“Unlocking Parental Intelligence” Book Review by Nikki from Joyful Family Life

dianna_donfrancisco_homeheart_01Have you ever desired to find meaning in your child’s behavior?

Do you often feel frustrated or stuck in your attempts to find peace at home?

If so, then I am happy to recommend a book that will help you find the answers you are seeking.

Recently, I read through Unlocking Parental Intelligence: Finding Meaning in Your Child’s Behavior by Dr. Laurie Hollman, in which the author beautifully describes how parents can find wisdom and meaning in their child’s behavior. A skilled clinician and writer, Dr. Hollman easily guides mothers and fathers through a new mindset for parenting skills. Along the way she teaches her “5 Steps to Parental Intelligence.” With patience and open-minds, parents can prepare for tough conversations with family members, enhance loving bonds, and solve problems at home. You will learn how your child’s behavior or misbehavior has multiple meanings, and you’ll learn many possible reactions to misbehavior.

After three decades as a psychoanalyst, Dr. Hollman encourages parents, “I’m going to lead you up a path that enlightens, uplifts, and relieves you as you learn how to unmask the meanings behind your child’s behavior.” She coined the term Parental Intelligence because she believes “parenting requires the persistence and rigor of an intelligence that can be honed with the right tools and life experience.”

In her book, she teaches parents about these necessary tools:

1. Stepping Back
2. Self-Reflecting
3. Understanding Your Child’s Mind
4. Understanding Your Child’s Development
5. Problem Solving

As you read Unlocking Parental Intelligence, you’ll gain more insight into your own childhood experiences and how those memories shaped your parenting style. As parents step back and understand their own hearts, the path to correcting their child’s misbehavior will be clear. I appreciate the sound advice to take your child’s development and personality into account when arranging discipline. If followed, Dr. Hollman’s advice will increase a parental confidence in handling tough situations at home. More love, patience, and understand will abound.

After explaining her 5 steps in great detail, Dr. Hollman teaches parents through examples. The second half of her book describes families going through this discovery and application process to enhance their parenting skills. Dr. Hollman guides you through their stories and offers explanations of how each parent grew during Steps 1-5. As you read, I’m sure you’ll feel a connection with one of the example parents.

shutterstock_137461541You’ll read about some young parents who learn to correctly bond with their infant daughter, while overcoming their own rocky past experiences. You’ll see how parents can have a positive impact on their teenagers. You’ll read about parents who learn to manage diagnoses of Asperger Syndrome and ADHD in their children. Like many of you, these example parents struggle with marital discord, career aspirations, childhood trauma, and mental health issues. The children in these stories struggle against body image, jealousy, fear, attachment problems, social isolation, self-esteem, and more. You’ll see countless examples of how quiet attentiveness and listening skills help parents – adoptive and biological – understand their children’s perception, which leads to successful bonding and growth. By reading their stories, it is evident that Dr. Hollman’s steps to Parental Intelligence are effective. The process takes time, an open heart, and a willingness to communicate, but the results can be so fulfilling.

Unlocking Parental Intelligence is a fantastic resource for parents, whether you are raising infants or Millennials. In an easy to read format, Dr. Hollman reassures parents that they can find meaning in their child’s behavior and nurture love at home. By overcoming our own weaknesses and reaching out in love to our children, our homes will be strengthened. Confidence in family relationships will flourish.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book to every parent. Order it on Amazon.