Parenting manuals, love them or hate them ?


As I listen to my teen stomping around the kitchen mumbling about homework and calling it ‘child cruelty,’ I am reading an article describing a new parenting manual involving Mindfulness.

The new manual from America has recently been unleashed on us already stressed British parents.

‘The Conscious Parent’ is 17 chapters explaining how to create well-adjusted adults by ‘parenting with your child,’ which relies on you developing a “relationship with your own inner state of wholeness” (no, I don’t understand either).

To achieve this you must ignore all previous advice, disregard your own childhood and let children evolve naturally without the pressure of working towards better grades, education and opportunities.

Siobhan Freegard of Netmums said:

“Maybe if you have a nanny, or are not actually doing that much parenting, the philosophy of books like these are great. Otherwise it’s the stuff of fantasy.”

It is only the last couple of decades that the gurus of parenting manuals have received celebrity status, promoting their books on TV chat shows and shoving sharing parenting advice straight into our living rooms.

In a poll on social networking site Grannynet 60% of Grandparents said they never felt the need for a parenting book when they were expecting, or when bringing up their children. They asked their Mother or went by instinct, with health visitor advice and tips from friends the grandparents questioned agreed there was no need for a book.

In fact the only books 38% had looked at were by doctors, especially Dr Benjamin Spock, the expert popular in the 50’s & 60’s, as recently mentioned on Call the Midwife!

Verity Gill, founder of Grannynet, said: ‘We have been seeing more and more grandmothers talking about their concerns on the forum about the effect parenting books were having on their children. One grandmother said: ‘Some are very good at making mothers feel guilty.’ ‘We think it’s important for mothers to be encouraged to discover their own inner instincts, something books can overlook.’

I agree with the Grandparents,  ‘conscious parenting’ is not for me, I’m developing a relationship with a calm glass of wine, more ‘unconscious parenting’ I’d call it.

What do you think, where do you turn if you need parenting advice?

And then the fun began...


1 Comment

  1. January 27, 2015 / 20:07

    It’s a load of old tosh really isn’t it?! I bought ‘What to Expect the First Year’ and one called ‘First Time Parent’ (both published in the UK I believe) but really, every child is different (as is every parent) and I’m totally with you and Grannynet that we find our way through instinct and advice and conversation with friends and family. Maybe some of the sleep technique books etc, might work for some – I also know people who swore by Gina Ford’s regime – but I just kind of winged it (and you can probably tell!!). For me, mindfulness in parenting simply means put down your iPhone and get stuck in with the rail building! Thanks so much for linking up to #thetruthabout X

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