Last Updated on 29 June 2023
The blurb on the back cover screamed: “Time-Management Magic for Stressed-Out Parents”, which is a bit of a hyperbole because much of it is common sense, not magic.
Still, if you're looking for a book with bite-sized parenting tips on how to create shared moments out of fleeting minutes with your kids, this might be right up your alley.
As the author puts it, the book is not written to be read from cover to cover. Most of the chapters are short. Some of them barely stretch to one page and not all “chapters” are relevant to your particular situation or locale.
If possible, try not to skip Part 1, which lays out the basic principles of No Regrets Parenting: Turning Long Days and Short Years into Cherished Moments with Your Kids. Although there is no single “right” way to raise kids, a universal truth applies to any parenting philosophy you may choose: Your kids need you to be there. Hence, the book doesn't deal much with particular parenting philosophies. Instead, it is primarily about time – finding enough of it and making the most of it.
Before you go into a panic mode, the author reminds us that we don't have to be superhuman to manage our time with our kids. There will always be minutes you can't spare, times when you are too busy, and moments that are lost to the realities of life despite your best efforts. We just need to set the right priorities and avoid the guilt trip when circumstances are beyond our control.
Furthermore, kids need to grow their independence and you need to provide the balance between the time they spend with you and the time they need away from you to develop this independence.
The author cautions that if you try to do each and every one of the suggestions in Part 2 of the book, your sanity may be out of the question. Hence, don't try to drive yourself and your kids up a wall by using this book as an inflexible instruction manual for your lives.
If you're a tiger mom or potpourri parent, you'll find some useful insights in this book, especially on one of the most important obligations and thrills of parenting: letting kids be kids.
Proud father of two lovely kids, who at times pushed me to seriously consider editing out the word “lovely” from this sentence. (I am not alone in this.)