Just before the children came home, I read every book I possibly could on parenting. Everything about discipline, routines, development and anything in between! So when I was asked to review Tears Heal: How To Listen To Our Children by Kate Orson, I was really interested to see what else I could learn and what I could take away and use in my every day parenting.
Although I had, for over 10 years, been in charge of large groups of children, I knew that parenting my own children would be a completely different ball game. I had friends with children and had watched them parent, but I had no idea how I would be as a parent. I had so many questions, mostly based around discipline (turns out I can get 140 children to listen to me by just raising an eyebrow, but my own 2? Absolutely doesn’t work!), routines and development. The self help books I read were all, in different ways, quite useful. They gave tips on what a 3 year old should be doing, or how I could help my daughter to be confident and strong, or the many different ways of discipling a child (time out, time in, permissive parenting…the list just went on.)
The problems with all these books were, however, that although the advice was good, there was ultimately too much of it. Each book had several different sections, all about different bits of parenting, and it all became a bit overwhelming. The other issue I found was that there were some ideas which, in theory I liked, in practise I just couldn’t get to grips with. They just didn’t suit my parenting style.
So, when I began to read Tears Heal, I had it in mind that this would be quite similar. I was wrong!
Tears Heal is perhaps the only self help book I have read that made, almost immediately, perfect sense to me. The underlying theory, and there really is only one, is that by allowing our children to cry and not rushing to stop the tears, we are allowing them the space to heal their big feelings. It was literally a lightbulb moment for me.
Little Sir does have a tendency to cry. A lot! About all sorts of things! He’s sad because he has to sleep alone or he’s sad he can’t take his spiderman toy in the car. I’d thought that maybe I had spoilt him by giving in all the time and that I had created this. How wrong I was. As soon as I had started reading Tears Heal, I started following the guidance. The next time Little Sir cried, when he was disappointed by not going to the zoo, instead of trying to jolly him out of it, I let him cry. I sat with him, held him and let him cry it all out. After 5 minutes, he was ready to accept that we couldn’t go to the zoo and was in a cheerful for the rest of the day. I was amazed!
I read the book in a few days and kept putting the ideas into practise and I was just blown away with how much it helped build a stronger connection between us. It all made sense! Little Sir has been through a lot of trauma in his 4 years; he has some very big feelings about some very big events, but he had no idea how to let me know. The only way he could begin to work through any of his feelings was through crying. I had mistaken his crying for me giving in too often. But actually it turns out he needed to cry to work through what he was feeling! We’ve only been following the Tears Heal way for a few days but I have already seen a more confident little boy and we have had less tears than usual!
I really really enjoyed reading Tears Heal! It was a really easy read, with plenty of real life examples to illustrate the points. The author talks about Hand in Hand parenting which sounded interesting, and certainly something I would be keen to look into. She also gives ideas and exercises at the end of each chapter to help you build on the information you have just read.
Ultimately, if you are looking for a parenting book which makes sense, doesn’t confuse you with too many separate ideas and is completely different from the rest, then I would highly recommend this book!
Tears Heal: How To Listen To Our Children by Kate Orson (published by Piatkus) is on sale now at Amazon amongst other places.
Disclosure: I was sent this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.