The parenting book I never got

There is a parenting book that I never got. I couldn’t find a copy and no one and I mean no one was willing to share, or even let me see their copy.

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It comes with all the phrases that you need to parent, from “eat all that up there are kids starving in Africa” to “your room looks like a pigsty clear it up…”

It comes with instructions on what to do when you kid does something terribly naughty and you dare not talk to another parent about in case they think you are a bad parent.

Like sticking something other that a socket protector in a wall socket. We all have kids that have done that? haven’t we? no? ah… just me then. Damn. I know what you are thinking…

There has to be a master parenting guide that doesn’t patronise you but teaches you all the stock phrases and the lingo, so when your child grows up they can be outraged at an incoming law and say “I was xxxx’d and it never damaged me / did me any harm”.

Well, I never got that parenting book. I think it explains how I am just one DNA mutation from turning into my mother, I have all the sayings off to a tee, and the looks that could kill – yes, I have a stock of those too. I just need to find the master book to see where I am failing.

And I am failing. I have children that talk to me instead of ignoring me. I have a teen that asks for and listens to my opinions on her clothes and her hair. I have small children that want to listen to fairy stories and watch Sci Fi, their ideal day would be getting their toenails painted pink and sparkly. Then they would go and battle a few Sith lords and win – yes, they have a fair few of those looks that kill stashed away.

I just don’t think I am parenting by ‘the book’ and I must be going wrong somewhere.

I have a daughter that wants to be a scientist, that must been what all the chocolate milkshake was about when I was pregnant with her. She is funny, bright and uses her mind. They never taught her that at school, well maybe they taught her that at secondary school (are we still allowed to call it that these days?), but never at junior school. Junior school was all about conforming and doing as she was told. Only no one ever told me that.

I don’t get anxious when she wants to get a train or a bus to some strange destination. I don’t annoyed (ok, I do, but just a little) when she has a friend for 5 minutes and wants to drop everything to run around after them – I bet the book has several chapters on how to cope with this.

I am needing the chapter that shows me how to explain how to put the brakes on as like a lot of teens she can over do it. My solution is to stand back and let her learn from her actions. That scares me, she may think I don’t care enough to get involved but the truth is she wouldn’t listen (and I have said it before, softly, in a non threatening tone of voice) in this instance.  I need the guidance to help me through this and the books that are out there are just no good, they tell you how to parent but not how to overcome the way you were parented.

There has to be a master book, and I have yet to receive it.

There has to be a book that explains that children emulate our actions, so if we want them to change the world, we have to change it for them in order to show them the how.

Did you get a copy? Can I have a borrow of it?

Sarah

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  • Marydw757

    Oh if only such a book did exist Sarah! Talk about being a best seller….. Hmmm maybe us mums need to compile such a book???

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  • http://www.birdsontheblog.co.uk/ Sarah Arrow

    I think a Mums book would be fab Mary :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1134202412 Morag Gaherty

    How did I know this post was by one Sarah Arrow long before I got to the end?!

    I think such a book would be very short. All it needs is a chapter with the following advice

    1. Communicate
    2. Listen as much as you advise
    3. Try not to lose your temper (the hard one)
    4. Answer questions that are asked (and not ones that aren’t)
    5. Be open and honest

    The other thing which annoys me is the “Parentcraft” classes which aren’t about parenting at all. They are just there to scare you to death about how hideous giving birth is, so you’ll be grateful if you survive (mums to be: it’s nonsense). Our course midwife gave us gruesome pictures of all the ways our babies could be lying to make childbirth worse, with the line “of course, you’ll have seen these in your books.” To which my husband worriedly whispered “Have we got any of these books?” Well, duhhhh, of course not! It’s in, it’s coming out and that’s all we need to know.

  • Marydw757

    I agree, once the child is able to communicate and understand you. However, the steepest part of the learning curve is during those first few, precious years when a baby is unable to do such things…. to have decent advice for those times would be invaluable I believe. Sadly being able to communicate and listen and answer questions really don’t apply to that period.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1134202412 Morag Gaherty

    I disagree very strongly, Mary. I have always talked to my children as if they could understand me, and never babified my language. It all filters in. You just can’t expect an answer from them at that stage, so it sometimes feels like you are talking to yourself. But it pays off big-time.

    I remain astonished by people who think that if they don’t speak their special baby language to their toddlers, they won’t understand. One of my friends told me on the school walk one day that she was pregnant again but that her son did not yet know. Ummm, that would be the 4 year old son holding your hand, would it?!

    Mind you, I did laugh when Bob was about 7 and he told me he only understood about a third of what I said – I pointed out he obviously needed to pay more attention! :)

  • Lauren

    Sarah – you would rock at writing that book… love your blog.

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