In the good old days, kids were kids. They fell over, got dirty, played with their friends, and did all kinds of things that kids had always done.
But somewhere along the way, things changed. Life got busier and more complicated. Our existence is dominated by smartphones (but dumb people), social media (but rampant narcissism), and dozens of New Age parenting books.
This is not one of them.
Unlike other no-nonsense parenting books, this one actually got me off my butt to work on stuff that I haven't been doing right.
Written by Nigel Latta, a clinical psychologist and father of two who confesses that his job is fixing kids, the 10 rules are laid out in a clear and refreshingly down-to-earth style. If you're an overstretched parent who wishes your family life were guilt-free and more enjoyable, you will appreciate the humour that Nigel injects into his writing. What's more? The case studies have an easy-to-follow structure, and the solutions do not need a PhD to comprehend.
And if you're busy (a.k.a. lazy), you can just read the front part of the book, which conveniently summarises Nigel's 10 simple rules for raising kids. Or, you can follow Nigel's recommendation to skip ahead and read some of the case studies first. But do come back and read this section. It's important, says the author.
One of the rules highlighted is pretty interesting (and true) — #3 Children are piranhas:
Children are attention-piranhas. They are ravenous. They can devour a cow-load of attention in one sitting. They are so hungry for this stuff that they go into a feeding frenzy whenever there's some to be had. They are so hungry for it that they'll do anything to get it, even if this means doing things that ultimately are self-destructive.
So there you have it! A glimpse of what to expect in this book. Read 'em and weep (hopefully, tears of joy for your new-found freedom).
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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.)