“…as you well know, your child is not like a self-basting turkey; he’s not going to emerge well-seasoned and having just the right tenderness without effort.”
Ms. Braun breaks each chapter into an introductory “theory” section that discusses parenting topics such as “Growing an Empathetic Child,” “Teaching Responsibility,” ” Instilling Honesty in Your Child,” and “Gimme, Gimme, Gimme! – Eliminating Spoilage in Your Child.” These introductory sections are followed by Tips and Scripts that provide concrete methods for applying the theory. In the chapter on Building Independence, for example, Ms. Braun encourages us to Support your child’s interests; they may become his passions. As a parent who has struggled to “let go” of Tenley’s successful and intense gymnastics career, I took to heart Ms. Braun’s reminder that, “Your child needs to live his life, not yours.”
In the chapter on Instilling Honesty, one of the tips is: When it’s done, let it go. How often does a particularly memorable incident become part of family lore? Yes, I have had one of my two children steal something from a store. Yes, I marched this child back into the store and made the child return the item. Yes, many years later I still joke around with this child about the incident. Ms. Braun reminds us parents that, “Your child must not feel defined by her transgressions.”
Again, so true.
One of the appendices of this book is called The Ethical Will of a Grandfather to His Grandson. Although the book goes into thorough detail and provides specific tips, this appendix almost completes sums up the point in one page. I particularly liked:
- When there is a job to do — do a good job, never a sloppy one.
- When your time is free, explore the things you think might be interesting. Follow your curiosities.
- Think for yourself. Don’t believe what you read or what other people say, unless it seems true to you.