Last week, I wrote about a frustrated father, who boarded a school bus to confront some male classmates of his daughter who were bullying her, and also in the past I posted a blog of a bullying incident with a more tragic ending. Too often, parents will ask me in frustration if there is a parenting manual which I can recommend to them. While the answer still remains no, "Modern Parents, Vintage Values" comes close.
Recently I came across this new book, Modern Parents, Vintage Values, by the authors Sissy Goff and Melissa Trevathan. Goff and Trevathan just wrote what I consider to be a great book for parents needing help in instilling traditional values in their children, in a modern and fast paced world.
The book delivers well on its title, in that it addresses most issues parents face in a modern day environment, with proposed strategies to instill traditional values in children and teens. For most of us our only experience at parenting prior to having our children, is based on how we were raised by our parents. This means that the parenting skills our parents were using to rear us, were best suited for their times. Times have changed.
It used to be that parents were concerned about their children learning bad habits outside the home. Now with the Internet fully mainstream, children can learn bad habits in the home. These days, I find myself taking more new cases of children acting out in schools, based on something they witnessed on an adult site. It might lend some explanation to why some thirteen year olds had a condom, or condoms in their possession from the school bus incident I wrote about last week.
"Modern Parents, Vintage Values" is not just a solution oriented book, but it is also insight oriented. The book is divided into three parts. The chapters of the first part have to do with practicing parenting in a modern world. Issues having to do with teaching children to adopt sensible assertiveness over fear, such as dealing with strangers is explored. Other issues dealt with in this chapter are parenting an oppositional defiant child or teen, "what do I do when my son tells me to shut up?". Entitlement issues are also addressed at great length, "how do I teach my daughter gratitude, when she thinks she deserves a cell phone, laptop, and the rest of the gadgets her peers have?", parenting children with low social skills is also addressed, "how much easier is it to attack a foe with a bow and arrow sitting on the comforts of your couch than ask a girl out on a date?" Also on the issue of hypocrisy, which every parent I know has been accused off, to include my wife and I in the future ( I am certain), the issue of role modeling desired behavior and self accountability is explored.
The chapters of the second part of the book, address effective strategies to teach vintage values, such as kindness, compassion, forgiveness, gratitude, integrity, responsibility, patience, manners and confidence. I like that there is a chapter dedicated to each of these values, I also find part two to be my favorite part, because it helps to clarify the misunderstanding some parents have around the findings of research studies that the prefrontal cortex of the brain does not stop developing until the mid twenties for the average adult.
These days it is not unusual to hear someone who will explain away, an inexcusable behavior committed by a teen, with a "reminder" that the brain of a teen is not fully developed. Given that the prefrontal cortex has been determined in numerous studies to be responsible for the execution of one's values, in regards to judgment and impulse control; the chapters of part two support my belief that people don't automatically become mature in their twenties, it is a process. In truth, older children and teens are very capable of learning and practicing these values on a consistent basis. Further, the sooner parents begin teaching their children about practicing the values highlighted in chapter two, the more ingrained these values will be in a person's adulthood.
My take on the third and last part of the book, (but not the least) is a reminder to parents about their limitations as human beings. In regards to recognizing that there is so much a parent can do, and placing an important emphasis on self care and achieving and maintaining inner peace.
The great thing about the book is that you can begin implementing parenting techniques and strategies, before you have finished the book. This is a great read, and one that I have begun recommending to the parents and guardians I work with.
I currently have nine complimentary copies to give away. Starting today, for any parent or guardian interested in a copy, all you have to do is show up at the Road 2 Resolutions office, and the sweet lady at the front desk will give you a copy. I originally, had ten copies, but prior to my completion of this post, I had already given one away. Needless to say, this offer is only valid for Tucson residents, or persons who happen to be visiting Tucson AZ, This offer is also valid until the last copy has been taken.