Last night we watched “Buck”, a documentary about a horse whisperer that is an absolute must-see for every parent and teacher.
“Horse whisperer?” you say. “I raise (or teach) children, not horses.”
Please let me explain.
Buck Brannaman was raised by a bullying abusive father. As young boys in the 1960’s, he and his brother performed as trick rope artists. On the surface, the life of these children looked glamorous…fancy cowboy outfits, cereal commercials on TV, traveling across the country. But behind closed doors, Buck’s father beat them mercilessly. When a school coach discovered the situation, he intervened and Buck and his brother were sent to a foster home.
Fortunately for Buck, the Shirley’s were loving nurturing foster parents who understood that he needed to learn to believe in himself before he could trust and believe in others.
Parenting is a very difficult task, probably the hardest job in the world. And we often model our parenting on the way our own parents behaved towards us when we were children. Problems arise when our parents were not good role models…and that’s what is so amazing about this documentary. It reveals that Buck was able to turn his back on the bad parenting he had experienced as a young child and instead, mirror the skills of his foster parents, not only with his own child, but also with horses.
Buck travels around the country forty weeks out of the year giving four-day horse clinics. People come with their horses to learn how to improve the connection between horse and rider.
Can we take some of Buck’s horse whisperer advice and apply it to our own situations, raising our children and improving the parent-child connection?
We definitely can and should!
1. Take Buck’s advice, “live in the moment…you don’t have to live in the past”. If your parents lacked good parenting skills, find other role models and do a better job with your own children. There are many resources in your area that you can turn to for help and support.
2. “Horses (and children) are a mirror of your soul”, as Buck so aptly put it…observe the behavior (or misbehavior) and then see what you are doing (or not doing) that might account for that behavior. If your child is exhibiting a behavior that is inappropriate, you need to act…be consistent, enforce consequences, and always show compassion. Again, local agencies are available to offer help and support.
3. Buck says, “discipline and encourage…don’t discipline and discourage”. If you feel that you and/or any other adult in the home have anger management issues or you have a concern for the safety of your children or yourself, contact Childhelp immediately or call 1-800-4-A-CHILD.
You’ll find similar suggestions in my book for parents and teachers, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking.
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“The book is both a tool and a workbook that helps loving adults encourage children to identify and safely communicate their feelings, to develop skills to problem solve and to make healthy choices.” – Ellen Levy, MSW, LCSW, Executive Director, Adoption Choice Center, Colorado Springs, CO
- Story suggestions help you choose the right book to read with your child.
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Click here for another great review of Show Me How! And please don’t put off buying a copy at this great price…for under $20 you will be giving a unique personalized gift to a friend, teacher or family member and the gift of self-esteem to a child.