Monday, June 16, 2008

Serials and Scenarios ~ Parenting

I read and reviewed this book months ago and posted my review at Amazon. I just haven't gotten around to posting it at the Dregs yet, and now I'm glad I procrastinated.

Apparently someone has gotten hold of this book and sent out an alarm. Read the reviews and you'll understand what I mean.

Here is my review:

Absolutely the most informative parenting book I've ever read.

Regardless of your parenting philosophy, regardless of the age of your kids, I highly recommend you get your hands on a copy.

I have been a long-time Rosemond fan. His common sense "parents need to be the decision makers" advice has saved me headaches over the years. Our children have survived and thrived in spite of an occasional spanking and a heavy consequence here and there. Even though we see success, we are not done yet, and it seems that not all children are identical and what works with one might not work for the others. So, in the midst of kicking my own parenting behind and feeling like a failure, I picked up Parenting by the Book.

Rosemond begins the book with a breakdown of the psychology of parenting. Why do we seek expert opinion? Well, lots of reasons, most having to do with a lack of confidence in how we handle situations with our children. None of us wants to leave a permanent negative mark on our children's developing psyches. But Rosemond, a highly trained psychologist, takes all the conflicting advice, parental guilt, child manipulation and sheds a spotlight on it.

Once the flaws and untruths are revealed, he rebuilds the foundation of child-rearing with care and clarity. Oh, it's not easy. But it's a whole lot easier than what is being sold elsewhere.

Consider yourself warned, though. You need to be very aware that the old-fashioned approach to child-rearing as presented by Rosemond will likely step all over your psychologically in-tune toes. The Biblical components in this book may offend you, also. I loved the fact that Rosemond shared his journey from fringe to faith, other readers may not.

You honestly owe it to yourself to read this book. If you have ever paged through a Consumer Reports before buying anything, consider the value of a child and the value of your own sanity. Beg, borrow, or buy this book.

And I still stand behind it. This is why...we need to know the truth behind the teaching we embrace, don't we? Look at the big debate on evolution vs. creation or and intelligent design. Look at the political arena. I want to at least have the basic facts before making decisions. What mindset is behind the current and recent past child-rearing gurus?

I've been a Rosemond fan for years. Not because I consider my children as "better seen than heard" but because I love them enough to want to help them to have the best possible grip on life. Rosemond considers spanking a tool that occasionally might need to come out of the toolbox. So do I. Much of the Amazon hub-bub is over self-esteem. Rosemond mentions studies that show a high self-esteem in bullies and prisoners (which I've seen elsewhere). I'm all for a child feeling loved and accepted, but a child who has taken center stage in his own mind may find that the fall in later years is something he is ill-prepared to weather. Self-respect is a much greater goal.

I'm not a child-rearing expert on any level, other than the one wherein I have three children who have been spanked, and disciplined in love and are pretty solid citizens. They have also been delighted in, enjoyed, and cherished. Had they been allowed to rule the house, or if their self-esteem had been the primary concern, or if our marriage revolved around them, I don't know that they would have become who they are. And I wouldn't trade one bit of who they are for the emptiness of self-esteem. If you agree with me, go visit the page and vote on whether you find the reviews helpful, then get a hold of the book, read it and write your own review if you feel led.