None of us have unlimited time to indulge in reading blogs so our blog choices must be made wisely. I regularly dip into a few inspiring parenting blogs, a few spiritually nourishing blogs, and a few smart brainy blogs. I find all three of those elements in one of my favorites. It’s written by clinical psychologist, husband, father to two sons, former director and screenwriter, and all-around gentle soul Bruce Dolin. It’s named Privilege of Parenting. which really says a lot about the content. Every post gives me something to think about, but if you want to drift over that direction try How is Narcissism like Footed Pajamas?, Parenting Manifesto, How Doing Things At Which We “Suck” Can Be Good Parenting, and Relationship is Everything.
Now Bruce has a book out, also titled Privilege of Parenting. I must have read a hundred parenting books and in too many I find finger wagging about particular “rules” that must be followed. Family bed, or the kids are ruined. Baby wearing, or the kids are ruined. Bruce doesn’t go there. He offers stories and metaphors, giving us ways to understand ourselves and our children. Many of the stories he shares come from his professional experience working with troubled kids. Others come from literature, films, and lessons he’s learned in his own life.
As he explains in the book’s introduction,
Children are a gift, sacred beings entrusted to us to facilitate their growth and development. But parenting can also be transformative for the parent. No one is fully formed when they choose to parent, no matter how good a planner they are. Parenting is a perfect arena for our own growth and enlightenment because it takes us beyond our self and demands we use our highest power–the power to love.
One of the core concepts in this book is cultivating good relationships with our children. He addresses this from all angles and doesn’t shy away from the hard stuff, from a child’s pain at the state of the world or from difficult circumstances that cause strife but can also build resilience. He offers dozens of refreshingly different exercises to try, each one calling us to be present to ourselves while deepening our understanding of ourselves and our children.
There isn’t much he doesn’t cover. The table of contents include a wide range of topics such as: ”Sometimes Worry is an Act of Love,” “Helping Sad Kids Feel Better,” “Understanding and Dealing with Oppositionality,” and “Using Intuition to Parent Better.”
This is a book to read with a highlighter. It extends the promise of wisdom that’s applicable to our lives, right now.
Read his blog, get his book, and deepen the path parenting takes you on every single day.
Review copy provided.
About Laura Grace Weldon
Laura Grace Weldon is a writer, editor, conflict resolution educator, and marginally useful farm wench. She is the author of Free Range Learning: How Homeschooling Changes Everything. She lives with her family on Bit of Earth Farm. Check out life on the farm at http://bitofearthfarm.wordpress.com/ and keep up with Laura’s relentless optimism at http://lauragraceweldon.com/blog-2/