Parenting books often have contained good advice—February 7, 2014
A few weeks ago, my oldest son was preparing to leave Nebraska to return to his home in another state, so two of my other sons, their wives, my husband and I met at a local pub to load up on one another’s company. The laughter that evening was noisy and ceaseless.
When I arrived home, my sore belly muscles continued to remind me of the fun that the evening had provided. It wasn’t long before my memory began to entertain me with mental videos of my four boys learning to be men. They’d wrestle, chase each other and go into hiding and emerge later armed with a can of hair spray or perhaps, the spray nozzle from the kitchen. If chasing each other all over the place didn’t get the job done, Plan B (verbal attack) was activated. Somedays, it just backfired. One day, #4 turned a shade of crimson after angrily yelling at his identical twin, “You are soooo ugly.”
Thank Heavens for reading! Late at night, when silence fell over my tired crew, I’d seek reassurance from parenting books. Books by Erma Bombeck and Ken Davis would quickly replace frustration with humor. Books which described various activities held my attention late into the night and others that encouraged feelings of empathy fueled my list of “what parents should do.”
All that bookish advice joined forces in my thoughts and planted the word “relax.” Love them, listen to them, feed them and guide them to a satisfying adulthood.
The advice of experience people is helpful, but more important is the parent’s ability to trust themselves. Elizabeth Hartley-Brewer explains that and many other topics in “Raising Happy Kids.” The poem “Children Learn What They Live” inspired a book of the same title which points out the importance of being a positive role model.
“The Best Thing Parents Do” by Susan Kohl lists the positive aspects of parenting that many parents don’t realize they are already doing. In a very important chapter, is a reminder to take care of yourself. Nope! It’s not selfish; it’s necessary in order to nurture without resentment. Jane Roper’s “Double Time,” a book about surviving twins, reminded me of the insanity and constant chaos of two little people, constantly conferring in their own language, and eager to explore everything.
The success of your grown child’s independent life will probably be more likely if they have been taught to handle money. “The Kid’s Allowance Book” explains budgeting, spending and finding ways to increase income. “Every Kid’s Guide To Making and Managing Money” and “How To Master Money” are two more books for children to assist in learning financial responsibility. They also talk about chores. Are they completed to earn an allowance or are they considered a matter of family cooperation?
“If You’ve Raised Kids, You Can Manage Anything” presents ideas that experienced moms will agree with (and should feel pretty smug about).
Nearly forty years have passed since I cradled my firstborn son and questioned my “mommy aptitude.” As I look at my grown family, I feel nothing but pride and contentment. Now I’m waiting for grandchildren.