What to Read: The Dolphin Way #amreading

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The Dolphin Way: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Healthy, Happy, and Motivated Kids Without Turning Into a Tiger
By Shimi K. Kang, M.D.

“ Tiger Mom” “Helicopter Parents” “ Bubble Wrapper” “Jellyfish Parents”

I don’t know about you but I am tired of all the parenting labels that are being flung around lately. When Penguin Canada announced that The Dolphin Way was to be published soon, I was intrigued. I am not a tiger mom, but have been accused on the playground of being an attachment and helicopter mom. I am okay if I’m judged on how I parent. No one is parenting my children other than my husband and I.

Having said that, as I read Dr. Shimi Kang’s book, it dawned on me that this isn’t another “How-To” book by a parenting expert, but a “What-Not-To-Do” guide for parents like me. I am tired of trying to not over-schedule and over-parent my kids, and would like to get back to the basics. Kids deserve to have fun.

Her own motivation to change her parenting ways happened in the car while taking her 7 year-old son from one activity to another. After a meaningful conversation with her son, she did what many parents can do. She turned the car around. It isn’t too late for us also.

Dr. Shimi Kang offers this book to help guide children to develop their own internal drive and to help spark a love of learning. The book is divided into four parts of behavioral changes: dilemma, solution, taking action and how to reach transformation.

Tiger parents lurk everywhere. Amy Chua’s book, Tiger Mom, did link tiger parenting with East Asian families. But tiger parents can come from every walk of life. They are well intentional, but it is misguided as the “only way” to help kids prepare for life.

More and more we, as parents, are inundated with advertising. In the early 2000’s, it was Baby Einstein.

“Baby Einstein was touted as boosting a baby’s intelligence and even preventing neuron death. However, it turned out the Baby Einstein and other “educational” videos may have done more harm than good. For example, one study showed that infants who watched the videos learned an average of seven words fewer a day than those that did not.”

She combines her first-hand knowledge about how The Dolphin Way can help parents listen to their own intuition with real-life stories. Dr. Kang is also a mother of three. I found the book not preaching about how I am doing things wrong, but how going with your own gut can help raise happy and healthy kids without turning you into an isolated tiger.

As the medical director for Child and Youth Mental Health community programs in Vancouver, Dr. Kang has witnessed firsthand the consequences of parental pressure: anxiety disorders, high stress levels, suicides, and addictions. It is not too late to help our kids.

If you were to pick just one book on parenting this year, I would recommend The Dolphin Way.

Thank you Penguin Canada for providing a copy for review.

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