Book Review and Giveaway: How to Raise a Happy Child (and be happy too)

I have just discovered a terrific book – a must-read for teachers, parents, and anyone else who deals with children on a regular basis.

How to Raise a Happy Child (and be happy too) is co-authored by “Kid Whisperer” Heather Criswell, a mom and parent coach who has worked with over 30,000 children over the past 25 years, and Taryn Voget, cofounder of the Everyday Genius Institute.

The book’s entire premise, as the title suggests, is that you and your child can peacefully – even joyfully – coexist, without resorting to time-outs, punishments, or bribes. Something that’s been quite common in our house as we’ve struggled to find the right balance with our children.

The idea (simplified here) is that you focus on the energy you bring to the situation, decide what your ideal outcome is, and honor your feelings and choices as well as your child’s. And, not incidentally, believe in greatness…always.

The upshot is a redefinition of “success,” which in turn means that your happiness is not dependent on your child behaving in a certain way. Instead, your child’s choices are honored – and so are yours. As Voget aptly puts it,

“It is not our child’s job to make us happy but to make themselves happy; it is not our job to make our child happy but to make ourselves happy.”

Not that this process is always easy, of course – Criswell does a great job of explaining how it works, using real-life examples gleaned from her experience with thousands of children, and does so in a lighthearted, self-deprecating way. She’s just as quick to share her failures as her successes, which makes her both credible and likeable.

The book is a great resource, and I’d encourage you to check it out (note that we are in no way affiliated with the book or its authors; just think it’s a solid, worthwhile read for parents and teachers alike).

Plus, as a special thanks to you, our readers, we’re giving away a brand-new copy of How to Raise a Happy Child (and be happy too) this week!

To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment on this post letting us know why you’d like to win the book. For one additional bonus entry, mention this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, and/or your own blog, and leave a separate comment here letting us know you’ve done so. All entries must be in by 6 p.m. Eastern time on 2/28/14, and we’ll choose a winner at random after that time.

Good luck!