Reviews

The Truth About Amazing Kids

In an era of ever-changing social complexity, parenting has become a proverbial black box. Despite decades of family research, we’ve become more uncertain than ever about how to provide effective parenting, and have seemingly lost our sanity along the way. As Christine Rich Hanson’s treatise The Truth About Amazing Kids so glaringly points out, the legacy of modern parenting is riddled with myths and habits, often the unfortunate result of misguided notions and inherited reactivity. In other words, by and large, society’s contribution of child-rearing wisdom has amounted to a reshuffling of misapplied, prescriptive advice. Yikes.

In the face of this cultural baggage, Hanson truly delivers an impressive approach to better parenting, weaving together a narrative that is at once insightful, analytical and engaging. Her work is remarkably cogent; she utilizes a voice that is profoundly illuminating and yet simple, perhaps even elegant. Most notably though, her guidance is compelling for its sheer practicality, a culmination of wisdom derived from her own rich and unique experiences. Hanson has lived out her offering, and her savvy on the subject is both clear and convincing, to say the least.

The core of Hanson’s treatise is immediately lucid: parenting falters when we separate our children from the natural flow of our own lives while also disconnecting them from their own innate wholeness. Many of the things we do as parents turn out to be perpetual fixes designed to quell our kids, ultimately making them conform to our own personal hang-ups. Hanson’s work illustrates the ways we reinforce doubt and uncertainty inherited in our own adult lives. All the while, our offspring become the maligned recipients of our unfinished business.

Nonetheless, Hanson’s brilliance stands out by drawing attention to cultural influences while simultaneously grounding the reader in engaged solutions. She finds a way to honor the theoretical advancements of family social research and then connects them to the personalized space of the reader’s experience. Moreover, her solutions aren’t merely anecdotal. With captivating narrative, she offers clear and comprehensive methods of parenting informed by the best of science, culture and personal experience.

Still, the real magic of Hanson’s work is that it forces us to deeply examine ourselves. She maintains that the key to optimal parenting lies in our ability to skillfully and habitually create a context that can allow our kids to maintain their own humanity. This creates a space for them to feel safe and whole, eventually transitioning into healthy adults. Most importantly–and to me the real gem of her guidance–Hanson maintains that enacting deeply effective parenting is the result of our committed practice, and there’s simply no way around it. Without our thoughtful persistence and connected engagement, we will often miss opportunities to empower our kids in ways that facilitate their lives into adulthood.

In the end, I found Hanson’s work deeply impactful. She urges introspection, and helps us embrace our lives and how we see our kids with profound directness and loving prudence. Her insistence that we can create positive alignment for the sake of our kids’ wholeness, forged through commitment and practice, is in fact the path to cultivating our parenting goodness and sanity.

~ Mark Palmer is a writer, editor and full-time professional specializing in Organization and Social Science research. He is co-author of the Innovative Leader Fieldbook and senior editor for The Simple Feeling of Being.

Where was has this book been all my life?!

As an owner of a very large east coast dance school I cannot begin to tell you what a revelation this book is for me going forward. I got into dance for the joy of working with children and seeing them prosper but I always ran up against invisible barriers to achieving that goal both with the students and with their parents. Not all mind you, but enough of them to give me grey hair and make me wonder why I would continue to have a dance studio.

There is a direct correlation to out of control parents and out of control children or unsure children. I never had the words to pin it down but I just always knew it was so. After all, I am a dance teacher not a therapist, even though I often feel I need a degree in that to handle the dance families.

Now that Christine has written The Truth About Amazing Kids- A Simple Guide To Transforming Your Child’s Life Overnight, I can only say “halleluiah.”

Christine has laced this book with stories of dance students and their parents to drive home her discoveries about parents, children, and easy to follow solutions without getting caught in the typical battles. By battles I mean, teacher to child, child to parent, parent to child, and teacher to parent.

Christine’s seven Wounded Parenting Styles shines a light on the parents lurking in the hallways of dance studios, gymnastics, and any sport from swimming to softball. There are Superfreaks, Lecturers, Mass Manipulators, Cavers, the Detacheds and the Patchwork parents. As soon as I read about these styles of parents I went through my dance accounts and reflected on my problem dance moms and dads. Sure enough, I found my dance parents in those Wounded Parent Styles including the ones who don’t cause problems per se, but just never seem to be pleased despite sending their kid to me for 15 years.

I found in their children the Hollow Child Behaviors: the Negative Vortexes, Melodramatics, Dictators, Perplexed People Pleasers and more. I can’t tell you how many Negative Vortex kids have ruined my classroom with their bad attitude and now with the Six Steps to Sanity, I can pull them to my office and get to the root of the problem and actually help them. I always thought their teen angst was something that I had to accept. Now I realize that only the Negative Vortex kids do this and they don’t want to do it. Christine has given me the clarity and courage to help them.

Did I say halleluiah?! I don’t have to be stuck on the treadmill of doing it the same old way – which for me was to ignore problems, fight back, hide and always hope it didn’t come up. Probably the same way parents feel at home. It’s not any way to run a studio, but I couldn’t find any other way.

Just in one week since reading the book, I have turned around children for the better and even defused an irate father. I realized from the book it was their DUBOOs acting up. I loved Christine’s DUBOOs – that alone is worth the price of the book. For the first time ever, I didn’t take it personally and didn’t wear my husband out at home going over every detail of the “fight of the day” because there was no fight!

In fact this book seemed part parenting book, part how to deal with parents and kids, and part self-help book. My husband and I don’t have children; I always say I have a dance school full of them! I realized how my own DUBOOs got set off by children and parents and the information and techniques in the book have helped me be a better leader. This is no different than a parent being a better leader at home.

I think that this book is so important I will require all 30 of my teachers to read it. Maybe I should have every dance parent read it too. It would certainly solve many silly time-wasting issues and get me back to my original dream of helping children prosper in dance.

I really appreciated that Ms. Rich Hanson does not sugar coat her message. She was direct and this book was a real page turner.

I highly recommend this book for dance teachers, studio owners, parents, and even dance students. I’m not much of a reviewer; I’m a loving dance teacher of 1200 kids each year, so ignore the lack of grace in my words. Let’s get talking and get some peace for our kids.

~Anonymous New Jersey Dance Studio Owner