The Parenting Book I’ll Never Write

Last week was one of those weeks when the kids were awful, and my response was no better.  After enduring one of those miserable moments, I began folding clothes and thought I will never write a parenting book. And as soon as the thought entered my mind, I realized that I also said I would never teach, like vegetable soup, or drive a mini-van.

Of course, if I did write a parenting book, it would not look like your typical book with research and sound advice and plans.  It would serve more as a survival guide based on first-hand experience for those parents who also feel like they are losing their minds.  So here goes, a sneak peak at excerpts from my book that I’ll never write.

My Child Peed on an Electric Socket: And Other Tales to Make You Feel Better About Your Parenting

From Chapter 4: How Did We End Up Here?

“If your child, in a moment of dramatics, ever propels himself out of his car booster seat, somehow wrapping the still buckled seatbelt around his ankle about twenty times, suspending his lower body mid-air while the rest of him hangs below, it is okay to step back and stare for a few minutes in bewilderment.  Don’t feel guilty. After all, it is a pretty impressive feat and most likely won’t happen again.  You might even take this opportunity to get the rest of the children settled inside and grab your camera.  Don’t worry–he’s not going anywhere.  When you are finally ready to rescue your child, simply unbuckle the seatbelt, and unwind.”

From Chapter 6: That Darned Toddler Bed

“Let’s face it–some kids just don’t care if Super Nanny said the technique would work.  You can sit in that room all night long, silently putting that toddler back in bed without looking at or talking to her, and she’s still going to jump out laughing.  So what are you going to do?  You can continue on with the same routine, or you can give your back a rest for one night.

Try this technique: Wait until nap time to feed your kid lunch and bedtime to feed your kid dinner.  After numerous days without a nap and too many nights of staying up hours past her bedtime, restraining your child in the highchair will be just the trick you need to have her zonked out in no time.  When that little cutie is sleeping in her applesauce, simply move her to her bed.  Trust me–after this many days of not sleeping, she’s not going to wake up when you move her.

Worried about what your friends will think?  Who cares?!  God didn’t give you one of those kids who calls for Mommy to get him out of bed in the morning.  Your kid’s already downstairs making pancakes for breakfast!  It’s about survival, and your survival is important!”

From Chapter 10: Teaching Them About God

“Who knew the question, ‘Who wants to pray first?’ could be so lethal?  I looked in the rearview mirror, amidst the screams of ‘I’m first!’ ‘No, it’s my turn today!’ and saw my children punching one another.  Yes, punching over who would pray first. Then each one began to start his or her own prayer, reaching over the sides of their car seats to slap the other on the head while yelling, “Dear God, thank you for this day!”

When your day has reached this point, I can suggest a couple of courses of action: turn the radio up, tune them out, or pray to God silently.  Whatever you do, don’t try to yell at them to ‘Knock it off!’ or ‘Do you really think this makes God happy?!’ Because in the end, you’ll just start screaming during prayer (even if that prayer is being yelled), and you’ll feel like the loser when it’s all said and done.”

I’m even going to include a few bonus chapters on marriage:

Chapter 20: Fair Fights

Try to resist the urge to blame your spouse for your child(ren)’s behavior.  Pointing out that ‘it must be your genes because I never acted this way as a kid’ doesn’t really help the situation.  Even if it is true.”

Chapter 21: Sex

Don’t.  If you’re reading this book, you don’t need to take the chance.”

What chapters would you include in a parenting book?

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And to totally switch gears…

This Friday’s Journey: Peace

Write any kind of post covering the theme.  You may use Scripture or not, write explicitly or implicitly, use a story or poem, etc., as far as what God is teaching you about peace.  There are no rules other than to stick to the theme, and open your heart to what God would have you learn.

Last Friday we had three lovely ladies share their stories of joy, and I look forward to reading yours on peace this Friday!