Friday, September 24, 2010

parenting breakthrough

My parents are readers. And sometimes, when they come across a book that's just too good not to share, the one who started reading first just rips that thing in half (down the binder), and passes the first chunk on.

They also fold over pages in such a way that they can find the exact spot they liked so much after they're done.
Although I have yet to tear a book down the center, I have embraced the page-fold-over thing. I love it. Forget highlighting sections you have to flip through to find, this is way better. And there's nothing like finding a good book that speaks to you so much that half the pages are turned over.

Here's my latest book read:It's called "The Parenting Breakthrough." Can you tell I like it? Can you tell how far I've read?

Yep, just about half way.

So I can't speak for the whole book at this point, but so far I'm telling you this: every parent should read this book. Sure it's a teeny bit cheesy here and there. But once you get over that part, man alive it's got some great points for parents who want to teach their kids to work hard and deal with money and be independent. And every parent wants that, right? That Merrilee Boyack (the author) is one smart lady.

These are my favorite parts of the book so far:

The "three basic parenting principles:" 1) You are not responsible for making your children happy all the time. Children need to experience frustration and trials in order to grow and blossom. 2) The best self-esteem for children comes from being able to do things on their own. Don't rush in and scoop away the tough stuff. That's the stuff that will make them grow. And 3) Remember that we are the parents and we are in charge. I love President David O. McKay's quote: "The home is the first and most effective place for children to learn the lessons of life: truth, honor, virtue, self-control; the value of education, honest work, and the purpose and privilege of life. Nothing can take the place of home in rearing and teaching children, and no other success can compensate for failure in the home." Wow, that's a pretty big responsibility.

I love the section in this book where it lists what household things kids should reasonably be able to do at certain ages. I feel like we teach our kids to work pretty well around here, and some of the things on the list are things that come as second nature because they're things I'm interested in. But I never thought of teaching my nine-year-old to fill our car with gas, nor have I sat down and had a serious conversation with my thirteen-year-old about how to use an ATM...which discussion must really start out with all that mumbo jumbo about bank accounts and savings, etc. (I've thought about it, but never kicked myself into gear to actually do it yet.). Have you ever thought of teaching your twelve-year-old to make and keep a dentist appointment? What about teaching your nine-year-old to vacuum the interior of a car? They're all things of course you want to teach your kids, but sometimes you just don't sit down and make a plan to do it. And man alive, those things make a good building block to jump from to other things that are important to talk about and teach. I made up a big list of things from the lists in that book to work on for Family Home Evening every once in a while. One of them was how to sew on buttons (they were enthralled).

I also love that it talks about how you can "certify" your kids to do certain jobs in your house. Teach them really well how to clean a toilet and then they are a "certified" toilet-cleaner (maybe even give them a certificate??). And after they're certified they get a big reward: they get to teach a sibling how to do that job! Is that exciting or what? But seriously, if you catch kids at an early enough age they will be pleased as punch about teaching a sibling how to do something they do well.

Right now I'm in the middle of the part about money and it's speaking to me so far. More on that part next week cause I have tons of thoughts about that one...mixed in with my favorite money theories from my parents, and the ones Dave and I are conjuring up in our own family as we speak.

Of course, my very favorite mothering book is "I Didn't Plan to be a Witch" written by my own dear mother. And I can't wait to get my hands on this book my parents are working on which will be coming out soon...that one is going to be a wing-dinger on the whole teaching kids ownership principle.

In the meantime though, I need to try to find a few minutes to hunker down and read the rest of this little gem...
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