Raising a Self-Reliant Child: A Back-to-Basics Parenting Plan from Birth to Age 6

To be honest, I have to start this post with the fact that I didn’t finish this book and after renewing from the library five times, I’ve come to the realization that I will not be finishing this book. That is not to say that Dr. Alanna Levine’s Raising a Self-Reliant Child: A Back-to-Basics Parenting Plan from Birth to Age 6, isn’t worth a read. Its that I’ve already read a parenting book this year and between that and the random articles I read, I just didn’t need anymore advice right now.

This book is exactly as the lengthy title suggest, a basic approach to many parenting problems: sleep training, discipline, communication, etc. And the advice is good and set up in an easy to follow format for any parenting needs. I really did like the step by step instructions broken down in the middle of the chapters for easy reference. The stories with the misbehaving children and at-a-loss parents are amusing and appropriate without at any time Dr. Levine crossing a professional line.

As a pediatrician, her opinions are valid and her approach is both loving and stern which if followed I believe would help any parent raise a self-reliant child. This book would make an excellent baby shower present for a first time parent to help them when they hit the rough patches.

Read (mostly) July 2013

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Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood

Father and son, Jim Fay and Charles Fay, wrote Love and Logic Magic… together. I don’t think this is the first in the series, and since it was published in 2000, it may not even be the last.

Unlike most books, I requested this as a tutorial for myself in dealing with my 4 and 1 1/2 year olds. And much like I expected there wasn’t a whole lot of new information contained in this book. That doesn’t mean that it wasn’t helpful. What I mean is that this book has a lot of common sense approaches to dealing with children. A lot of which I feel I know, but lose in the heat of battle. Yes, I am comparing raising young children to being in a constant battle.

What I liked about this book is the simplicity and the structure that you can use in almost every situation. It was a good reminder that I’m raising my children not just to be good children, but to be good teenagers (scary thought!) and adults.

Of course there’s a lot of horror stories about children misbehaving at the worst time, which always gives me the self satisfaction of “well at least that one isn’t mine.” But parenting is also about feeling alone at the worst of times when someones screaming at you at the top of their lungs, the exact moment that its hard to think calmly and clearly. This technique is more about training the adults to act like the adults and give us repetition so that we don’t forget what to say at the moment. So that the adult can be calm and clear and most important consistent. All of which will benefit the children as well as the parents.

The point is to stop treating the tantrums as battles and let them be learning experiences. I like this in theory so far, we’ll see what happens in practice.

Read February 2013