Using Jewish Teachings to Raise a Self-Reliant Child
by Wendy Mogel
*** About the Book ***
The parenting skills advocated in this book are based on Jewish tradition ... and lots of common sense. Basically it is a reminder that the parent is the parent and the child is the child, and there are roles and responsibilities for each person in the family that, when followed, lead to a much happier and more functional household.
Mogel was a child psychologist for many years and became frustrated with the lack of parenting skills she came across. Later in life she rediscovered her Jewish faith and has since opened a new practice in preventive mental health. She combines her faith and her knowledge to teach parents and children skills to improve their family life.
*** Why I Read It ***
I'm not sure where I first heard of this book but I remember adding it to my Paperbackswap.com Wish List. It took a while to get the book, then of course it sat on my self a while longer, but I finally got around to reading it.
*** My Thoughts ***
Topics in this book include: respect for adults, chores, keeping expectations in line with your child's temperament, meal-time battles, coping with frustration, avoiding over-scheduling and overindulgence, and others. There wasn't all that much in here that I *didn't* know but there was a lot that I was either ignoring or needing a refresher on.
One chapter near the end is sticking with me at the moment. I've said before that Kiddo is a great kid. He's usually well-behaved, kind, outgoing, and positive - all the things a parent could want. But he IS still a kid (and a boy, at that!) and he still misbehaves ... regularly. Near the end of the book Mogel encourages parents to think of their child's WORST behavior, the thing that drives them batty. It can be a big thing or a little thing, but it has to be something the child does ALL THE TIME. In Kiddo's case, that thing is debating. I tell him to do something and he wants to know why, and give me other options, and explain why it should be done differently, and tell me five stories that are somehow related, and go back to his plan about doing it differently, and on, and on, and on. As a child I swore I'd never use my mom's favorite line on *my* child, but many a time recently I've said to Kiddo "because I said so! And that is the end of the conversation." Of course that is always followed by "But mom ..." which I, in turn, follow with the look. That usually ends things.
Anyway, Mogel says that parents need to realize that that one behavior can be turned into their child's greatest strength if it is channeled properly. She gives an example of a bossy 4-yr old who likes to be in charge. Her mom made it the girl's job to organize the bookshelves and issue reminders to family members to shut off lights, start the dishwasher, etc. This gives the child an outlet for her desire to be in charge while allowing the parent to work on stopping the inappropriate bossiness in other areas. Now I just need to find a way to use Kiddo's chatty argumentativeness in a positive manner ...
I really enjoyed this book even though it is based on religious beliefs I don't share. Christianity and Judaism have many core beliefs in common so even though I'm not Jewish I still found this book very practical and helpful and (usually) in line with my core beliefs.
*** Your Thoughts ***
I haven't come across any other blogger reviews of this book, have you?
Oh, and do you have any great parenting tips or tricks you want to share? Good suggestions are ALWAYS appreciated!