Review: The Kind of Parent You Are-- Becoming Your Best Person So Your Children Can Become Their Best Adults
"Knowing who you are and backing it up with behaviors allows you to approach things with purpose. It lets you put more into life. And it allow you to get more out of life-- more enrichment, more satisfaction, and more fulfillment," writes Brian Vondruska in his new parenting guide, The Kind of Parent You Are-- Becoming Your Best Person So Your Children Can Become Their Best Adults. Coming out in late June 2018 from Aurora Park Publishing, this parenting guide has a lot to offer hopeful, expectant, new, and veteran parents alike.
I received an Advance Reader's Copy of this ebook from City Book Review and thoroughly enjoyed swiping through the pages. My official review will publish in the July 2018 issue of San Francisco Book Review. Here, I'll give a basic overview of the book and share in detail what I loved.
The Kind of Parent You Are is unique from other parenting guides on the market because it focuses on the intentional improvement of both the parent and the child. Vondruska walks parents through the creation of a parenting philosophy and goals, with the ultimate goal being a confident, capable adult. He discusses parenting styles and why he believes one type is superior-- and more successful-- than the rest.
In order to raise great kids, great parents are in order. Fortunately this is something we can consciously work on improving. "By serving as a model, parents can influence their children's adoption of virtuous behaviors; like begets like," Vondruska writes. Parents must set examples in compassion, honesty, fairness, optimism, determination, and conscientiousness. We must model virtues even when emotions are heated and situations are trying. There will be times we fail, but we must know who we are and strive for that. If we have a strong character, our child will become a strong adult. If we want honest children, we too must be honest. No matter what.
In order to help our children become their best adults, Vondruska says that we must build awareness. There are five steps to doing so: encouraging exploration, recognizing preferences, explaining, listening, and welcoming emotions. He goes into a lot of detail on each topic; you'll have to read the book yourself to get the juicy details There's good stuff here. My absolute favorite quote in the entire guide was this: "Building an awareness of one's needs, emotions, interests, expectations, and the world at large does not happen by following a curriculum. And it does not happen quickly. It is an organic process that unfolds over several years, like the slow momentum build of a heavy wheel. It may not be easy, but it is an appropriate approach for parents whose purpose is to raise adults, and for parents who envision their adult children with maximized well-being."
I love this! As a homeschooling mama, I'm always searching for the perfect curriculum to use in order to raise the best, most well-rounded future adults that I can. Yet there's no one-stop answer, no box curriculum I can buy that will produce competent, educated, virtuous people. Instead, it's something my husband and I must build through hard work, a strong plan, and consistent modeling of good character, wise choices, and responsibility and grace even under pressure.
Here's another quote that hit home: "It doesn't really matter what the subject is; the child should be allowed to follow her interests and develop her passions. Whether those interests and passions are career-worthy is irrelevant."
I'm in the trenches of character development now with my brood. Just last week I sat down with my 13-year-old and made a list of what makes her tick. She's taking a career skills class this summer to help her find what she loves. I absolutely fall in the party of those who consider skills that don't relate to a career skill-- or a potential scholarship-- to be unnecessary. I need to work on that as a parent.
Overall, The Kind of Parent You Are is chock full of parenting gems. It was written for expectant parents, but it's really great for parents of all walks. I've been a mom for 13 years now and I came away with a few fresh ideas and a new perspective. I appreciated the reflection exercises at the end of each chapter meant to help readers develop their own parenting philosophy. I truly liked the author's focus on investing in and improving oneself-- a continuous process- in order to invest in your children. It makes sense!
While I did not agree with Vondruska on everything, I wholeheartedly recommend this book. I'm always looking for new ideas. Perhaps you'll come away with a new tool to put in your family and parenting toolbox too.
Here's a link to the book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Kind-Parent-You-Are-Becoming-ebook/dp/B07C1Y1W1H?SubscriptionId=AKIAJ2F6RDUSIYCWQMFQ&tag=sa-sym-new-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B07C1Y1W1H