Friday, November 30, 2012

You Don't Need a Book for That

The daughter of a dear friend is having her very first baby soon and she put a question out on facebook asking whether or not anyone had read a certain parenting book and whether or not they recommended she read it herself.

Many of her friends encouraged her to buy not only one book but several. And pick the one that's right for her lifestyle.


I don't think so.

First of all, no book is going to be able to tell you how to raise your individual child. They are all different and, just as soon as you think you have him/her/them figured out---they change.

Secondly, those books out there are telling the reader how the author thinks children should be raised. Do parents these days really want someone else making that decision for them?

Third, most of the books are very general but they don't bother explaining that to the readers. Which means that, when their baby doesn't crawl at a certain age, the parents are going to freak out. And, in most cases, unnecessarily so.

So, to the new parents/parents to be out there, I say this:
  • Be a student of your child. No one will ever know your child better than you. Use this knowledge and let that dictate how you will raise your child.
  • Do NOT compare your child to other children and do not compare each of your children to each other.
  • Relax and let your instincts help guide you. Trust yourself.
  • When in doubt, ask an experienced parent.Your own parents are excellent resources! 
  • There is no set cut off date for each phase a child goes through. They advance through stages and phases at different times even within the same family.
  • IF you decide to read one of THOSE books, use it only as a general reference and not a solid truth. 
  • As they grow up, learn to pick your battles. Sometimes the consequences of the acts will enough. Don't add insult to injury.
  • Laugh. A lot!
Finally, enjoy every single moment that you spend raising those marvelous little miracles. And that includes the trying times. Because, in the mere blink of an eye, they'll be all grown up and out on their own. 

What would y'all say to first time/new/expectant parents? I'd love to put the comments together for them. You know, in a sort of 'book' form. LOL Only this advice would be worthy of reading! Hugs, y'all!


  1. Amen, Pam. But, I'm afraid that our society has created a lot of insecurities with many experts looking for work. So, they write books and create even more lack of confidence in new parents. And, you know, families can be so small nowadays that those grown-ups may never had had anything to do with a baby before. Nothing like being the oldest of many to teach you how it all works.

  2. You listed great advice!

    I did a similar post back in July before a baby shower I was going to:

    here's what I wrote for the advice given (but this is assuming someone has a faith in God)

    Pray daily for your child, for their safety, obviously, but that they would come to know Jesus earlier than later in their life and that they would be passionate for him, that they would be used mightily to further his kingdom. Pray daily for your child's future spouse. Yes, they are young and still in diapers and dating and marriage are years away, but pray that their future spouse will be a person also deeply in love with Jesus (I had a friend who did this when both their kids were young and both married awesome spouses who knew Jesus as their Lord and Savior).

    Treasure each day; even the hard ones. Don't rush through the days or the seasons of your child's life. Don't rush for them to sleep through the night, to walk, to talk, to be in school because the time goes by so incredibly fast anyway. Just enjoy each and every day, even the bad ones.

    Take time for yourself as a couple. It is okay to go and leave the little one in loving capable hands (of which there are abundance of grandparents and aunts). They will do just fine without you and you need that time to reconnect with each other.

    Above all else, trust God with your whole heart and give them to him completely. After all, he was the one that knitted them together and counted their hair. He does know what is best all the time.

    I would definitely say for them just to not rush things, like you said, since it does go by so fast!!

    how exciting for them all!


  3. AMEN!! Let the dishes soak and enjoy the kids!!
    Do the sweeping another day. .

  4. Stephanie- Excellent points. I was never concerned with having kids- I guess it was all that babysitting I did growing up...and being the oldest of four kids.

    betty- I like your advice. Funny, I guess I figure prayer just comes naturally to parents- how else would we survive parenthood? LOL If you don't mind, I'll pass it on.

    Deb- Oh yeah, ask for help is a good one! My granddaddy always said that the kids were more important than the chores!

  5. All excellent points, Pam. The two that stand out most, for me, are a)Pick your battles and b) Laugh a lot! Those can't be stressed enough! People have been having babies and raising children successfully since long before there was movable type.

  6. My advice is to WRITE IT DOWN!!!
    You will be amazed by how much you (and also your husbands and kids) will enjoy looking back, even before they are grown up, at the funny/cute/even embarrassing things they did or said as they were growing up.

    You are so busy, you forget things that you think you will remember.

    I have kept a daily journal for about thirty years, and even with that, I still wish I had kept separate "notes" of my kids funny little "stories". Even just a sentence or two can bring back great memories! I have them all in my journals, but I have to "dig" for them sometimes!

  7. Very wise advice Pam. Gosh I wish you had written this when I was a new Mommy. I would have to say though the one book I read until the covers fell off was The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. I had to carry that thing around like shield. Ron's Mom called him at work to tell him I was going to starve the baby to death when I didn't start pablum at one month. Everything I did with my kids I had to fight for even being afraid they would call CPS on me. It was so scary sometimes. I am thankful though I stood my ground. I think picking your battles is so important and I think also that you must be the one who sees what no one can see and stand for them and not against them. I see so many parents that treat their kids like they are the enemy. It makes me sick.
    I am glad you are such a wise lady, I think you could write the book I would read. :)

  8. I enjoyed having a few books around when my children were little ones. Your advice is excellent!


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