Book Review & Giveaway: The Dolphin Way, A Parent’s Guide to Raising Healthy, Happy and Motivated Kids Without Turning Into A Tiger
Harvard-trained psychiatrist and expert in human motivation, Dr. Shimi Kang, provides a guide to the art and science of inspiring children to develop their own internal drive and a lifelong love of learning. Drawing on the latest neuroscience and behavioural research, Dr. Kang shows why pushy “tiger parents” and permissive “jellyfish parents” actually hinder self-motivation. She proposes a powerful new parenting model: the joyful, playful, and highly social dolphin.
As the director for Child and Youth mental Health community programs in Vancouver, Dr. Kang has witnessed firsthand the consequences of parental pressure: anxiety, high stress, suicide and addiction. As the mother of three children and the daughter of immigrant parents who struggled to give their children the “best” in life– her mother could not read and her father taught her math while they drove around in his taxi– Dr. Kang argues that by trusting our deepest intuition about what is best for our kids, we will allow them to develop key dolphin traits to enable them to thrivein an increasingly complex world: adaptability, community-mindedness, creativity, and critical thinking.
Combining irrefutable science with unforgettable real-life stories, The Dolphin Way walks readers through Dr. Kang’s four-part method for cultivating self-motivation. We are not forced to choose between being permissive or controlling. The third option, which will prepare our kids for success in a future that will require adaptability, is the dolphin way.
Not your typical parenting book by any means– The Dolphin Way reads more like a study in psychology with tips and tricks than your every-day-run-of-the-mill “self-help book”. While some of her advice and focus is more applicable to different age groups than where I am as a parent at the moment (a toddler and one in-utero vs. school-aged kids), much of Kang’s insight and guidance is fascinating and really “clicks” for every day behaviours and habits.
Kang reminds us that we all know the secret to parenting. There is no one way to parent properly, but we have to listen to our intuition rather than forcing a “right way” on ourselves and our kids because that’s what everyone else is doing. We need to remember to act not out of fear and the need to control, but rather based on guidance and showing our kids what they need to “figure it out”. If you’ve ever taken a basic psych course and learned about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, that’s what we’re talking about here: self-motivation and self-actualization for vitality.
If you’re looking for a new perspective on parenting that serves as more of a reminder than of a to-do list that makes you feel guilty about your parenting, then I highly recommend this book.
I have 1 copy of The Dolphin Way to give away to a lucky reader. Enter below to win your copy. (Open to Canadian residents, 18+ only.)
Note: I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.