It was so irritating, yet so effective.
When I was a boy I had a good mate called Terry. Terry had a habit of shrugging his shoulders whenever anyone teased him or tried to persuade him to their way of thinking.
‘Hey Terry, you’re a &%*\%$!’
‘Hey Terry, everyone says you’re *^%$&!’
‘Hey Terry, I’m going to tell on you.’ Shrug.
His nonchalance used to drive everyone nuts ... so much so that Terry was rarely targeted for teasing, despite the fact that he wasn’t sporty, wasn’t cool and matured late (all of which back then, as today, put most kids like Terry in the ‘to be picked on’ category).
I thought of Terry recently when I was coaching a young person about how to respond to some schoolyard taunts. It occurred to me that Terry’s shrugging said a lot more about him than I’d realised at the time. I’d thought he was pretty unflappable, but what I obviously didn’t understand was that he was also incredibly resilient. Terry was comfortable in his own skin; he knew who he was and how he was and cared very little what anyone else thought. Shrugging was his way of getting on with life, whatever it served up.
Since my book Thriving! was published in 2010, I’ve given hundreds of seminars outlining the Thriving! way of parenting. The idea of preparing kids to handle life’s ‘downs’, as well as equipping them to make the most of the ‘ups’, has resonance with most modern parents. Thriving! sets the scene for parents by laying out a roadmap to help kids lead a sturdy life.
Teach Your Kids to Shrug! is the first of a number of follow- up books delving a little deeper into the Thriving! approach to parenting. It is inspired by Terry and his art of shrugging. Teach Your Kids to Shrug! is divided into six sections: ‘Resilient kids’, ‘Confident kids’ and ‘Cooperative kids’ reflect the Thriving! way of parenting, while ‘Family matters’, ‘Gender matters’ and ‘Sibling matters’ form the framework for the information I provide for parents in our Parentingideas Club.
My aim in writing this book has been to make it eminently readable, extremely practical and filled with very doable parenting ideas.
Here's to becoming better parents, and to raising kids who are able to shrug and deal with life's inevitable challenges rather than be weighed down by them.
Get your copy of Teach your kids to SHRUG! at the Parentingideas online shop.
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