I really want to be kind mom!
How many times have I cried while reading this book.
Japanese title: Yasashii Mama ni Naritai! (I Want to be a Kind-hearted Mother! Dr. Ginott’s Parenting Course)
The original title “Liberated Parents, Liberated Children Your Guide to Happier family.”
When my husband saw me reading this book, he was taken aback by the title. Are you so angry with the kids? Are you worried? He was worried. lol.
What I understood after reading this book is that the children do not learn from what I say, but they look at what I do, how I do it, and how I live my life, looking for their own ways.
For instance, Mom told the kids to do this as angry and intimidating as a drill sergeant, saying, “If you don’t this, no more snacks!”
Or Mom tries to control them by suggesting a quid pro quo. If Mom does any of these, it means that she’s telling the kids that they should make a threat or suggesting a quid pro quo to get what they want.
Or when Mom is busy and about to explode, she tries to suppress her irritation with a forced smile on her face (this will not last for long), her message is: life is hard, but you have to put up with it. It’s a shame to ask for help.
But when they don’t get what they want, I could teach them how to negotiate, how to turn a frown into a smile, how to handle hard feelings such as anger, and all family members help each other by doing them myself.
This way I could teach them life is rather interesting, and that they can solve a problem wherever it arises.
That means that they will learn how to help each other. They will naturally learn that.
This book is written by a mother who took part in a child-raising seminar by child psychologist Dr. Ginott., focusing on her experience.
This workshop attracts mothers in all kinds of situations.
Dr. Ginott listens to what the mothers have to say, explains how the kids felt about what the mother said or did, and reveals what that means to the kids.
In the book, there is a mother who can’t change her old ways despite participating in the workshop. As I read this episode, I think that’s only natural. She was doing what she thought was best.
After that, she tries something else, and a new relationship with her family is built, and how her son expresses. I shed tears while reading.
The book often touches up on everyday, ordinary episodes.
All mothers, including the author, worry and try something they learn with varying degrees of success.
Each mother improves what she learns and searches for a way to meet her children, finding a comfortable relationship with everyone in her family.
Creating a family relationship comfortable for everyone sounds commonplace, but it’s never easy.
Especially, those who didn’t grow up with a comfortable family situation (maybe I’m one of them) find it an uphill battle to create a fun family.
Everyday incidents that may never be accomplished and seem to continue forever.
At times I complain, pay a lot of attention, lose my temper, and find a deep feeling about myself for not giving up and trying to face them,
However, usually, I forget all of that, and chase my kids with disheveled hair.
I remember lessons from this book only when I read it, watch the sunset, and feel a bit relaxed.
What I do every day is so trivial that I’m almost sick of it, but I have started thinking that I’m participating the world’s future and doing something meaningful when I read the book.
That was a wonderful gift from this book.
I’ll quote a bit from the last, wonderful part.
(This is the author’s episode after she spends an important time with her daughter, who is troubled)
For a while my daughter held my hand. I kissed her good night, turned off the light, and was about to leave the room.
In the dark room, I could tell how my daughter was. She didn’t know what to say. When she finally opened her mouth, she sounded very calm. “Do you know what I’m thinking?”
“If Hitler’s mother was you, Hitler may not have been Hitler.”
Was she seriously thinking that? I could have changed the course of history on my own?
In fact, my daughter was showing respect. Not just for her mother, but also how humans interact, and the way humans interact which had a huge impact on herself and the family.
I began to think my innocent daughter was correct after all. If so, if the love that is born out of this process is big enough to avoid Hitler, almost everyone has a hope!
I crouched down and kissed her again. “Thanks to you, I want to think more. Good night.”
End of quote
Thank you, Dr. Ginott, who lives on a faraway cloud.
Also, I dedicate my gratitude to Adele and Elaine who shared these wonderful stories with the rest of the world as a book.
Ah, I really want to be a kind mom, too!!!