A debut self-help book focuses on a parent’s self-awareness as a key factor in overcoming challenges.
The author—a clinical and public health nurse and experienced parent—expertly lays out the essence of her guide up front, telling readers what they should expect when perusing it. She uses the metaphor of an improvisational dance for the parent-child relationship—something that ebbs and flows and requires self-awareness and practice. Solovieff employs a mnemonic for what she refers to as each parent’s L.O.V.E. capacities: Listening, OM Moments (calming oneself), Visualizing and Voicing, and Exploring, which often overlap and inform one another. The first part of the manual explores “commonly held ideas and feelings that become pitfalls in parenting,” while the second section describes the L.O.V.E. elements in detail. The author’s inclusion of lists about each one, namely what happens when readers don’t develop a capacity as well as when they do, serves as a practical framework as well as a motivational tool for learning and practicing. While Solovieff has an encouraging, reassuring voice, she does not suggest that there are easy fixes: “I would say a mistake we parents make is thinking we’ll go through our practices once, respond to our children once, and once-and-for-all things will change. In reality, we have to re-visit our L.O.V.E. practices frequently. And respond to our children about whatever the challenge is, repeatedly.” The book is supportive of this ongoing need because it features a multitude of worthy exercises. For example, the chapter on Exploring includes “Uncluttering Your Decision Making Space,” which moves readers through steps for identifying and then “erasing” items that cause anger or fear. Valuable tables at the start help readers remember the capacities and gauge their skills before and after putting them into practice.
A reader-friendly book that breaks down useful parenting strategies into manageable steps.