Book Review: Good Enough Parenting-The Sensible Discipline Guide for New Parents10:27 AM
Title: Good Enough Parenting-The Sensible Discipline Guide for New Parents
Author: Lisl Fair
Book Length: 104 pages
Main Theme: This book proposes that parents need not aim for perfection which is something impossible, but rather be good enough parents doing their best for their children, themselves, and their family specifically in the area of discipline.
Context of the Book: The author, a mother of four, sought to provide its target readers-the new parents, a basic understanding of child discipline by providing chapters pertaining to the Foundations of Discipline, Nature of Childhood, Training for Character Development, Discipline Methods, Discipline Framework, Good Enough Parenting, and Frequently Asked Questions about Discipline. The main text of each chapter is interspersed with related quotations, personal experiences, and points to ponder. Several diagrams have also been included in relation to the explanations being offered.
My Impressions: The book provides the information it wishes to impart in a fairly easy manner. The author takes care not to insist on a particular strategy for providing child discipline but rather provides several options which readers can apply to their particular situation. The wisdom of the proposed thesis comes from the true and real experience of an admitted imperfect parent which instantly puts the readers at ease since parallelism of experiences is quickly established.
Thesis of the Book: Good Enough Parenting is saying that every family needs to find the level and manner of discipline applicable to them while considering the options that are most desired in terms of effectiveness and veering away from options that are clearly unproductive. There is clear emphasis on the need to instill discipline on young children by providing boundaries early on for the purpose of ensuring appropriate behavior in later years. Most importantly, the book fully recognizes the impossibility of attaining perfection in parenthood and rather supports the more attainable form wherein parents give their best for their children, themselves , and the family.
My Take: What warmed me to this book is that a parent who is not perfect and yet is trying to do the best he/she can under given circumstances can read through it without guilt. Books that dwell too much on what an ideal parent or family should be can be very discouraging for someone who is trying to find solutions. As the author has noted herself, there is already much guilt being carried around by parents who see themselves as failures in the disciplining department and to have such "failures" rubbed in further does not provide much room for positive action.
The author makes an important point in saying that it is usually not the children who drive parents over the edge but the other stress factors in life. Children are only the usual recipients of the effects of these factors because they are conveniently there to receive them. This and other practical points made throughout the book convinced me that this book was made for real people like me.
My Recommendations: Although this book was supposedly prepared for new parents, not-so-new parents can benefit from reading it as well. This book is not for parents looking for highly-scientific explanations of child behavior and discipline. Good Enough Parenting - the book, is for parents who need to be reminded and guided through the sensible path of parenting and child discipline.