3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
Parenting is a difficult job. With two kids of my own, one of whom would be considered “strong-willed,” I am no stranger to parenting books. Therefore, I was delighted to get a chance to review Nobody’s Perfect: Parenting in a World of Change by Marlene Resnick Simons. Nobody’s Perfect is a concise, approachable book for those looking to improve their parenting skills and increase the odds that their kids will grow to be happy, kind, and well-adjusted people in today’s modern world.
The book is written in a nonjudgmental, friendly manner. The author emphasizes that perfection is not needed in parenting, but parents do need to have a good understanding of the job description, so to speak. She states that her “goal is for parents to become wise guides rather than CEOs or commanders.” She emphasizes that authoritarian parenting styles are not conducive to teaching children to make good choices on their own, leading instead to rebellion and sneakiness. By modeling the behavior and values we want to see our kids reflect, loving and supporting our kids unconditionally, even when they go through questionable phases, and including them in appropriate conflict resolution strategies rather than attempting to bend them to our will, we will provide them with the tools to become responsible adults.
I really liked that the author came from a place of expertise when writing this book. She has a Master’s degree in family studies and is a credentialed parent educator with experience as a director of foster care and counseling services. She presents many eye-opening points that I hadn’t found in other parenting books. For example, she points out that unless they have a relevant educational background, most parents never take a course in child development. This lack of education leads to misunderstandings and conflict which could be avoided if parents had a better understanding of their children’s developmental stages and abilities. Because toddlers and preschoolers typically display strong verbal skills, parents mistakenly assume that their logic and self-control are on a similar level. Therefore, parents often believe children misbehave due to naughtiness or disrespect rather than realizing they themselves have unrealistic expectations of their children’s abilities.
Although there were many helpful ideas in this book, I found that in some areas it lacked depth. There were several times when the author would make an interesting point, and just as I was getting ready to learn more, she would move to another subject. The author often mentioned common mistakes that parents make but was vague about the best alternatives. I would have loved to see more details about some of the points the author was making or some real-world examples of how to put some of her strategies into action. I would also have liked to see the book spend a little more time on older kids, as most of it was geared toward children ages 2 to 5.
The book was well-written overall. It flowed well, the tone was positive, and I noticed very few errors. I found a lot of the ideas helpful, and I rate it 3 out of 4 stars. If it went into a little more depth on some of the methods of changing parental behavior and avoiding common pitfalls, I think it would earn a perfect score. I would recommend this book to new parents and anyone who is committed to the idea of moving away from an authoritarian style of parenting.
View: on Bookshelves