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Raise your hand if you are tired of hearing all the experts tell you all the different ways you are ruining your child.
I thought so.
What are you guilty of? I’ve been guilty of letting my children “cry it out.” Also, I’ve been known to have my children write things as a form of punishment (Gasp! Their poor hands! And what must they think of writing now?!?!). And their rooms? I expect my kids to clean their rooms! I – wait for it – make my kids clean their rooms. The horrors!
Dr. Ray Guarendi, in his latest book, Advice Worth Ignoring, has better parenting advice for you. If you’ve heard of Dr. Ray, you probably know this already, and you may just want to skip this review and go buy his book.
However, if you have’t heard of Ray Guarendi, or you haven’t yet read any of his books, then continue reading. You are probably wondering why you want to read a book about “Advice Worth Ignoring.” Obviously, the prudent thing is just to ignore the advice, and consequently the book, and save yourself the time, energy, and money.
But then you’d be denying yourself a decent read, some helpful parenting advice, and peace of mind.
In this book, Dr. Ray takes on modern notions of childrearing and addresses them head on. He starts with 51 pieces advice you’ve probably heard of – or been given – divided between several broad categories: Early Misdirection, Moral Questions, Discipline Don’ts, Miscommunication, and Advice not Worth Adopting.
But what if I told you that Dr. Guarendi has new takes on advice that you’ve heard over and over and over. Have you been told that a time out is going to destroy the psyche of your child? Do you have “a negotiator” that just can’t seem to win with?
In fact, Dr. Ray Guarendi has over 50 pieces of advice that he thinks you’re going to want to ignore. And this is a good thing. Parenthood is hard and, if you are anything like me, there are days when you wonder what on earth God was thinking making you responsible for any small human being, let alone more than one. How on earth are these kids going to grow up without you permanently damaging them? How will they launch into the world without too much damage?
Dr. Ray can help.
If it’s any consolation, Dr. Guarendi notes that your children are going to be just fine if they are forced to cry it out sometimes. However, he does remind you they will most likely not be okay if you are continually excusing their bad behavior as “a stage” and let it go unchecked. Unchecked bad behavior is not likely to just “go away.” Rather, it’s more likely to rear it’s ugly head at each subsequent “stage” and in a more belligerent manner.
So there, I’ve gone and given you 2 of the pieces of advice that are addressed within the short read. Oh! And that’s just it. With 10 kids of his own, Dr. Ray Guarendi understands how much time you don’t have to read a book. He’s kept this one short. At only 150 pages it’s a quick read, and the way it’s organized makes it super simple to find what you want and read only that part.
So, I guess you want to know if there’s anything new in this book?
Is the same book as the last one he wrote, or as the talk you just saw him give? I don’t know. I can tell you that our parish had Dr. Guarendi speak a few years ago and I did go to see him. The book is different than that talk. I can also tell you that I generally believe I’m pretty good at “tuning out the experts” like the subtitle of the book suggests! Still, I learned something new in this book and realized there were quite a few things I could be doing better. There was some parenting advice I’d picked up somewhere that I had been following and I see now how it’s negatively affecting the way I parent one of my children.
However, there is some parenting advice of Dr. Guarendi’s that I’ll choose to ignore as well. I DO “choose my battles” and frequently proffer the same advice to friends. Dr. Guarendi says normally that’s not a good idea. It’s his opinion that when you pick your battles you are lowering your moral compass. That hasn’t been my experience, though. I’ve found that not all choices are “moral compass” choices, and so not all battles are for the soul. It works for us.
I doubt there is a person I’m going to always agree with, though. People are different. Families are different. There are still moments when I feel exasperated and have no idea what to do in this whole parenting thing. It’s in those times that I do wish there was a “trusted” expert I could turn to. Someone with actual experience raising children, someone who has experienced at least a modicum of success in the effort, and someone who shares my faith. Dr. Ray Guarendi is all of these things. That he is funny and practical in his approach is a bonus.
“Advice Worth Ignoring” is a book you can turn to. Dr. Ray Guarendi is a psychologist you can trust.
Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book in the hope that I would provide a (favorable) review. Complimentary books are not necessarily good books, though. My opinions are my own.