Yukevich’s hands-on workbook prompts readers to discover their own answers to parenting questions.
In her debut how-to book, the author doesn’t aim to dispense parenting advice so that readers may raise perfect children. Instead, she describes her work as “a series of discovery exercises for parents to access their own beliefs, values, strengths and resourcefulness.” The book offers eight practical “sessions,” which can be completed in an hour or less, for busy parents at all stages of child-rearing. Each session contains four parts: theme (the author’s thoughts and/or anecdotes on the topic at hand), discovery (personal questions or activities for readers to ponder), action (action prompts for readers), and review (a summary of insights and actions). The succinct, easy-to-understand questions (such as, “What did you want to get done but didn’t?”) are applicable to real-life situations and repeated in weekly review sections. Yukevich’s authorial voice is nonjudgmental and gentle as she directly addresses readers, and her exercises emphasize positives, such as one’s parenting strengths. One upbeat writing prompt, for example, encourages parents to relive a “golden moment” that they spent with their children that week. However, Yukevich doesn’t shrink from the tougher questions, such as, “On your death bed, what will you be glad you experienced and/or regret missing?” Some of the discovery activities include helpful visual aids. For instance, one instructs participants to label a diagram called a “Love Wheel” with words such as “time” and “calm”; the end result is a chart depicting areas in which one may need personal improvement. One should complete the sessions in order, writes Yukevich, as each one builds on the last, culminating in a one-page worksheet. Although this relatively slim workbook is designed to be used either alone or with partners, groups, or coaches, one could also use it in classrooms. The author provides spaces to write directly in the book, although more prolific writers may need an additional notebook. The author’s common-sense reflections will help readers rediscover things they already know about parenting but may have forgotten during the hustle and bustle of life.
A practical tool in which honest self-assessment is the key to success.