5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Excellent though not perfect,
This review is from: The Rules of Parenting (The Rules Series) (Paperback)The job of being a parent is of such difficulty and novelty that when we have our first child all we ask for is a manual. First, one for the baby, then for the toddler, the child, the teenager, and beyond... This book is definitely on the right track and it is a considerable effort by an author who has already given us other similarly titled books on other subjects, such as work and being a (good) manager.
This book is very, very, very good. It consists on 100 rules that parents should (if they agree) follow in order to have better relationships with their children. Most of the rules are easy to understand (having been briefly but convincingly explained by the author always in less than two pages each). Of those, most are simple to enact. Hopefully, the results will be easy to see.
I have some qualms with this book though. The main one is that most rules are actually too obvious - or at least to me. Reading through it I couldn't stop thinking 'I could have written that'. Some rules are not so obvious, though, hence my four-star rating.
On the other hand, I also heartily disagree with a few of the rules. For example, the author explains that, and I'm quoting loosely, 'it's more important [for parents] to agree [on what to say to their children when being requested for something] than whatever is being agreed on'. I'm afraid I can't agree with this, as it may lead to profound injustices as seen from the perspective of a child. My alternative is that if both parents agree on something that turns out to be wrong, they should instead recognise the mistake, apologise to their child/ren and fix it. In fact, there's another rule that says it's okay for parents to apologise. I definitely agree with that one. So it's not just important for parents to agree, but mostly to agree on the right things.
Also, given the way that the book is structured in sections with a fixed number of rules each, it led to some imperfections such as some rules that seem to be repeated in slightly different terms elsewhere, rules that overlap other, etc. Those small things should be fixed but are perfectly forgivable.
One thing that this book is one hundred percent on the mark is that it doesn't lecture you on the specifics of WHAT to do or WHAT NOT not to do, but actually on HOW to do or HOW NOT to do things. This is of crucial importance, otherwise you'd end up disagreeing with a lot more and wouldn't take the rules seriously at all. For example, imagine that the author is in favour of a religious education but you aren't - or vice-versa. Would you continue reading the book after an advice in this area?
All in all, this is an excellent, solid book. Even if it isn't perfect, or if you don't agree with any of the rules, it does makes you think and evaluate what you have been doing or what you shall be doing when such a situation arises.