Posts Tagged ‘ conflict ’

Really, ‘It’s Okay Not to Share’ by Heather Shumaker

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

Is it the 1980s again? I almost thought so after reading the new parenting book called It’s Okay Not to Share by journalist Heather Shumaker. I mean this in a good way.

While sometimes the advice reminded me of Roseanne Barr’s best lines, mostly I thought this new book was brilliant. Shumaker has guts. She’s not afraid to write what most of us are secretly thinking. For example, recently a mom lectured my son about sharing his pirate ship during a playdate. I had the itch to say, ‘Actually, I wouldn’t share my Coach purse with you, so why would my son want to give his toy to your 3-year-old?’ I’ve always wondered why we push this sharing thing on young kids when we adults don’t swap GAP shirts and car keys.

So here are my favorite “renegade rules for raising competent and compassionate kids” from the book. This was good stuff–some of it made me scratch my hair and go, ‘whoa!’

1. My youngest is headed to kindergarten in a month, and all summer long, I’ve been asking my husband, “Is he ready?” This child has a late summer birthday, often pees his pants and doesn’t know the letter J. Shumaker’s book tells me to get over myself. She writes, “Should we teach you [parents] to get ready for old age?” Of course not. So why are we worried about how “ready” our kids are all the time? “Don’t rush kids into academic learning until they’re six or seven. It’s a waste of their precious time.” Instead, she emphasizes that my son needs to play. I know he would agree. (more…)

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