March Book Review - "The Dolphin Way"

We want to share some of the literature in parenting that has molded and influenced our purposeful and ever changing mothering moments!
The Dolphin Way by Shimi Kang M.D. is an inspiring book exploring behavioral research of dolphins.  We too, can gently lead our young towards happiness and success by helping them develop their own inner compass.

Summarization -

-Dolphins teach by guiding not directing, encouraging rather than instructing and teaching by example

-This requires creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration

-Dolphins are self-reliant yet socially connected.  They show responsibility and compassion outside of their pod and species

-Being overly controlling robs a child of their internal control,  which is a  pivotal key to  lifelong happiness and success

-The quick fix for fear is control

- Mistakes are a great learning experience, children need to know that everyone makes mistakes and they can be corrected

- Self motivation is fueled by a balanced life revolving around mastery, autonomy and purpose, the ability to adapt in real world situations, internal control, and support from authoritative parents


-Without struggle there is no joy

-We can draw out our children’s personal potential by being collaborative, supportive and not imposing- use guiding and responsive strategies in every developmental stage

-Guiding can be through advice, proposing solutions, and encouraging them to figure it out on their own with your support

-Who we are on the inside is the most powerful prediction of our ability to motivate others in or our outside our sphere of influence

-Intuition is knowledge with conscious processing, thought, and observation that is not based in fear

Application -

-Practice using Empathetic statements like:

  1. Help me understand what you were feeling
  2. I can see you’re really upset
  3. I can appreciate that this is hard for you
  4. I wish you could play more right now but we need to ….    

- When your children are acting out, point out the discrepancies between behavior and their goals and how their actions are contrary to achieving these goals

- In parenting multiple children of all ages and stages, strive to:

1. Identify and stick to your true intentions

2. Guide instead of instruct

3. Be genuine and true to yourself and your values in every circumstance

4. Allow yourself and your children room for mistakes- give grace and forgiveness readily and on a daily basis

Edification -

Talk with a friend about these benefits of play :

1. Requires trial and error

2. Allows discovery of new things

3. Is inherently fun

4.  Develops team skills

5. Improves ability to innovate and create

6. Helps deal with new challenges

7. Children with wild imaginations are comfortable with cognitive uncertainty

8. Rough and tumble play has been shown to be necessary for the development and maintenance of social awareness, cooperation, fairness, and altruism

How can I create a  family community based on trust, respect, empathy, integrity, responsibility, and humility which isn’t based on quantity but quality of relationships?

Tiger parenting is using force, control and manipulation.

How can you use these statements to stop doing the things that children can do on their own and release the control that’s keeping you all captive?

  1. I can’t control what you think or feel
  2. How you react is your choice
  3. I can only guide you to do the right thing now but what you do in the future is up to you
  4. I can’t control how your mind works so in the end it’s up to you how hard you will try and I will be there to support you

We divided our book review into four sections:

  1. Summarization - direct quotes and messages from the author
  2. Explanation - some of our personal thoughts and reflections
  3. Application - how you can apply these teachings everyday at home
  4. Edification - questions that will help you reflect and discuss with your partner, family members and mama friends

Dolphins may not sleep or dream as we do, but Made Mindful's Etsy Shop has Nursery art for day or night.  

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Article by Christina Packard

Christina is the mother of 5.  She is a writer and educator for Made Mindful, LLC. Along with gardening, embroidery, and playing the piano and trumpet, she finds thrills in anything DIY or craft related.

Sarah Ziroll

Sarah Ziroll