Monday, June 23, 2014

No More Perfect Kids: The beginning of a review

For a couple years, at the urging of my younger sister, I attended the annual Heart at Home Conference in March in Bloomington, Illinois. The conference grew out of a ministry started by Jill Savage, who created Hearts at Home to support mothers in their important role and encourage them. Attending was a great experience. The words of each speaker were ones I could relate to in some way. It was a weekend of just moms connecting and learning from one another. They covered so many topics - managing money, parenting a large family, helping your child to grow in their faith, setting limits and boundaries and much, much more. 

My sister introduced me to Jill, who she had been in touch with via e-mail. Jill seemed the perfect mother who had it all together and had it all. She spoke confidently, but relayed stories that let us know that she deals with the same struggles as other parents and that no one is immune to difficulties in child rearing. 

The next year when I attended the conference, Jill was facing marital issues and everyone could feel her pain and she didn’t try to hide it, but stood on stage in front of the crowd and talked about the difficult time she was going through. This year I wasn’t able to attend, but through following her blog and getting e-mail and Facebook updates learned about her diagnosis with breast cancer and ongoing treatment. The battle she has been going through is heartbreaking, yet so inspiring. 

In the spring, I got an e-mail asking to be one of a group to preview her new book, No More Perfect Kids with co-author Kathy Koch, PhD and review it. I was happy to. I find her so inspiring and in her writing, she expresses so many things that other moms feel. I value her experience as a mother of five and know that she has a lot of wisdom to pass on.

I feel like a little bit of a failure for not finishing the book in time for the launch, but as even Jill might say, life happens and we have to adjust to it. I tend to do my reading in the more relaxed summer months when I don’t have my day mapped out with chauffeuring and I can stay up a little later to read as I am not up doing drop off at 7 a.m. the next day. 

So, I can’t give a full review yet, but so far I’m enjoying it and finding it useful especially as it relates to treating kids as individuals - that’s so important when you have multiple children. You can’t have blanket rules and expectations as you are setting yourself and them up for failure. Each one has his own thoughts, beliefs, passions and when we see that and recognize what their strengths are, things can go so much more smoothly.

I’d gotten through the first few chapters reading them as my son was at his archery lessons. When archery finished up it went in my tote bag and I haven’t gotten back to it. Now that it’s summer, I’ll be shifting back and forth between it and “The Book Thief” which I started after seeing the movie and only got 20 pages in. Here’s to a relaxing summer with lots of good reading. I’ll post more on the book later, but if you’re looking for some interesting reading this summer to help you improve your role as a parent, this is a great book to pick up!

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