In order to read more books, I've had to significantly narrow down the list of podcasts I subscribe to. The parenting podcast The Longest Shortest Time has always made the cut for my short list. I've listened to it since almost the beginning of my fatherhood, and I've learned a lot from it (and have felt less alone or lost). I was really excited when I heard that the host Hillary Frank had written a book of the top listener-contributed parenting "wins": Weird Parenting Wins: Bathtub Dining, Family Screams, and Other Hacks from the Parenting Trenches.
This book was truly awesome. It was super tactical, low level, casual, and direct. Every page and chapter was filled with nuggets that I can't wait to try and that can inspire my own future "wins." It was also fun to read about how other parents solve daily challenges and get through difficult situations, and it was a nice preview of the next major phases of development and their challenges (and potential solutions).
Bravo to Hillary for an awesome and practical book.
My notes and favorite "wins" are below.
I heard about the book Getting the Love You Want by Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt from Tim Ferriss's podcast with Julie Rice, the co-founder of SoulCycle. On the podcast, she talked about the book as having helped her learn about "fostering a company culture and a family life ... that make conflict resolution go smoothly and constructively." Given that I'm interested in both good company culture and family life, I decided to check it out.
There were certainly parts that I wasn't into, like the sales-y references to all the commercial international "Imago" training workshops and the various religious undertones throughout. However, there were also many parts that made me think and consider how its lessons may apply to my life. One core message in the book is that one's upbringing as a child and unmet childhood needs carry over into one's selection of partner and one's conflict tendency (basically, your subconscious recreating the unresolved situations from childhood).
While that kind of thing may seem Freudian or annoying/strange in one way, I do see the validity of many of the ideas firsthand and in relationships I've thought about. Certainly its lessons around how to begin a productive adult dialogue with a partner, discuss behavior change, and discuss one's needs are very useful. The concept of "graduated change" was also a good framework.
Below are my full takeaways from the book.
A local parenting author I've been following came out with a book recently giving very tactical advice on dealing with everyday situations and what kind of language can be most effective and respectful. I finally got a chance to read it and really enjoyed it: Now Say This: The Right Words to Solve Every Parenting Dilemma by Heather Turgeon and Julie Wright.
It read like a combination of RIE-inspired philosophy applied to daily situations. Half the scripts/examples sounded just like the best preschool teachers and directors I've seen in action and heard "in the field." Going through this book gave me a really good mindset for how to generate my own ways of saying the main ideas. I also found the ALP approach (Attune, Limit Set, Problem Solve) to be applicable to so many situations (in parenting and outside it).
I highly recommend this book to any parent. Probably in the top 5 parenting books I've ever read.
My notes on the biggest takeaways and example scripts are below. The book is filled with so many more details and example scripts and conversations.