I just read the BEST parenting book I think I have ever read. It was simple, to the point, and beautiful. What's more I actually found myself nodding in agreement for the entire book...not one chapter or piece of wisdom that made me want to throw the book across the room! For the record I've never thrown a book, but almost every parenting book I've ever read says at least one thing I disagree with! It was also short and to the point enough that Tim finished the whole thing (not usually the case with parenting books I recommend to him).
So without further ado...the book is called "Graceful Parenting: Simple Advice for Raising a Gentle and Loving Child" by Eve M. Dreyfus.
Here are two of my favorite quotes:
(From a section entitled, "Remember Not to Expect Too Much of Your Children") "Children are loud, impolite, selfish, and demanding. This is normal behavior for them. Don't expect your child to be naturally caring and polite; you have to teach them these behaviors. No child is born knowing how to act like an adult."
(From a section entitled, "Listen") "From birth, children tell or show you what they need and want. If you, as a parent, are able to place your own desires, concerns, and expectations aside, you will be better able to understand what your children need. Children frequently know what they need more accurately than the adults who care for them."
You mean my loud and demanding children are normal? I have always believed this and been frustrated by people who strive to stomp out the volume and make them behave like "gentlemen". Of course that is a long term goal (sort of) but if my kids pee on the toilet seat or spill their juice on the floor we will clean it up and move on...and when it happens the next day we will do the same thing. I want my children to be just that- children! Living with limits, but not unable to remember all the rules for every situation because there are so many or because they require more than they are capable of.
I like the second quote because I think it follows up the first one. Children are very aware of their own needs and also their limitations. Just as babies give us so many cues beyond crying to tell us they are tired or hungry or even bored, so do big kids. The learning curve that starts at birth needs to keep going. It is only through listening that we can be an expert in our own child and only through being an expert we can meet their unique needs!
I read this book the first night I checked it out of the library, 3 weeks ago. I've been to the library 3 times since then and just can't bring myself to return it. Alas, the day will come (next Monday) when it is due and it will need to go back, but until then I will probably read it several more times just because I can!