Connected Parent, Empowered Child—Five Keys to Raising Happy, Confident, Responsible Kids by Leeza Carlone Steindorf
Reviewed by Carolyn Boyd Gomez
Parenting—as many might agree, especially in today’s world—is perhaps one of the most challenging and difficult roles we take on in our lives. When that bundle of cuteness and joy is placed in our arms, there is no instruction booklet accompanying this precious gift. Without giving it much thought or training, our own parenting skills become the same strategies and methods our parents employed—good, bad, absent or indifferent.
In Leeza Carlone Steindorf’s book, Connected Parent, Empowered Child, the author provides a comprehensive and practical guide, assisting parents in the day-to-day challenges of raising their children.
The author makes this statement: “I was a perfect parent—until I had kids!” How many of us parents can relate to this?
With this book, parents now have the opportunities to change themselves into the parents they want to be. They can learn how to communicate well, solve conflict and raise confident, strong and healthy children while at the same time create deep and long-lasting relationships with them.
This book places a clear charge of self-studentship on the parent to walk the talk and do the work to make transformational shift happen at home. The tools presented are structured and usable. The message is straightforward—get clear on what you want, own your own stuff, resolve disputes fairly, swiftly and kindly, and make excellence your personal mode of operation.
Leeza Carlone Steindorf is well-qualified to write this book. For more than two decades, she worked in Germany as a peace education, violence prevention and conflict management consultant in educational systems and schools. She developed a specialized training program (collaborating with Shirley Everett, a life skills program founder, in Canada) that was accredited by the German Department of Education, helping teachers transform their classrooms and school environment into places where teaching and learning became a more enjoyable experience.
With the success of this school training program, parents began asking for help in dealing with their own challenges of raising their children at home. Ms Steindorf then expanded the program to include families, businesses and nonprofits and created her own company, CORE Success™.
Clarity, Ownership, Resolution, Excellence
She selected the name CORE for two reasons. First, the author believes that at our core, we are intrinsically good and possess an inner knowing and a desire to help others. From this center, we connect with ourselves and with others, transforming our own journey through life. Second, the word CORE is an acronym that stands for Clarity, Ownership, Resolution, Excellence—words that represent the four main and unifying themes that weave through and build the foundation for all her work.
After the first two chapters, “Home Is a Haven” which introduces the author’s background story and qualifications and “Connect and Empower” which describes the framework and individual parts of CORE Success™, the book presents in the ensuing five chapters the five modules of this program in greater detail:
Chapter 3: “Living to Thrive”
Chapter 4: “Raising Self-Esteem”
Chapter 5: “Discipline with Dignity”
Chapter 6: “Resolving Conflict”
Chapter 7: “Abolishing Bullying”
Featured within each chapter/module are “Core Success Tools for You,” which are suggestions, ideas and exercises that practice and implement the steps of feeling good, being responsible and living well together, while dealing with the normal daily conflicts and stressors.
Interspersed through each chapter are motivational and inspirational quotes, for example: “The greatest gift a parent can give a child is the ability to become independently happy. And the greatest gift a child can give a parent is exercising that ability.”—Mike Dooley at www.TUT.com.
At the conclusion of each chapter, the author provides a section, “Anchor with Activities,” offering hands-on activities that parents and children can do together, further creating opportunities for building self-esteem, positive reinforcement and values, safe places for open communication and family bonding experiences.
Applying even a handful of these above-mentioned tools and activities will bring concrete, measurable changes to families and a distinct ripple effect into their communities.
Leeza Carlone Steindorf has been a student of Unity for many years. While living in Colorado Springs, Colo., she was a member of Unity of the Rockies. During her 26 years in Germany, she conducted Unity study groups.
Practically Applying Universal Values
Even though the author states this book is not religious or dogmatic, those who are familiar with New Thought teachings will clearly recognize the many spiritual tools and universal truths reflected. Ms Steindorf states: “We offer a comprehensive approach to living universal human values—principles that have been taught through the ages and by all major spiritual traditions. Learning and practically applying these values offers people the chance to grow into compassionate, alert, balanced, and happy individuals.”
Among those who have endorsed this book are Jack Canfield, co-author of Chicken Soup for the Parent’s Soul, and Natalie Rogers, PhD (daughter of Carl Rogers), Distinguished Consulting Faculty, Saybrook University, San Francisco, Calif.
This book provides hands-on tools for parents to deal more easily with parenting issues such as power struggles, conflict, emotional maturity, rebellion, school performance, sibling rivalry and goal setting, to name a few. Parents learn how to directly enable their children to act responsibly and be confident and happy individuals, to deal well with themselves and others, and to succeed as healthy and socially responsible individuals.
What more could we ask for, for this generation and the next, as we strive to build a loving and peaceful world that works for everyone, one child at a time?