Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Book Review: Parking Lot Rules

Parking Lot Rules & 75 Other Ideas for Raising Amazing Children Parking Lot Rules and 75 Other Ideas for Raising Amazing Children
by Tom Sturges




My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Divorced dad of two sons, executive, coach, and teacher Tom Sturges wrote a collection of parenting "rules" to live by. The book contains some worthwhile tidbits, such as:

 3. Grow the tree you've got--your child might not be exactly what you get, but love him or her for their own unique personality

 4. Smile when you see them--greet your child with love and affection

 5. Once seen, never unseen--protect your child from seeing unpleasant or traumatic things that will scar them for life (this is why we kept our then-5-year-old son from all news media after 9/11)

 6. Treat her like your boss--treat your child with goodwill and the benefit of the doubt, just as you would your boss

 22. When you get upset, whisper--it carries more than yelling

 33. Thank you notes--we are big believers in thank you notes in our household!

 45. Your child has to know where you are--switch the responsibility by advising your child to keep his or her eye on you at all times

 But here's what I didn't like:

 *The obsession with sports--a whole chapter of parenting tips related to sports?

 *The sanctimonious attitude--although I agree that it's a good idea not to yell at children, it's hard to believe that Sturges has never fallen into that trap himself...and in fact, a few of the anecdotes he tells about his own parenting are worse than yelling in my opinion...

 *Then there's his ideas to give children the silent treatment as a "nonviolent" punishment, or to squirt water on a child who is having a temper tantrum...so much of the book is exhorting parents to treat children with respect, and then there are these hairbrained ideas, which dilute and discount all the good ideas in the book.
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