Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Read This Book and Read It Now!

I tried to convince myself to wait and post about this book as a part of my annual book review.  But then I would be cheating you out of the five extra potential months you could have been using to create your own parenting plan.  The theory behind this book goes something like this: parenting should be approached with a long-term, big picture focus rather than a let's-just-get-through-today attitude.  Additionally, parenting should not be about making kids happy.  I think my favorite passage was the author's response to her son's query of, "Don't you want me to be happy?"  Her response: "No!  I want you to be righteous, productive, skilled, smart, helpful, wise, intelligent, and hardworking.  That's what I want you to be.  If you feel happy occasionally, that's cool."

The subtitle reads: A real life plan to teach your kids to work, save money, and be truly independent.  Fabulous!  Written by an LDS mother, it naturally includes spiritual foundations through each step of her process. 

Do I think every word is something I'll implement?  Nope.  But some of her ideas will work fabulously with my personality and my goals for my children.  For example, I love finding long-term solutions to the issues that repeatedly come up, such as who sits where at dinner or who has to shower first to get ready for church.  I love having a procedure already set up to handle these issues.  I've often remarked that I don't have a lot of rules around our house, just a lot of procedures.  (Okay, when I force the procedures, I realize they become rules.) 

I also love the idea of having a checklist of everything a child should learn before leaving the home for a mission or college, and I think having a corresponding timeline just makes sense.  Just as children learn according to a predetermined schedule at school (known as curriculum), we should develop a curriculum for teaching our children the things they need to know to be independent adults.

The biggest challenge for me in implementation is going to be getting my Dear Sweet Husband to go along with it.  Not that he won't see the value; I think he will.  But he is pretty universally opposed to formal, informal, written, verbal, or even hinted at goal setting, and I'm afraid his natural tendencies will be to reject these ideas.  Hopefully, the small distinction between "goal setting" and "planning" will be enough to get him on board.  Hopefully, "I want our family to get from point A to point B," will be replaced with, "Our family will arrive at point B, and this is how we are going to get there."

I once heard that a lazy mom is one who does everything herself.  I'm hoping the ideas in this book will give me the motivation and format to stop being so lazy and raise some independent boys, ready to tackle the world.

Oh, and I hope you'll read it too.  I truly don't think you'll regret it. 

P.S. (A note to my sisters-in-law)
I want this book for Christmas.  I need my very own copy to highlight and refer to when I run out of ideas of my own.  So if you draw my name this year, here is your gift idea. 


Sarah said...

I am now on the library's wait list!

coryshay said...

I totally agree! I loved this book! It was like no other parenting book I've read. Great common sense stuff, and if my daughter can get to college knowing how to get her oil changed, invest, make a budget, and cook and clean, among other things, I think we'll have done pretty well (seeing as I didn't know how to do most of those things when I left home). I also need my own copy. Love it!