Book Review of "The Pocket Parent Coach" by Tina Feigal
The Pocket Parent Coach: Your Two-Week Guide to a Dramatically Improved Life with Your Intense Child [Soft Cover]
by Tina Feigal
112 pages, $19.95
Maybe your experience becoming a parent is like that shared by many others-it is a festive occasion where you contemplated the joyful experiences that were sure to come. Not too long into your development as a parent, perhaps, you wished that children came with an instruction manual. As our children grow and develop, sometimes we feel as if we are losing our minds trying to make children comply with our desire for peace and obedience in the home. Today’s media enhanced culture only seems to exacerbate the problem.
Tina Feigal, a licensed school psychologist, has written an intriguing work in The Pocket Parent Coach that addresses dealing with intense children. By definition, intense children are not only those with certain maladies, such as: ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and the like. The author has developed what she calls “present moment parenting” and it would work for children of all types between 3-18 years of age.
According to the author, children with intense behaviors have overly active brains that seek to match energy levels with what they’re experiencing internally. So much of this quest causes children to “act out” in inappropriate ways. The informed parent will militate against negative energy matching and will instead seek to “download” positive energy into the children to validate their self-worth while simultaneously diffusing negativity. The method: revise current parenting strategies by attempting to “parent in the present.”
This brilliant book presents a two-week program to help parents deal with an intense child by actually eliminating power struggles or even directly focusing on maladaptive behavior. Instead of punishing the wrongdoing, you have had a family meeting beforehand where you inform the child that all you’ll say in the future is, “Broke a rule. Take a break.” The child has rehearsed this method previously and is empowered to partner with you as you attempt to redirect them toward more positive behavior.
This book is highly recommended for parents struggling with intense children. The examples presented seem to lend themselves more readily to parents of younger intense children. All parents can benefit from the ample resource section filled with log sheets to personalize; daily reminder slips to be used around the home to encourage “present moment parenting;” and even a 60-minute audio CD where the author presents a fitting summary as a Q&A for parents.