As the title of this book suggests, Larry Winget believes that a child is the product of how he or she is parented, and that it is the responsibility of the parents to make sure that their children become responsible and productive adults. He prefaces his book to say that he believes that all of societies problems including financial problems, illiteracy, poor educational systems, crime, bad driving, etc. are ultimately the result of bad parenting.
Winget makes no apology for his strong views on this subject and even warns his readers to be ready for an honest perspective that seeks to fix the parent and not the child.
Winget outlines a number of popular views and practices of parents today and points to these as the reason why so many teenagers and adults are becoming less and less responsible as the years go by. These include telling children that they are special and making them the most important thing in a parents life, because this gives them a false sense of importance which doesn't carry over into the real world. “When your kid walks out your front door and gets to school, she is just one more little kid in the third row...” (pg. 22). He also points to the focus on 'building self-esteem' as damaging to children, because it is not the parents who can 'give' their children this, but rather self-esteem only comes from feeling good about one's self, which is normally a direct result of feeling a sense of achievement from accomplishing something.
Winget goes on to discuss what he views as the five basic elements of parenting: communication, involvement, education, discipline and punishment. He discusses how a child learns how to communicate from the way he or she sees communication in his or her family, and that a parent needs to be involved in their child's life while being careful not to be over-bearing or controlling. He stresses the need for education and discipline as well as punishment, stating that although some parents focus on punishment, if all other areas are done correctly, punishment will be the parenting area that is required the least.
The third section is a set of chapters on different topics that should be discussed with your children including money and how to handle it; sex; relationships – theirs and yours, good and bad, both romantic and otherwise; health including how to eat healthy and get enough exercise – Winget argues that to teach your kids poor health habits is a form of child abuse; physical appearance – what is a big deal and what isn't, including how you should or should not allow your child to dress; the importance of and lessons that can be learned from school; technology and how to respect it, and when to limit it; honesty and integrity; allowing your child to find their own purpose in life; and finally, a checklist for teaching your kids how to plan for success.
The book ends with three short sections including a letter written specifically for teenagers in Winget's typical style of confessing a parent's inevitable flaws while telling the teen not to be an idiot with the choices the teen makes.
Overall, I love the style of Winget's writing as well as his general attitude about the responsibility of parents in the people their children become. I differ from Winget on a few fundamental beliefs, and so there are a number of views expressed that I do not agree with, particularly those that go against the Christian faith. As a whole, however, I highly recommend this book; particularly to those who are concerned with raising independent, responsible and productive adults – because I believe many parenting philosophies today are creating very much the opposite of this, which is concerning for the future of North America.
A collection of simple ‘rules’ to follow for raising children. Sturges organizes these rules into seven areas including communication, manners, safety and discipline. One rule, as indicated by the title of the book, discusses having strict guidelines for children while in parking lots to always stay right next to their parent with no exceptions to ensure the child is kept as safe as possible. Another more parent-directed rule instructs the parent to smile whenever their child enters the room regardless of the parent’s current mood, in order to make the child feel special and important. I found this to be a quick and easy read, which also has the capability of being read in bits and pieces as you find time since each chapter is an independent thought or idea.
In response to working with brain damaged children and discovering that with adequate brain stimulation brain damaged children were reaching intellectual milestones years ahead of their 'well' peers, Glenn Doman and Janet Doman sought to discover exactly how to encourage each child to reach their full potential.
Due to the fact that the brain does the vast majority of its growing and developing in the first six years of life, Doman and Doman state the importance of brain stimulation in a child's early years.
The majority of the book outlines a program for optimal development for babies including sensory development, motor skill advancement and language development from birth to approximately 12 months or whenever the child completes all stages of the program. Stressing the importance of the at-home mom, Doman and Doman encourage mothers to become 'professional' mothers – giving their babies their full attention and energy on a full-time basis.
I found this book fascinating – particularly the beginning chapters that discussed a child's capacity and how most babies are capable of much more than we give them credit for. I personally found many of the exercises suggested in the book to be more involved and require more equipment than is practical for the average stay at home mom, although they provided an excellent framework for planning activities for baby that are appropriate for learning as well as giving a number of exercise suggestions that are quite feasible with little or no equipment.
This book is for people who are looking to develop their child's overall brain development from an early age, and are willing to put in (at least some of) the time and energy that is required.
When I was pregnant with Celia, I don't think I lasted a full week before telling our entire families about the news. It was convenient that Easter weekend was that weekend, so we had an easy place to let people know.
As if pregnancy at that stage didn't really 'count', I had one aunt consistently ask me afterward if I was 'really' pregnant. She pretty much wasn't convinced until I went to the doctor and received an ultrasound photo to prove there was a baby. It may be that she was considering the first trimester 'danger zone', and thought it would be an easier conversation to pretend I wasn't really pregnant than to ask if the baby had died? That's just a guess.
Anyway, I considered this time waiting until Easter again (which I still might do, I'm not entirely certain) since it falls a full month later in the pregnancy than it did the last time, and the baby will be much further along - hopefully avoiding any weird questions.
Then it crossed my mind: "What IF this baby dies before then?" (I had a really early miscarriage in September, and I know - it was technically not yet a pregnancy, but for a few days I 'knew' I was going to have a baby, so losing it really was devastating for a time), and if I don't tell anyone now, there will be no one to really talk to about it then.
I think I've decided that I'm the kind of person who would prefer not to keep the secret - I deal with things through talking, and talking makes everything easier for me. It would be nice to wait, to hold the secret longer, but I think in the end it would be easier for me if people knew.
An infant-care ‘formula’ for guiding the feeding and napping cycles of your baby. The Baby Wise strategy encourages a cyclical pattern of ‘eat-play-sleep’ to achieving a child’s natural sleep cycle. According to this strategy, a baby should be encouraged to take full feedings (ie, not falling asleep or getting distracted) before having some play time and then sleep time, which should result in the child falling into their own predictable cycle of approximately 2-3 hours. This book is for parents who would like to help control and guide their child’s routine, as well as parents who would like to encourage through-the-night sleeping as soon as possible.
*There is a lot of negative criticism floating around the internet in response to this book – I am convinced the critics have not read it. Ezzo seems adamantly opposed to holding out on feeding a baby, he simply encourages a parent to use their own judgement regarding why their child is crying (assuming that it might not always be hunger), and proposes that a healthy baby (much like a healthy adult) should not be eating as frequently as every half hour. He also encourages parents to remain in close contact with their pediatricians and to keep a close eye on any indications that your baby might be unhealthy or not receiving enough food.
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