DISCLAIMER: I do not have children.
I chose to read this book because I have a deep seated fear that I will completely mess up being a parent. I have babysat and my parents are still together, but my “parenting” knowledge is next to nothing. It is important to know how to hold, bathe, feed, burp, change diapers (very important), and how to tell the difference between a cry that says “I’m hungry” versus “I’m sick.” I have all of that knowledge but still felt severely lacking in the knowledge of how to be the full time caregiver versus part time. I found out through reading this book that I have a natural gravitation towards child centered parenting. I knew that probably wasn’t the best because I have felt very ineffectual in producing the expected results from this approach. I was being walked all over because I wanted to make every situation about what the child wants. It was extremely helpful to be able to read and understand the mistakes I have made so that when I am able to apply the knowledge with my own children I will have something to draw from. It’s scary knowing someone will be totally dependent on me not only for physical needs but spiritual and emotional as well. Love isn’t enough. Wanting to succeed isn’t enough either. I really needed a crash course in examples of good parenting versus bad parenting. It is truly a delight to be around children who get proper parenting versus children who clearly are not having their needs met. This book does a really good job of giving examples of the result of bad parenting. It is so much easier to maintain good behavior versus trying to break bad behavior. That is why I knew I needed to start learning early before I had already made the mistakes and was trying to work my way out of them. I know it’s not rocket science but just observing others going through the motions of taking care of a child can open your eyes to the effects it makes when a parent simply isn’t parenting. I know there can be complications like there are 4 kids and the budget and the space really only allows for 2. Things happen, but that is something that should be thought about before its too late and a child exists that no one has time or money to care for. This book gives examples of how it doesn’t take money to have a well behaved child. It takes time, love, and attention. A little TLC never hurt anyone. I applied a lot of the things in this book to my childhood and know that the most special moments I can remember were when I was given positive attention. Reading before bed, being told I was loved, getting a special note in my lunch. Don’t get me wrong it was embarrassing to get a note in my lunch, but also very awesome. Something so small can really make a difference. I hope this book will be as helpful to others as I feel it was for me. I don’t feel so anxious that I will make the wrong choices. All I really have to do is be conscious of if the choices are too imbalanced. If a situation is happening because it clearly benefits the parent and not the child they will know, and vice versa. Being a good parent doesn’t come naturally but it can be learned. It is a conscious choice to do what is right, not just what makes the least waves. That is going to be a challenge for me, but if I put in the effort I feel that I can be successful!
I received a free copy of this book from Howard Books in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own.