Friday, April 12, 2013

Friday Reads: The One Minute Mother by Spencer Johnson

I've had this one on my wish list for about a year and yet, somehow, never got around to placing an order.  then, my one month Amazon Prime trial (which I am loving) has had me ordering everything off of my wishlist and this made it into my cart.  I'm actually surprisingly glad it did.

First of all - SUPER QUICK READ.  The book is around 100 pages.  Not full pages.  It took me maybe a half hour of reading time.  It is tale told as a parable where a young pregnant woman has heard about this incredible mother who is known as the "One Minute Mother" around her town.  Wanting to be the best mom she can be to her soon-to-be-born child, she seeks out the mother to learn her secret.  The One Minute Mother is happy to share and also has her own grown children help her teach the method.

Basically, it's a parenting book that is written like a business book (surprise!  It's written by a popular business principles writer)

The whole method revolves around a single idea in 3 parts - if your kids feel good about themselves, they will behave better.  And this is achieved through the following

  1. One Minute Goals - Help your kids understand acceptable behaviours and how to set goals by quickly laying out things they should strive for.
  2. One Minute Praisings - Catch your kids doing something right and tell them.
  3. One Minute Reprimands - take a moment to let your child know exactly why you are displeased, but always follow up with expressions of love so they know you are unhappy with the behaviour and not with their worth as people
And the reward?  A happier family who strive to be better and therefore cause much less stress on the family unit.

The book is written simply and it is pretty easy to comprehend the method described.   The story is engaging and the characters are very likable   And it does a good job of breaking down discipline to a really simple format.   I like it a lot.

I wasn't sure how I would feel about this book, but by the time I was halfway thorough, it had me rethinking how I approach parenting.  Most days it has been so stressful and anxiety filled for all of us and I am seriously tired of all the screaming.   So - yes, I will give this a go.  I'm sure I'll be writing about it a lot more in the coming weeks and months if it starts to work for us.

And overall - it's another tool in the toolbox.


  1. Would this be a good book for part of a baby shower gift?

    1. Yeah - it would make a nice add on. I've been using the principles on my daughters since I finished it and I am noticing something different in their behaviour already...


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