Being at Your Best When Your Kids Are at Their Worst by Kim John Payne | Shambhala Publications {Book Review}

Being at Your Best When Your Kids Are at Their Worst by Kim John Payne

Being at Your Best When Your Kids Are at Their Worst

by Kim John Payne

Book Summary:

“A practical, meditative approach that can be used in the moment to help you stay calm and balanced when your child’s behavior is pushing you to your limit–by the popular author of Simplicity Parenting.

When children are at their most difficult and challenging situations arise, how can we react in a way that reflects our family values and expectations? Often, when children “push our buttons,” we find ourselves reacting in ways that are far from our principles, often further inflaming a situation.
When our children are at their worst, they need us to be at our best—or as close to it as we can be. Educator and family counselor Kim John Payne, author of Simplicity Parenting, offers techniques that simply and directly shift these damaging patterns in communication and parental behavior. These grounded and practical strategies will help you:
• Slow down the interaction
• Be more in control of your reactions
• Open up a much wider range of helpful responses
• Sense what your child’s deeper needs are even though they are misbehaving
• Respond in a way that gives your child a feeling of being heard and still puts a boundary in place

Payne’s meditative approach can be done anywhere, anytime; it lifts you out of old, unwanted patterns of action-reaction and prepares you so that the voice you speak with is closer to the parent you want to be. His concrete and simple techniques can help you, and your children, be at your best, even in the most challenging of times.”

Publication Date:

September 3rd, 2019



My Rating:


My Review:

This title totally grabbed my attention and then I saw it was by the same author as Simplicity Parenting and I was sold. One of the most challenging parts of parenting is staying even-keeled and compassionate when the noise and chaos level is high, which is often…Our kids are wonderful and parenting is also the hardest thing I have ever done.

My husband and I often talk about the daily struggles being the hardest part of this stage of life. It can feel like a rollercoaster ride of emotions and there is this constant that can really push you to the limit. In addition to the needs of our children, we have the obligations of work, home and the daily expectations of just being an adult. It can be hard to find a balance between all of these and have a calm response when life is anything but that.

Kim John Payne writes in an approachable and relatable manner which makes this writing accessible. He then dives right into advice and tools about how to break the “action-reaction” response with your children. This sounds like it would be simple, but when you are in the thick of it it can be so hard. He then moves into a 4 step
“compassion response” that adults can use to respectfully and effectively communicate with children, especially when they are in crisis.

I love how he talks about the why and also the how of this approach. The idea of staying self-regulated when a child (or any person for that matter) is easy to conceptualize but often hard to execute “at the moment”. This book is a practical guide for any parent or person that works with children. I found it helpful AND encouraging which is the best combination when it comes to “self-help” parenting books.

Thank you to Shambhala Publications for an advanced copy. All opinions are my own.

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