A debut guide focuses on contemporary parenting.
In this comprehensive manual, the author makes clear that her book is about “the emotional health of your children and not about rules regarding bedtimes, napping or what to feed your child.” This friendly, no-nonsense tone reverberates throughout the work, which centers on the basics and insights that Fulla has acquired over many years of raising her own children as a single mother. As she acknowledges from the outset, the world of 21st-century parenting has a wide array of challenges no previous generation faced, including the ubiquity of the internet and all-pervasive video games and social media sites. The outside world intrudes far more and far earlier than it ever did, but one of the author’s earliest and most sustained lessons for her readers is to look inward rather than outward. They should ask themselves questions about their own upbringing and unearth the lessons about parenting it might inadvertently have taught them. This motif of questioning assumptions recurs frequently; Fulla’s effective strategy is to encourage her readers to examine the fundamentals of the very concept of parenting. Always the stress is on patience and understanding, on remembering that although the modern adult world is full of distractions and contradictions, children don’t yet live in that realm and can only be treated fairly—and raised healthily—by parents who constantly remind themselves of that. In this helpful and empathetic guide, parents are entreated to remember the tremendous responsibility of their position as the gatekeepers of so much of what their children learn about society (“If we want our children to do as we say,” the author writes as one example, “perhaps we should look at the words we give them”). Fulla lucidly reminds her readers to respect the individuality of their children—listen to what they’re saying; don’t tell them how to feel. Although much of this advice borders on the self-evident, it’s all presented with an approachable bluntness and self-deprecating wisdom that should make the book invaluable for many parents, especially first-timers.
A straightforward, useful, and compassionate coaching manual for parenting.