...finally, somebody speaks some common sense.
This from Dr Sandra Aamodt, author of a recent book called Welcome to Your Child's Brain:
"Everybody wants one-size-fits-all parenting advice, and I think the one thing that's really come out of the last 20 years of research into paediatric behaviour is that there's never going to be one-size-fits-all advice. Parents do have some ability to influence events but you really must start with the child you have and not the child you wished for."
Amen, sister. I want to read this book already.
One of my big issues with many parenting books (both Christian and secular) is that they are overly simplistic and advocate their own approach as the one true way. That is, by following the book's program, routine or whatever, you are guaranteed a child who sleeps all night, behaves properly in every situation and becomes a Christian when they grow up. It's not as straightforward as this generally. And it makes some parents stressy and anxious if their kid doesn't fit the pattern. The less stressed ones just say they're flexible and don't follow the program to the letter, which is fine, but then why bother with it at all in the first place?
I relate much better to the books that give choices. The ones that suggest following the child's lead rather than what the book says. The ones that say that if this works, do it, but it doesn't always work. If something else works better, then try that. Maybe you'll need to try a lot of different things. The ones that give the message that we're all trying our best here, and there are no guaranteed outcomes in this parenting gig. All we can really do is keep trying (and messing up with our kids lots of times), and praying for them and for ourselves.