Unlocking Parental Intelligence Book Summary - Unlocking Parental Intelligence Book explained in key points
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Unlocking Parental Intelligence summary

Laurie Hollman

Finding Meaning in Your Child's Behavior

4.4 (249 ratings)
23 mins

Brief summary

Unlocking Parental Intelligence by Laurie Hollman is a guidebook for parents to understand and connect with their children on a deeper level. It provides tips and insights to encourage healthy communication and emotional intelligence in family relationships.

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    Unlocking Parental Intelligence
    Summary of 8 key ideas

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    Reflecting on the meaning behind your child’s behavior will lead to rich rewards.

    Imagine your daughter comes up to you one evening and wants to show you something she did. “Please don’t be mad,” she says. You tense up immediately, fearful of what her next words will be.

    In the case of 13-year-old Olivia, “something” turned out to be a regrettable lip ring. 

    Learning that your teenager pierced her lip without your permission is the sort of situation for which a parent could be forgiven for losing her temper. But in this case, Olivia’s mother, Delia, didn’t lash out with anger and punishment. Instead, noticing how upset her daughter looked, Delia told Olivia not to worry. She could simply take out the ring and let nature do its job, and the hole would close up.

    Olivia’s mother employed the tenets of Parental Intelligence.

    The key message here is: Reflecting on the meaning behind your child’s behavior will lead to rich rewards.

    The major premise behind Parental Intelligence is that a child’s behavior always has a meaning – often more than one. In situations where a child is acting in a way that’s upsetting for parents, the best thing to do is step back and focus on the psychological reality of what’s happening.

    What does this mean exactly? Instead of reacting with anger or frustration, you can instead think about what is prompting your child’s behavior. This will calm you down and yield clues that might solve even bigger family problems. A more mellow response has another benefit: your child will feel more comfortable confiding in you.

    Creating this distance and keeping your child in mind is a key principle of Parental Intelligence. Learning how to practice this behavior is sort of like learning how to dance. When you learn choreography, you begin to move your body differently and teach yourself new patterns of movement. In the same way, you can learn how to maneuver alongside your child in a productive – even beautiful – way.

    Reflection helped Delia understand that Olivia didn’t get a lip ring just to upset her; she did it because she was experimenting with her self-image and trying to be independent. Because Delia understood this motivation, she was able to stay calm. This gained Olivia’s trust and confidence, which benefited both mother and daughter for years to come.

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    What is Unlocking Parental Intelligence about?

    Unlocking Parental Intelligence (2015) explores childrens’ complicated behavior with a fresh mental toolbox to decipher why kids act the way they do. It outlines a five-step process with relatable case studies to help parents connect more deeply with their children, as well as anticipate their needs and actions.

    Unlocking Parental Intelligence Review

    Unlocking Parental Intelligence (2015) is a valuable book that offers practical advice for enhancing communication and connection with your children. Here are three reasons why it's a must-read:

    • Providing insightful strategies for resolving conflicts and building empathy, it equips parents with effective tools for fostering healthy relationships with their children.
    • This book delves into the complex psychology of parent-child interactions, offering a deep understanding of children's emotional needs and behavior.
    • Through real-life examples and relatable anecdotes, the author ensures that the book remains engaging and relatable, making it anything but boring.

    Best quote from Unlocking Parental Intelligence

    Misbehavior carries a message. Its not a solo act. It is an invitation for understanding.

    —Laurie Hollman
    example alt text

    Who should read Unlocking Parental Intelligence?

    • Parents of infants, young children, or teenagers
    • Grandparents and caregivers struggling with difficult situations
    • Soon-to-be parents who want to be prepared

    About the Author

    Laurie Hollman, PhD is a psychoanalyst who specializes in infant-parent, child, adolescent, and adult psychotherapy. She’s written best-selling books such as The Busy Parent’s Guide to Managing Exhaustion in Children and Teens and The Busy Parent’s Guide to Managing Technology in Children and Teens

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    Unlocking Parental Intelligence FAQs 

    What is the main message of Unlocking Parental Intelligence?

    The main message of Unlocking Parental Intelligence is to help parents develop a deeper understanding of their children and build a stronger connection with them.

    How long does it take to read Unlocking Parental Intelligence?

    The estimated reading time for Unlocking Parental Intelligence varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Unlocking Parental Intelligence a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Unlocking Parental Intelligence is worth reading because it offers valuable insights and practical strategies for parents to enhance their relationship with their children.

    Who is the author of Unlocking Parental Intelligence?

    Laurie Hollman is the author of Unlocking Parental Intelligence.

    What to read after Unlocking Parental Intelligence?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Unlocking Parental Intelligence, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read (and Your Children Will Be Glad That You Did) by Philippa Perry
    • The Parenting Map by Dr. Shefali
    • Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents by Lindsay C. Gibson
    • Super Human by Dave Asprey
    • The Teenage Brain by Frances E. Jensen & Amy Ellis Nutt
    • Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg
    • The 3.3 Rule by John Briggs
    • The Courage Habit by Kate Swoboda