The reading of all good books is like a conversation
with the finest minds of past centuries.
with the finest minds of past centuries.
Just incase you missed my previous post, The Measure of a Good Book, you may want to head there to read up on the criteria I have set for measuring a book's ability to meet my expectations for good.
Book Review: The Collapse of Parenting
If you have talked to me in the last three weeks, the chances are very, very high that I have worked the title, The Collapse of Parenting, into the conversation in some way. Which is a signal to me that I have devoured a “good” book. I love to learn from reading, but I love even more to discuss what I have read with others and extend the invitation to learn to whomever will engage in dialogue following the reading. Which is partly why I set out to share book reviews that are open for your intake, input and entertainment.
I will start this review by saying, I think anyone (and I mean anyone) who works with children needs to read this book: teachers, parents, grandparents, church staff and volunteers, physicians, nurses, counselors. . . the list could go on and on. The author, Leonard Sax, MD, Phd, uses every one of his 263 pages to project a picture of what is going on in our county and world, give evidence to why we are seeing what we are seeing, and offer practical advice on how to turn the tide for the benefit of our kids and our culture.
If you find yourself frustrated, confused or down right ready to throw up the white flag in surrender in your efforts to understand how to raise healthy, secure, and productive kids, this book will be a breath of fresh air to clear the haze. Really, the greatest benefit to me in reading this book is that I felt completely affirmed in focussing on parenting from our values, sticking to our guns on boundaries and taking responsibility for teaching our kids the meaning of life through intentional instruction, actions and frequent meals together at our kitchen table. And to own that it is our job to teach our children what it looks like to move from childhood to adulthood--it’s not the church's job, the school’s job or the culture's job (They certainly can, in some instances, be a help). Guiding, teaching and raising our children is our job and it takes work, planning, and intentionality. It is not a solo job, the village is definitely needed to raise healthy kids. But my husband and I need to see ourselves as the ones in the driver’s seat, leading our kids toward humility, relationships with friends with diverse interests, and adults who can help us show our kids what it means to grow toward maturity.
If you are just starting out on the journey of parenting, this book is also for you because it will help you to see how parenting should start with keeping the end in mind:
The answers to these questions, and the plans you make to stick to them are pivotal to keeping your parenting from collapsing.
Now, let me tell you why I think this book sticks out among the other books I have read on parenting (I will be honest, parenting books often leave me depressed and discouraged!): Sax has takes a very research-based, academic approach to his writing. I am a nerd. Plain and simple. I love research. To me it brings up the weight of the “validity scale” on which I tend to measure how much confidence I will put into information I am taking in. Also, even though personal opinion is weaved in here and there throughout the writing, this text predominantly focuses on defining and describing why we see the following happening all around us:
But here is what I love about the second half of the book: Sax offers solutions! Practical, research-based, common sense solutions. All of which focus on helping parents understand the great necessity for:
However, I don’t want you to take my word for it. I want you to go and pick up a copy for yourself. Pull another parent or two in, read it and discuss it together. And then commit to helping one another keep the parenting house from collapsing around you.
I believe we are facing a time and living in a culture that needs parents to own parenting like their life depends on it, and to help one another believe that we can do it--that we can raise our kids based on our values no matter what is happening around us. We need to band together as parents and fight for one another to push back against cultural norms and the status quo, by making parenting decisions that align with our end goals. Because to do so is really, really hard and painful sowing. But the reaping this side or the other side of heaven makes it all worth it. I believe Sax reveals this in powerful ways through his research, stories, and insight gained through his vast experiences as a physician, psychologist and world-traveler.
As you can see, I give much kudos to Sax’s, The Collapse of Parenting: How We Hurt Our Kids When We Treat Them Like Grown-Ups. Scoot over to Amazon.com and get a copy today. Read it. Then come back and let me know of the impact the words had on you.
(Disclaimer: The Recommended Reading section of my blog is merely pleasure writing for me. No authors or publishers are involved. Because I know no one in that world. Each review represents my personal opinions built on my background and experiences as a wife, daughter, sister, friend, parent, educator, and Christian. Also, all books in my reviews are linked to Amazon.com, and if you purchase your book by clicking on the links on my site I benefit--via the Amazon Associates Program. So, it'd be awesome if you did that!)