The title, Beyond Good Parenting, is the key and a very strong yet unique exhortation in and of itself. But what is meant by "beyond good"?
While the book’s thrust and it’s lingering message is to go “beyond good,” it is not to do that in a familiar way, such as by doing “more” good or by getting “better.” Our common parlance triggers our unfortunate tendency to grade ourselves (e.g., bad, good) or to assume that I am exhorting parents to go beyond goodness to greatness. Not so, and the real message is not easily grasped at first.
A large sustainable goal from digesting the book and integrating it into family life is to leave the gradient behind and to no longer seek to rate ourselves as parents. That freedom from self-rating, by focusing on the normalcy and innate healthiness of our daily interactions between ourselves and our children, is the key to unlocking our own playfulness and to freeing us to free our children to grow with all their natural capabilities turned on. One important capability that shines is their desire to help and to offer and accept both affection and support.
To go "beyond good" is to be free to enjoy our children as we and they grow through life, engaged and together. Parenting partners align themselves - no more feelings or accusations of undermining each other.
But this does not leave us without recourse to change problematic behavior. Behavioral issues among family members are not to be ignored, but a new context for assessing behavior is proposed, allowing desires to be shared and adjustments to be requested without a threat of loss of autonomy or belonging. In this context, changes in behavior, whether parental or child, occur at choice and with no or only short-lived emotional upsets. Living with each other becomes a life-long learning, growing, and fulfilling partnership, saving hundreds of hours normally spent on disciplinary strategies and avoiding associated guilt and frustration over our parenting lifetime.
And as parents and children participate outside of the family, the possibility of diversity and interdependence is revealed - everywhere.