Happy Families A Parents’ Guide to the Non-Violent Resistance Approach – book review

(published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 14th May 2010, ISBN: 978-1-84905-084-5, ?9.99) authors, Carmelite Avraham-Krehwinkel and David Aldridge

My initial issue with this book was with the question – ‘who is it written for?’  The idea that any family could be in such dire straits  was one thing, but a book to address their situation seemed a bit late in the day.  My thoughts were, ‘if things are that bad, no book is going to help.’  So I jumped out of my comfortable holier-than-thou slippers and dived into someone else’s.  What if we hadn’t enjoyed the services and supports that we have?  What if that buffer zone didn’t exist?  What if my children were different children?  Children are all on some kind of spectrum, and most families have issues from one time to another.  Maybe it’s because our family has middle of the road autism, twice, that our choices were limited by the severity of our situation.  Even so, I can remember numerous occasions where I’ve let things slide, some issue or other I’ve dismissed, hoping it would go away if I ignored it for long enough.  Usually it was via someone else’s instigation or some other light-bulb moment, which would spur me into action, usually desperation.  But what if…

If things were different from how they are, what would I have done?  Then, this book might help.  How?  Firstly because it is brief.  If you’re in trouble you certainly don’t have the leisure time to read some weighty tome.  No.  You want something that’s easy to read, lays out the facts, provides a straightforward approach and a plan of action.

Interestingly, to me at least, is the reference to shouting, that basically this is an ineffective technique when it comes to parenting.  It’s quite a common reference in parenting books and it always amuses me when I read it.

“The authors accept that this approach is not a quick fix. It is a lot more difficult than simply losing your temper and yelling, but it is also much more affective; with patience and determination parental authority can be restored, and with it the harmony of home and family life.”

Available from Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

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