“Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids” by Dr. Laura Markham is an audiobook I’ve had in my library for years but never finished. I think I started it when my first child was still a baby, but I did not feel it was applicable at the time. Fast forward six years, and things have definitely changed! I, like every parent, have dealt with some new challenges and trials as our kids get older, assert their own opinions/priorities, and start developing their own personalities. Add to that the stress of raising kids during a global pandemic and a new baby in the family, and I found myself floundering. I felt like my fuse was short and I resorted to yelling every day which obviously never ended well for either rod us.
I am so glad I held onto this book in my library and finally put aside some of my own pride and ego to listen to it in full. It really provided me with great insights about how to manage the BIG emotions of children by recognizing, naming, affirming, and normalizing them while also maintaining boundaries when necessary. In all honesty, I was starting to feel like my kid was the opponent at times, and this was a warning signal to me that things were not progressing in the way I wanted them to. I certainly did not want to cause my kids to feelm distanced from me which is an experience I am sadly too familiar with. I am thankful for this book and am comforted that I can always return to it when needed. I have made some major changes and improvements, and I can already see their impacts on my child. Sure, not every day or every moment is a slam dunk, and I have a ways to go. It’s just about making sure my child’s heart and mind feels secure in her parent, for like the author states, the parent is a child’s “North Star.” I highly recommend this book for anyone struggling with behavior problems with their little ones! Spoiler alert: it’s not the kid’s fault, it’s how we respond to them. The author has a website (AHA! Parenting) too which you may find helpful! https://www.ahaparenting.com/
“Verity” by Colleen Hoover was the second audiobook I finished in March. UGH. I absolutely hated this book. I don’t think I have ever disliked a book as much as I disliked this one. Touted as a “thriller,” there was nothing thrilling about it. The characters were over-sexed simpletons (and I am not opposed to sexual content in books – if it’s done right!) Verity is the main character in this book, and whenever the tense switched to her voice, it was so difficult to get through it. It was like dragging through mud, holding on because you think it will get better and more bearable, but it never does. I guess the writer does a great job of making you hate this character because she is truly awful. Although there was a twist at the end, it was disappointing and pointless. I also hated the obvious sexual tension between the other two main characters. Major eye rolls all throughout this book, when I wasn’t grimacing with disgust. I know lots of people love this author, and this was the only book of hers I had tried, so maybe there are some better ones you can suggest?
“Billy Summers” by Stephen King was a hardcover that I thoroughly enjoyed spending the month reading. Recommended to me by two friends, I was interested to pick it up. Embarrassingly, I have never read Stephen King before! I’ve also never seen “It” – I know, what have I been doing with my life? Apparently It is like 1,000 pages so I won’t be reading it anytime soon, but I really should watch the movie. Anyway, “Billy Summers” was just published in 2021. The main character is an Afghan War veteran who is now a hired hitman, but he only agrees to kill horrible people who, in his opinion, deserve the bullet. He is on his last job when everything goes haywire. Woven into this story is his own story from the war. I love the way this book was written both in style and in how the characters speak to each other. I truly loved Billy’s character – he’s a good guy at the end of the day. The ending was surprising but also cohesive and well done. I now look forward to reading more Stephen King!