This book is absolutely telling of some of my thoughts and fears and agitations with raising a child in today's society. I do not often linger on non-fiction books, I'm afraid I'm usually more selfish in my book needs -- I love fiction. But this one I simply needed to read!
The basic premise of the book is something I worry about daily as a mother in this fast-paced, modern era. The conflict in our lives and in my heart is this: children need space, freedom, choices and chance to grow and develop, but as technology, violence, and all of the things about today's society that just plain SCARE me encroach, how are we supposed to let our dearest ones experience all they need?
Here are some of the big points from the book that need to be satisfied to help our children rise above the challenges they are faced with today as they become "grown ups" all too fast -- these are just some highlights and examples that I've found are some things I am able to curb, correct or enhance in our life to make it better for our kids:
1) PLAY - This is addressing the over-scheduled, over-stimulated life that many families either run or try to attain these days. Mollie doesn't need ballet, cooking lessons, gymnastics, reading club, Campfire Girls, and volunteering time at 6 years old. Mollie needs to play. Unstructured free play if possible.
2) SCREENS! - This one sickens me. Sorry if this is an unpopular stance. No wait, I'm NOT sorry. I will lose some "friends" for this one. Some views, some likes. I don't care. There is no reason an infant should know how to "swipe" a screen. Yes! It's easy! Fussy child? Throw a device at them! Voila! Lets all stop taking the easy route! Raise your child. I'm not saying you need to go cold turkey with no screens, but I am saying you should limit them for crying out loud! We aren't uber modern tech-wagon joiner types, but we do need to cut down on TV time.
3) Actions : Boundaries
We've tried to "coach" our boy. But what have we learned? More than anything: Monkey see, monkey do. That's right. If mom wants a polite kid, mom's gotta say Please and Thank You. Same goes with rules and boundaries -- you need your actions (and society in general needs more ACTION) to help kids with life struggles. My example is small scale, but have you ever heard "little kids, little problems, big kids, bigger problems?" It's a common saying for a reason!
Really there are about half a dozen other points that are great in the book. The author does a fantastic job of filtering all the arguments of issues from both sides of the street and just presents the problems with the solutions. It's a fairly easy read, just a little more than 100 pages, and it will help to reframe or remind you of your role as the loving, caring, protector and teacher of these little people in our lives.
*Disclosure: I am a Flyby Promotions member which enabled me to review this book. In progress! Please check back!*