Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Above All, Be Kind
Just finished reading Above All, Be Kind: Raising a Humane Child in Challenging Times.
Definitely an interesting read and a worthwhile read. She gives lots of scenarios and how parents dealt with them - she even includes a few brief interview with kids who are humane and what their parents did to get them there.
I'm glad I read it. I wrote down a few other books to read from her recommended reading section. Also has a few facts on sweatshop labor, child labor, etc, etc to get you thinking about how what you are doing every day impacts the great world outside your door and on the other side of the planet.
The only downfall, is every example she uses works out perfectly and well and beautifully and wonderfully. Now, chances are, you aren't going to talk to your child about something and have it end so perfectly - however she does acknowledge that at one point and says if it doesn't go so smoothly at your house, just keep trying. Which I did like, but it would have been nice to read about a family who had to keep trying too, ya know? Also, and this is totally personal and not because the author is a bad writer, but she clearly has issue with people eating meat. The topic of vegetarianism comes up time and time again. The kids she interviews in the back, she makes a point of saying in each of their blurbs when they became vegetarian - I admit, it got old. It felt like her first goal with the book was to teach you to raise a humane child and the second goal was to convert all readers to vegetarianism. I have nothing against it, and have cut back on meat at our house, but we'll probably never go completely meat free and I felt like I was being preached at a bit on the topic. That, is totally me. You might read it and not notice it, but it kept jumping out at me on the page!
Anyway, I think the biggest impact the book left on me is that I can talk to my children about some of these issues - at age appropriate and I can say to them we are picking this product because we not only like it but we believe in the values of the company. And that kids can get involved in some bigger issues even at younger ages and if we see a spark like that in our child, run with it with them, even if you don't necessarily agree with them. (An example in the child protests against animal testing but his mom is a doctor who believes animal testing is important for humans in the long run. The mom didn't agree with her son, but she didn't try to squelch his passion for it either).
Anyway, I give it 4 out 5. And really would encourage you to read the book as well!