How to Calm the Dragons: The Principles of Parenting in Plain Language
How to Calm the Dragons: The Principles of Parenting in Plain Language is about how to change a family environment from negative to positive and achieve a more balanced home.
Both parents and children aged 3 through adolescence can utilize the skills easily to help create change. It is a frank conversation with parents about how to not only change their child’s behavior but theirs as well.
A child is a part of a system, a family system. You cannot “fix” a part of a system and then put it back in a broken system.
You have to change the whole system.
When parents are stressed and yelling constantly at their child, their environment becomes toxic and their child’s behavior escalates. If the system is unbalanced, so is the child.
This book helps change a “No! Don’t!” environment to a “Yes! Do!” environment.
It teaches the parents to reinforce the positive behaviors and to stay calm during the negative behaviors. It teaches the parents to stop taking away privileges and to start encouraging their child to earn them. It teaches the child how to calm down and think differently about his/her problems in order to stop the cyclical pattern of negativity and create a more positive family environment.
Before Dr. Stempel became a psychologist over ten years ago, she was (and still is) a registered nurse. She has worked in emergency rooms, cardiac intensive care, critical care, general surgery and finally pediatrics.
She has encountered many people in stressful situations with no coping skills.
Many adults as well as children struggle with the every day and sometimes dramatic events that cause overwhelming anxiety. Dr. Stempel has worked with hundreds of families who do not know how to help their child or themselves. They are at a loss as to what to do and are looking for a practical doable solution.
The skills taught in this book are easy to understand and utilize. She has seen many families turn their lives around by following these simple guidelines. Because so many families are not near a university research center where so many parenting programs are offered, they cannot receive the intensive help they need. This book provides that.
The problems addressed in this book are those that are often encountered in children with anxiety, depression, ADHD, high function autism, oppositional defiant disorder, intermittent explosive disorder, adjustment disorder, OCD, attachment issues, blended family issues, and grief.
Parenting the atypical child is a complicated process that many parents are not prepared for.
Although there are many parenting books, they often don’t encompass both the problems of the child and those of the parents trying to parent in the most effective way.
This book is written to help parents understand why their child acts the way they do and to teach the skills that are needed for both parent and child to improve their relationship and help create a more balanced parenting style which in turn creates a more positive environment in which the child can become more successful in school, socially, and at home.
This book is written as if the author and the parents are having a conversation about their child and what issues their child struggles with, how those struggles present themselves, how parents respond to their child and how they all can change. It’s an honest approach to the complicated problems that arise in parenting and what to do about them. The skills are presented in an easy to understand format, making it accessible to a wide cross-section of parents.
In this book, very real problems are addressed, such as:
- “What do I do if my child won’t go to time out?”
- “What do I do if my child is punching holes in my walls?
- “What if he won’t play with me when I ask?”
- “What if she won’t use her skills?”
- “The behavioral plan is too complicated and I can’t do it.”
These are very real problems that no one addresses. The book addresses what to do when a child pushes back to a strategy and discusses what are often the reasons for the push back.
Very often parents will say:
- “I don’t know what to do anymore?”
- “I am not the parent I want to be.”
- “Nothing I do seems to make any difference.”
- “There’s not much more of this I can stand.”
- “My child is ruining my house.”
- “My child is ruining my life.”
- “I’m angry all the time.”
- “I yell and yell and nothing seems to change.”
- “There is nothing else I can take away from my child.”
- “I can’t take my child anywhere.”
- “We can’t go on vacation because I can’t trust my child.”
After incorporating the skills that Dr. Stempel uses in therapy and has written about in this book parents have said “Thank you for giving me back my child.” “I am enjoying my child again.” “Life is much calmer in my house.” “I look forward to spending time with my child.” “I can breathe again.” “Thank you for giving me my life back and making me the parent I want to be.”
What Makes How to Calm the Dragons Different from Other Parenting Books?
What makes this book different is that both parents and their children learn the same skills.
Dr. Stempel has even had children tell their parents to “just breathe.”
In addition, she has combined parenting skills with mindfulness, cognitive behavioral therapy, behavior therapy and play. She feels that this combination is essential if change is going to occur and continue to be useful.
The skills taught in this book are not only until the “problem” is passed, but to use for the rest of their lives. These are life skills, like brushing your teeth.
She has often heard parents and children say “What would Dr. Audrey say to do?”
Parents and children begin to think differently so they will act differently and make better choices.