It’s a clichéd saying that babies don’t come with manuals and believe me, even looking after a baby second time round still has me stumped sometimes.
I think it’s definitely a mum thing to doubt yourself all the time.
Once you think you’ve cracked the whole baby thing though and you start, just start to think, maybe I can do this, wham, slap, bang, one day you wake up and your giggling baby has been swapped for a tantrum throwing, floor thrashing, head banging toddler.
You think it’s the terrible twos, I’ve even seen the hilarious term, threenager but, for me, at 4, the strops are still going on.
Babies seem easy to me now. They didn’t with Boo because I was so worried but, think about it, all they do is eat and sleep. They stay in the same place you leave them and, as long as you keep them clean, warm and dry, you’re on to a winner.
Once you get past this baby stage though, it seems like you’re on your own. I read so many baby and birth books first time around but what are you supposed to do after that? I suppose most people just wing it.
I fully admit I had no clue how to discipline properly. One day Boo was up a slide in a garden centre and wouldn’t come down. I asked, begged then shouted for her to come down and she refused.
My friend, who is a teacher, used her teacher voice on Boo and she came skipping down.
I really wanted to channel my inner-teacher but seriously, I don’t think it will ever be there.
Thankfully, I was offered the chance to review a parenting manual.
That’s right. One does, actually exist.
I’m not talking birth and baby books with graphic images of crowning (anyone else mentally scarred by them?)
No, I’m talking what to do when your little darling goes from this…
I find myself saying no to Boo 767 times before 6.45am and she still does whatever I’ve asked her not to.
I needed something else and thankfully,
Kids Don’t Come with a Manual has options.
Each section not only gives you examples of what your child might be thinking but options for whether you are a strict parent or and all-hear parent.
It really makes you think about how you parent and offers practical ways of changing and getting the results both yourself and you children need.
The actual advice given in the book is not rocket science but we all know that being on the coal-face of parenting (especially with a baby too), it is all so easy to give in to diva demands which not only makes you feel bad, it makes it twice as hard next time said diva wants something that she can’t have.
Just yesterday, I put what I learnt into action.
As soon as Boo got in the car after nursery, she started demanding ‘choc.’
Usually I would say no and she would say choc either until we got home or until I distracted her with something else.
Yesterday, I said: ‘Yes you can have some choc but after you have eaten your tea, later.’ I tell you, it threw her.
Another helpful area of the book is that after each chapter, the main points raised are summarised. This not only helps the reader to re-cap but it also allows fraught parents to dip in and out of the book when needed.
We all get stuck in a parenting rut at some point and, unless you’ve had teacher training to put some of those behaviour strategies, you can sometimes feel on your own.
I do think if the authors, Carole and Nadim Saad, ever do a re-print of the book, they should change the title. Kid’s Don’t Come With a Manual (Until Now) should do it.
Throw away your baby books, this is the new kid on the block.
To find out more about the book, the authors or their parenting techniques and help, visit: www.bestofparenting.com
*I was sent a review copy of this book for the purpose of this review but all opinions (and diva-children) are my own.