Alfie Kohn "Unconditional Parenting" that gave me many insights into my well-meant, but as it turned out to be, conditional parenting behavior.
For example; We (my man and me) used to praise M a lot while he was playing. But I noticed that he would turn away from his activities as soon as I was interfering with my 'Well done!'.
I did not understand why. Everybody kept on telling me how important it was to constantly praise your child but it simply wasn't working for the both of us. After reading Kohn's book we tried a less judgmental approach. Instead of giving M unasked value judgments, we let him be and when he involved us we showed interest and asked questions. And it works! He plays longer, is better focused and tries things out again.
I am so happy with these insights despite the fact that they were very confronting. I discovered that although I thought my love for M was unconditional, my parenting behavior obviously was not. Strange how I've listened to everything and everybody except to my own inner voice. Quite a lesson!
After reading this refreshing blogpost 'Acceptance' on Ape Zen I felt much better. This was exactly what I was dealing with. Ha, two steps forward!