Friday, July 23, 2010

Parenting advice for the rest of us

When your kids run away screaming at the thought of family devotions or stick the reward-chart stickers on the cat because its more fun than putting them on the silly chart or when you just simply want time to yourself, fear no more! There is parenting advice for the rest of us!

I'd be arrested if I did the things with you that my Dad did with me!
Considering "Little Norman's" Dad took him surfing as an infant [see cover photo], had him skiing professional-grade runs in elementary school and took him on a harrowing ride thru rural Mexico in junior high that's a very fair statement!! Sadly, it was on a trip to Little Norman's skiing race in a chartered plane that Big Norman died and with him most of the passion for adventure, thrills and perfection that characterized Little Norman's childhood. This was a father who understood how to raise a MAN! If he were a Christian who also made his son study the Bible [the subject of Faith doesn't really enter into this life apparently] then Vision Forum would have picked up this book for its "All American Boys Adventure Catalog"--probably with a junior sized surf board and red-white-and-blue board shorts! That's how manly this Dad was and how much passion he put into raising his only child.

Tom Hodgkinson gives a wealth of good "real world" parenting advice in his aptly-titled book The Idle Parent

Think of this book as the anti-To Train Up A Child or the FAA's permanent grounding of helicopter parents! The ""Idle Parent Manifesto" includes such classics as:

"We reject the idea that parenting requires hard work."
"We pledge to leave our children alone."
"We lie in bed for as long as possible."
"We try not to interfere."
"Happy mess is better than miserable tidiness."
"DOWN WITH SCHOOL" [emphasis added]
"We reject health and safety guidelines"

Chapter 1 is titled "Bring Back Child Labor." Well, you get the idea! Now, don't start up the flame-thrower! He does not mean to leave your child in the house alone all day while you go to work--not that kind of "alone." And, no, he doesn't advocate letting children run their hands down the garbage disposal--no rejection of THAT kind of safety regulation! Instead it's reminding parents that from birth their children are only going to grow more INDependent and that's a good thing! Whenever I read Quiverfull-Perfect-Homeschooling-Mommy-Blogs I start feeling I should call CPS on myself and my kids are teenagers and COULD take care of themselves in dire circumstance. After reading this I relaxed! Who knew locking myself away and reading could be GOOD for my kids? [See my angst-driven post on this HERE] Or that my weekend naps were a good thing? Or that making time for the cats was healthy? Or that saying "I'm watching MY movie come back later" wasn't meant to send me or the kids into a guilt-induced orgy of angst! There is really great stuff in here--even if it is humorously and glibly written. Thanks to Melissa Wiley for the tip on this book.

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