & Successful Child, covers routines, and -The Powerful Proactive Parent’s Guide to Present Parenting, focuses on coaching our childrens behaviour and managing our own.
How different is the advice in this book to your previous book ‘The Confident Parents Guide to Raising a Happy Healthy Successful Child’ and was the process of writing it any different?
As previously said, originally, I wrote the book as one, so there’s some overlap as there’s points in this 2nd book -The Powerful Proactive Parents Guide to Present Parenting, that I had to reiterate again, as I wanted both books to be standalone books. However, I do feel that behaviour is difficult to understand if you don’t have a routine, so routine and how to implement it, is covered in both books.
Do your two books stand alone or would you recommend reading them both?
Again, yes, they can be standalone books but I would recommend new parents especially, to read both books. If, however you’ve got a routine going well already, you could just skip to -The Powerful Proactive Parents Guide to Present Parenting. Although, I don’t recommend trying to coach behaviour without certain routines established first.
During the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown many parents have been working from home and becoming more involved in their children’s school work and activities. Do you think that the quarantine and massive increase in people working from home may have some positives?
Absolutely, next week and the week after in the blogs I’ve written on www.happychildcare.club is an interview I had with one Mum and her little step son, 7 year old Archie, about the amazing business that was born from a home schooling project, during Covid-19s lockdown. Its such an interesting, inspiring story.
During lock down parents finally got the chance to see what their children were learning and felt part of it. They’ve also been physically present with their children around the clock. Children will have undoubtedly, benefitted from having their parents all to themselves. But we all need some U Time, which is why that comes first in the- U URSELF Routine. I know from the messages I’ve received during lock down that, emotionally a lot of parents have struggled without time for themselves. That’s why I’ve just created a Mumatherapy Facebook Support Group. Mums can join here.
You state in your book that one reason parents might lack confidence is that they compare themselves with other parents and their children to other children. I certainly do this, especially when I see well put together mums at school when I’m without makeup having barely survived the morning. Did avoiding these comparisons come easily to you or was it something you had to work at?
All mums know deep down that, it’s not easy being a present mum, juggling a home and for some a career, whilst still looking like a model from a glossy magazine. We don’t have a full-time nanny or an array of makeup artists, hairdressers and stylists to hand like the celebs we see in the media. We are real people with real lives and yes, our Instagram pics are probably filtered because, in reality, the dark bags under our eyes from worry and sleepless nights are weighing us down.
As a busy Childminder and Mum to two little ones, I personally didn’t have the time to really compare myself to others on the school run. Most days I’d have up to six kids with me, so my focus was on keeping them safe and in my sight. I can honestly say, I rarely noticed other mums around me unless we were engaged in conversation and that was usually with mums I liked and felt no judgement from. I don’t think they expected me to look good doing my job lol, my waterproof mac and converse trainers were and still are, my school run saviours, so I learnt how to rock them in every colour.
Your approach makes good parenting seem very straightforward and ‘common sense’ which is reassuring to read but it always seems more complicated. For example, what advice would you give a parent who occasionally shared responsibility with a family member or grandparent who had ‘their own way’ of doing things that the parent did not agree with?
This is a great question- but I find, usually the easiest things in life we over complicate. What we stress about usually never happens but we take comfort in imagining the worst-case scenario, thinking this prepares us somehow. When things run smoothly, we worry that life can’t be this easy and straightforward… surely?
But it really is straight forward when we work as a team with those other people who care for our children.
Occasionally I have this issue when I’m working in partnership with parents and they choose to do things differently than I would. For e.g., at mealtimes, if a child doesn’t want to eat the food I cook for them, that’s fine but I don’t offer them anything else (and that’s the way it’s always been with my own children too) Whereas a lot of parents, when their child refuses a meal, will end up giving them something else to eat later, so they don’t feel hungry. But it creates a perpetual problem long term. We have to become one team and remember that we’re all on the same side.
I find working together as one team works best, especially when it comes to managing behaviour, potty training, eating habits etc… but I do have to remind myself when I offer advice to parents that, they’re the parents and its up to them how they choose to approach parenting. We should all respect parents for the choices they make for their children, regardless if we agree with them or not.
If a grandparent has a different way of doing things, they should adapt their ways to suit the parents, not the other way around. Parents are the ones who live, deal and manage with their children on a daily basis. Its lovely for grandparents to spoil their grandchildren with treats and to allow them to stay up later when babysitting the odd night, but this doesn’t help parents or their children manage routines and behaviour. Although it comes from a place of real love, it serves to sabotage a parent’s efforts, rather than help. Parents need to have the confidence to assert themselves; you don’t have to agree with anybody else about how YOU parent, YOUR child. When it comes to shared responsibility parents are the rule makers, and they need to insist on everyone else sticking to their rules and routines, at all times. But sadly, a common parenting issue is when parents are separated and choose to do things differently from one another. This is tricky, yet, team work really does make the parenting dream work.There shouldn’t be any competition between parents, there’s no good cop, bad cop. It takes both parents, as well as any other carers who are involved in our children’s life, to come together and agree on rules and routines. If not, children become confused, angry, or upset, and eventually, they end up playing parents against each other.
That’s why rules and routines are so vital in raising happy, healthy and successful children, because, when everyone has a clear idea of what is expected, when, where and why, there can be no confusion and everything is straightforward.
Emma Grant is the author of The Confident Parent’s Guide to Raising a Happy, Healthy & Successful Child and The Powerful Proactive Parent’s Guide to Present Parenting, both books are available now from all good book stockists worldwide. She’s also ~ A Mum ~ Hypnotherapist ~ Nutritional Therapist and Parenting Coach/Counsellor. As well as being a Registered Childminder for the past sixteen years with a level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management in Children’s Care, Learning, and Development. She works alongside her husband, living in Cardiff UK with their teenage children. She also writes a weekly blog at www.happychildcare.club
It was so lovely to have you again on my blog Emma and I am so looking forward to your next release. Thank you so much for all your advice and for writing such great books 😀.