The best parenting advice according to Brits

We've digested the best nuggets of parenting advice from Britain's favourite parenting books. 

It's a truth universally acknowledged that parenting is hard—you want to be loving, but firm. You want your child to be happy, but you also need to ensure they reach their full potential. As a parent, you hope your child will be responsible, but also fun-loving, with lots of friends. You hope they grow to be kind, tolerant, loving and considerate. But how do you achieve this? How do you, as the parent, find the right balance for your child? 

harry and meghan parenting advice
Expectant parents Harry and Meghan attending church on Christmas Day 2017. Image via Wiki Commons

With the birth of another royal baby on the horizon, there's no doubt that these are some of the questions that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and other soon-to-be-parents, are asking themselves.

To help them identify their future parenting style, micro-learning app Blinkist, turned to their nine million-strong user base and their thousands of non-fiction and self-improvement titles. By analysing the most highlighted passages within its parenting books-in-blinks, Blinkist has shared a roundup of some of the best parenting advice, as chosen by British parents:

 

"Learning to deal with mistakes is important for character development"

from How Children Succeed by Paul Tough

The key message behind learning from mistakes is that this doesn’t just apply to the child, but also to the parent.

If you know that certain behaviours and actions irritate and upset your child, avoid making them in the future. Not only will your child be happier, but they will also learn by example! 

 

parenting advice

 

"Our brains comprise two different hemispheres that need to be balanced"

from The Whole-Brain Child by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson

This is a fundamental tip for any parent who feels that their child’s strengths are entirely different from their own. If you were a successful actor, as is the case with Meghan, or a prominent military person like Prince Harry, and your child wants to be a doctor, you need to respect their choice and their right to experiment with their own strengths.

The brain has two hemispheres and their dominance often isn’t genetic. Respect your child, encourage them to pursue their strengths and celebrate their successes with them. 

 

"Having less stuff will help you be a better parent"

from Minimalist Parenting by Asha Dornfest and Christine Koh

This insight can be taken both literally and metaphorically. For example, as a parent, try not to overwhelm your child with too many developmental toys and games. Instead, choose a few to focus on during each developmental stage.

This way, your child will play with the toys and advance with them, and the clutter will be down to a minimum (something all new parents appreciate, even if they do have Frogmore Cottage at their disposal). 

It's also a good approach to take when it comes to parenting techniques and advice. New parents are typically inundated with tips, advice and insight from others. Remember, what works for one family might not work for you, so experiment and find something that works for both you and your child. 

 

Brits best parenting advice

 

"Don't smother your children, but learn how to really say 'no' "

from Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman

Children should be allowed to explore and make mistakes, as well as learn from them. Don’t overwhelm them with rules as this will leave them feeling confused and afraid of upsetting you.

Instead, decide on your own fundamental rules and work hard to make sure that these are followed. 

 

"If you want your child to grow and learn from his mistakes, offer helpful praise and never use labels"

from How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

A useful piece of advice, especially if you aren’t sure how you want to tackle any mistakes that your child has made. While discipline is individual to each family and parent, praise definitely shouldn’t be.

When your child does something right, whether it is following a mistake or not, make sure to praise them and commend them on each part of the task, so that they know you’ve paid attention to them and valued their work. 

 

parenting books digested

 

"Schools should give students eight core competencies, starting with curiosity, creativity and criticism" 

from Creative Schools by Ken Robinson and Lou Aronica

When it comes to the royals, decisions like which school your child should go to, typically get made very early on. All schools are different and will prioritise different elements of education.

However, curiosity, creativity and constructive criticism are fundamentals that will help your child to succeed in later life. The sooner they become familiar with the basics of these principles, the more they will begin to rely on them, making them more creative and curious, as well as more receptive to criticism in later life.