I haven't read a lot of parenting books. But I really like Siblings Without Rivalry and How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk, both by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. Their writing style is a bit contrived and hokey, but their advice is spot-on. One of their suggestions in helping young children deal with their feelings without hurting other people is having them draw how they feel. Drawing gives children a creative outlet for feelings of anger, fear, frustration, or sadness. It also validates their emotions.
I tried this the other week with Zari. She and Dio were sitting at the kitchen island eating pretzel sticks. I think Dio grabbed Zari's pretzel and broke it. She got very very mad at him and was gearing up for a temper tantrum. I quickly diverted her anger away from Dio by saying, "Zari, run get a piece of paper and draw how mad you feel!" She disappeared into the dining room and came out a few minutes later with this:
She explained the scene to me. You can see the island, Dio's step-stool, Dio holding the pretzel, and Zari looking quite unhappy with Dio. Her anger was successfully defused, I had acknowledged how upset she was by looking at and talking about the picture, and best of yet, Dio emerged without being hit or pushed.
What are some of your favorite parenting books or tips?