there'll be days like this

the children are short, the days are long

Saturday, January 24, 2009

My new bible

At the used bookstore the other day, I broke down and purchased a book that I have referenced more than once while browsing. It is The Child From 5 to 10 by Gesell, and though I found it in the parenting section, it is really a child development text.

And it is what I have really needed all along.

I hate taking advice. I love to dole it out. But I hate to take it. And I really hate parenting books full of high-faluting ideas that obviously would not work in our house. Or they don't even cover the things I am concerned about or dealing with. Therefore, they mostly sit on the shelf unread or just plain don't live here. (The exception being How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk which is a very helpful book.)

What is awesome about this book is that
  • It was written in 1946 and minimally updated in 1977.
  • It spells out absolutely everything about children's behaviors.
  • It makes practically everything seem normal.
  • It helps me feel better about what is just a phase.
  • There is no advice, just information.

I have had this problem from the start of both expecting too much of Sebastian because he is so articulate and of not knowing what was a phase and what was just his personality. It's easier with Dorian because, although they are very different, there are certain phases that all kids go through and I've already been through it once. I know they will not nurse all night forever, for example, which makes the time that they do more manageable. But everything we go through with Sebastian is the first time, and he is a few months older than most of his friends, so they get the benefit of my experience, but I have no one to help me.

So this book basically just laid it on the table for me that my child (hallelujah!) is normal. I love the old-fashioned wording. My new favorite statement is, "It is not an edifying experience to be at table with a 6 year old." It really cuts the tension. When I read that section on eating to Amanda, we just laughed and laughed. How is it that someone in 1946 was able to describe the behavior at our dinner tables so accurately?!

I think all of you with children of this age group really need to get a copy. For less than $5, you can have all the reassurance you need. Go on, click the link at the top. You'll be glad you did. (I'm talking to you, Katrina.)

1 comment:

Moment said...

Thank you my friend.