Tuesday, December 27, 2016

50 Things Your Parents Want You to Know by Shelly Campbell-Harley, M.A.ED

This is the second of Shelly's books that I've read, and I really enjoy them.  The purpose of the 50 Things books is to give short snippets of information that can be shared.  It's a starting off point, a jumping off point if you will, for difficult conversations.

In this book, we take a look at fifty things that your parents want you to know.  You probably already figured that out from the title.  In order to do my review, I first read the book.  Then I gathered my son and my mother and we read through each thing together.  I read aloud each item and then we had a short discussion on it.  Had we been a different family, it may have been more lengthy discussions.

As it was, nearly all of these were discussions that we'd already had in the parent/child relationship.  Now, we're a bunch of weirdos.  We like to talk.  We like to discuss after we've mulled things over.  We don't normally take a lot of time to think about what we're going to say.  We think about things and then just blurt them out to each other and see where it takes us.

For a lot of families, having some of these discussions can be tough.  Most of them involve having faith and believing in yourself.  They talk about how to be happy and how to be a productive person.  Sometimes, especially when you're angry or disagreeing with your child, it's hard to keep an open mind and sit down and tell them that you love them even though you disagree with them.  I think the most difficult part of conversations with your child is getting them to respond to you.  You can give them advice for living their life, but half the time they'll tune you out.

Between the three of us, we all agreed that everything in this book is something that a child needs to hear from a parent or caregiver.  Not only that, but great wisdom can be found for adults as well.  Knowing something and living it can be two entirely different things and sometimes a reminder is exactly what is needed.  These are all great discussion points in the book.  Even if you have a great relationship with your child, it doesn't hurt to add a little reinforcement.

The only issue that was brought up is that this book has a religious background.  Though most of the pages are good, logical sense, some of them involve faith and a belief in God.  While we all are firm believers, we also realize that not everyone is.  For those who do not have religious tolerance, feel free to skip those passages.  You can still find valuable information here.

Whether you have a good relationship with your child or not, this book can be a valuable communication tool.  You can go through it all at once for lengthier discussions, or go through one number at a time.  If you don't know how to talk to your child, you can gain some great ideas.  If you're a child who feels like your parents don't believe in you, they're probably thinking the things in this book, they just don't know how to say them to you.  Communication can be just as difficult on the part of the parent as it can the child.

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