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Finding Parenting Advice in Peculiar Places

This article, entitled Finding parenting advice in peculiar places comes from Nicole Knepper, writer of Moms Who Drink and Swear © on chicagonow.com.

If you do a Google search for the best parenting websites, you will not, I repeat NOT, come across my blog, which is a good thing, because I have no advice for you about parenting aside from the obvious stuff that even a toddler playing with dolls knows. But for some reason, my book gets lumped with the parenting books in bookstores. This got me thinking.

Maybe my book is a good resource for parents because it’s not about how to parent or what parents should be doing! My book is about how to figure out how WHO YOU ARE influences the way you raise your children. It’s about taking the good and taking the bad and taking the both and there you have the facts of life. You are singing that song now aren’t cha?

Not sorry.

Anyhoooo…I was thinking that since some goofballs seem to think that MY book could be considered a parenting resource, why couldn’t some of the books that influenced me as a parent (while freaking me out and entertaining me) be considered “parenting resources?” Here is my little list of books that in my humble opinion, could and for God's sake should also be as parenting resources.

Children’s Crappy Art by Maddox

Yeah most kid art sucks! You love your kid’s art and that’s okay. Love it all you want, but don’t expect other people to. This collection by Maddox smacks of truth, justice and the American way. We need to treat our kids with the respect and honesty they deserve. If their art project sucks, it sucks. You don’t have to insult them and say so, but don’t lie either.

Running with Scissors by Augusten Burrows

If Burrows could survive that childhood, it won’t kill your kid to take out the garbage and unload the dishwasher and follow all the rules you set. So if you find yourself whining martyr-style about how nobody ever helps you around the house, yet don't require jack-squat from your offspring, or constantly let them off the hook for breaking the rules, (because you think “kids only job should be to work hard in school and have fun” and “kids will be kids”) this book is a good read for you. You can learn from it.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Yeah, yeah, this is a work of fiction, but don’t think for a hot second that this couldn’t or wouldn’t happen in real life. The lesson here is that kids are strong, capable, and resilient - and you should not underestimate them. EVER. They see and hear and understand life on a level that most of us don’t give them credit for AND it’s a good idea to remember that as a parent, nature bears just as much responsibility as nurture for who your kids really are.

Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

SHUT-UP-IF-YOU-DON’T-UNDERSTAND-JUST-HOW-AMAZING-THIS-HUMAN-BEING-WAS! This insightful and energetic young girl managed to maintain hope for humanity and emotional maturity beyond what most people achieve in a lifetime, all while locked up for two years, hiding from the Nazis. Her spirit could not be crushed despite the harsh conditions she endured. The lesson here is that kids have a wealth of resources within themselves that they can and should be encouraged to discover these wonderful gifts on their own. I am not telling you to lock your kids up for two years, but YES, teach them the importance of self-discovery via downtime, learning how to be alone and aware of their own thoughts. Being bored is a state of mind and the mind is a terrible thing to waste.



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