Raising Good Humans
I just finished reading “Raising Good Humans” by Hunter Clarke-Fields. I’m constantly reading parenting books, and I’d happily recommend “Raising Good Humans” both to nannies and parents who are new to mindful parenting or who want to brush up on Positive Discipline tools and strategies.
“Raising Good Humans” recognizes that if we want to raise kind, compassionate, patient children, we need to foster those skills in ourselves first. So, how do we do that?
Clarke-Fields’ book is divided into two sections: Breaking the Cycle of Reactivity and Raising Kind, Confident Kids. I was sold pretty quickly on this book because of an honest, raw story that Clarke-Fields shares in the introduction that started her journey into mindful parenting. I love those relatable tales that recognize how hard this can all be!
The first half of this book is all about you. Clarke-Fields does an excellent job of explaining both why and how we need to look inward at our own triggers and emotions. She recognizes how easy it is to read this stuff and forget about it, so she encourages the reader to really try the ideas and to journal on them, too. I have to admit I was pretty lax about keeping notes and journaling, but I did highlight and tab a lot of this book.
Clarke-Fields invites you to reflect on your current parenting style. One particularly helpful exercise for me was her “How Were You Parented?” questionnaire that asked some tough questions but gave me some new insight and a lot to think on.
One helpful phrase I picked up from this book was to expect and accept strong feelings, both ours and those of the children we are with. It’s been a big shift in my child-rearing philosophy from seeing crying as something that needs to be quelled to something that isn’t a bad thing, and “Raising Good Humans” has specific do’s and dont’s for the challenges of sitting with crying and tantrums.
The first section of the book is also full of tips for meditation and mindfulness.
The second half of the book had many tips and tools that overlap with our Positive Discipline strategies. One idea I’ve kept in mind since reading was considering how you would feel if someone was speaking to you the way you are speaking to a child. Are we unintentionally dismissing or blaming the child? Clarke-Fields offers some specific tips and scripts of what it sounds like to reflectively listen to children that are genuine and not robotic.
Some of Clarke-Fields suggestions are tools that are well loved in Positive Discipline: being playful, why we don’t use punishments, finding win-win solutions, connecting with children, using encouraging language, giving responsibility to children, and finding rhythm and routine.
“Raising Good Humans” also has a handy cheat sheet for handling sibling conflict that focuses on acknowledgement and coaching.
“Raising Good Humans” would be a helpful addition to the library of any parent or nanny who believes in Positive Discipline and respectful caregiving. Have you read “Raising Good Humans?” What did you think? Share your thoughts below.