Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A book review (to come) and a giveaway!

Periodically I review products, books and the like for Mom Central. A few weeks ago I was chosen to review a (Canadian! in fact, Ontarian!) book called Character is the Key: How to Unlock the Best in Our Children and Ourselves. I'm almost half-way through the book and I am very excited about applying Sara Dimerman's program to our family. It didn't hurt that when I opened it to the forward it was written by John Havercroft, former superintendent of the York Region District School Board (north of Toronto) and father to an old friend from camp, Bill. It caused me to like the book immediately. Anywho.

Let me give you a taste (a full review will come in a couple of days) from the back of the book (there are so many gems I want to share):

Would you like to see your children:
  • taking greater initiative at home and at school?
  • taking more responsibility for their actions?
  • valuing togetherness as a family and wanting to spend more time with you?
  • consistently treating peers, adults and themselves with respect?
  • persisting through challenges and not giving up prematurely?
  • being honest even when the truth is difficult to share?
  • motivated to help with chores around the house?
  • less influenced by negative peer pressure and more able to stand up for what they believe?
  • Looking forward to a bright and successful future?
Okay, so obviously we all answered yet to all of those questions. And I opened the book hoping that the author would show me how to do this. So far, I am getting a taste of that. The second half of the book is where the real meat of "the plan" comes into place - family meetings, worksheets, exercises. The first half is a deep reflection on modelling behaviour intentionally; that is, being a living example for our children. If we want our children to persist through challenges and not give up prematurely, then we need to do the same when presented with something difficult; we need to tell the truth even when it is difficult and make sure they see it happen; we need to stand up for what we believe in and talk to them about it when we do.

It is very inspiring and is reinvigorating me in regards to intentional parenting and character building. There is a lot her to chew on. I'll have more to report in a few days.

In the meantime, the publisher has graciously agreed to send one of you lovely people a copy of this book. So, all you need to do is make a comment here. Tell me what you do to parent intentionally or areas that you could work on. I'll leave this open for a week and then I'll randomly pull one of your names. Good luck!


little b said...

I'm interested in the book. I have avoiding parenting books until now, but Kate has started to exert her will lately and I'm wondering if we could use some new strategies. It's pretty hard to teach her patience when I lose mine all the time.

Chara said...

I am always looking for opportunities to learn as a parent - especially where teaching self confidence and strong values are concerned. I find with day care influences (read: other kid influences), it can be a battle. I think our family strength is being clear on what our values are and sharing those with our child. My personal weakness is patience.

mamagoose said...

i am a strong believer in GOYB parenting ( get off your butt) and we try to parent with intention most days...some days are better than others. but i am always looking for ideas to keep us connected and help build her up. it was much easier to do this before she started preschool and is daily faced with other kids and their parents' "intentions". ( or rather, lack thereof...)

at the end of the day, i hope that at least a few of our intentions are sinking in...they seem to be. but there are always struggles. and though patience is a virtue, it has not been one of mine prior to becoming a parent.

it continues to be a sharp learning curve for me :)

Marnie said...

WIth four kids, I often feel as if I am simply "managing" them (sweeping their crumbs, wiping their faces, monitoring school work, buckling them into car seats). I constantly remind myself to TAKE A BREATH, and to ENJOY this time in our lives, and not to get bogged down in the checking off of my parenting to-do list. This is hard sometimes, but in the whole map of our lives, the parenting season is relatively short.

ecomama.ca said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ecomama said...

I totally concur with Marnie! With three year old triplets, we find parenting especially challenging some days. The biggies for us are respecting and nurturing their individuality and leading by example. Not always easy! And the patience thing - ooooh ouch. Would love to read this book.

Julie said...

sounds like a great book. i want to make sure that max is independent and compassionate. we still haven't figured out the independence thing yet, though he did pull his own pants down the other day to use the potty, which I though was a huge step. he has show some very touching moments of compassion, which i can only hope to build on.