Guide Parenting: A Field Guide

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Instead of looking at our mistakes or missteps as indication that our parenting is doomed, we need a growth mindset about parenting. Parenting secret missions let you take this on. When you do a mission in this book, think like you're an investigating agent making observations and staying curious. You can ask, "What will this do? How will it work for me? The missions are low-risk, with the potential of high rewards, and most important, they get you unstuck. How to Use This Field Guide All the operations, briefings, and missions in this book will lead you toward connection, not perfection.

You can read it in order, or pick it up to "bounce back" when your parenting is feeling heavy or off track. Consider starting with basic training to learn about the growth mindset, as this will be a theme throughout the book, but if you are feeling a particular need for any section, jump right into it.

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You'll find symbols throughout the book for easy navigation. Indicates a secret mission. You'll be able to see from the title what the objective of the mission is. When you see one of these symbols, put on your investigative-agent thinking cap: get curious and get ready to shift perspective on something in parenting. Each mission contains one or two assignments. When you see this symbol, you'll know this is a specific way to take action.

Each operation contains field notes sections with journal prompts as well. You can write on these pages, add inspirational quotes, and answer the questions to make this book your own. This will help you apply operation insights to your unique family and situations. When you see this symbol, it indicates that you can find more resources in our online headquarters at bouncebackparenting.

Permission Slip I want this book to be a notebook for you-a book used, reused, dog-eared, and tattered, and then flipped through again. Pages scribbled all over on the front and the back and notes taken.

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I give you permission right now to write in this book and bookmark your favorite pages. I give you permission to open it in the middle or read it from back to front. One more tip: The most powerful tool I've found for continually growing my ability to parent positively is to do a weekly check-in. You can find a format for doing your own weekly check-in in chapter five, "Operation Pumpkin Seed. Grab a notebook so you can keep these reflections together.

This can be simple and take a short amount of time. Each week look back and look forward. In this way you'll be able to be more patient with yourself as you see that you are making progress.

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You can find printable weekly check-in pages at the online headquarters. Remember to have fun. The idea of this book and its missions is to remind you that parenting involves trial and error. Try something new in a secret mission and smile, because no one will know what you're up to. So let's get started. The only way you can learn is by taking action. You don't have to be perfect. Each time you try one of the missions or write down observations in a field notes section you'll improve your Bounceback Parenting skills, leading to closer and more connected relationships with your kids.


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Here we'll tackle the most important part of your Bounceback Parenting education. You'll be trained on the growth mindset in parenting and find out how its opposite, the fixed mindset, makes everything harder.

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BCH independent books - Parenting: A Field Guide

You'll learn to recognize the villainous Should Mama, who is determined to make parents' lives miserable by reminding them of all the things they should be doing. And you'll find out how having a growth mindset makes decision making easier, allowing you to see opportunities for growth instead of becoming paralyzed. Parenting is one area we all long to get right. Even if we're open to trial and error in other parts of our lives, we'd like to parent perfectly. And so we read and question and strive, adding one should after another to our "be a good parent" list.

Soon, not only do we know what we should be doing, we can see all the ways we're not doing it.


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  7. Or we're doing it wrong. Or we're discovering that what "should" work according to others doesn't work for our family. Then the guilt descends. In this swirl of guilt and self-doubt, we can no longer see a way forward.

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    We lose trust in ourselves to make choices for our family and get stuck going in circles on a path clouded by guilt. It is the path away from growth. This is why we need to banish the shoulds, let go of how we thought parenting would be, and look toward possibilities for learning. That's what we'll begin in this section-we'll take on a growth mindset, to find our way free of the guilt-and-judgment path and start down one that offers possibility and growth. What's a Growth Mindset? The growth mindset is the underlying theme to all our parenting secret missions.

    In short-a growth mindset means everyone can learn and grow, starting from right where they are. According to psychologist Dr.

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    Carol Dweck, we can adopt either a fixed or a growth mindset. People with a fixed mindset believe intelligence and abilities are set, and spend their time trying to prove they have those traits-instead of working to improve them. People with a growth mindset believe intelligence and abilities can be improved through effort and hard work.

    This mindset lets people develop resilience and a love of learning. The neat thing is, just by knowing about the growth mindset, we can move toward having one. We don't have to know everything, because everyone is capable of growing and learning. We can try new things, let go of things if they don't work for us, laugh a little, and try again. One of my frustrations when I started learning to parent more positively with my kids was the feeling of reading a positive parenting idea and thinking, Yeah, that would be great if I had the patience of a saint.

    Or being in a situation where I was so angry, and knowing there was probably a better way to handle the situation with my kids, but having no idea what that way might be. I'd feel even more angry, guilty, and discouraged as I worried that I was handling it all wrong. More are being published every year; only two weeks into February and this is my second review on a book about parenting. The number of available books is indicative of just how challenging the role of parents is. The title is a bit striking, because it sounds like a how-to manual. In many aspects, that is exactly what it is.

    Carter takes his cue from the Boy Scouts as he puts together this handbook. While the title indicates parents, he writes to anyone who has influence on a child by developing a list of 50 cores skills that every child needs to learn from their parents. This is not an exhaustive list but meant to be a foundational list to help develop later skills.