If anyone asked me, at the moment, I would say that this stage of parenting we are going through with a tweenager, rapidly running into actual teenaghood, is the hardest bit we have been through yet. I know that all stages of parenting can be hard and they all have their challenges and at the time they seem like the hardest thing you have faced, and when you get beyond that stage you do feel like maybe it wasn’t as bad as it felt at the time but I do think that this stage where my kids are growing up and starting to face the world with a little less of me in their lives, is the hardest. Getting things right, helping them to feel confident in themselves, able to deal with life, and what it throws at them, and to be the people they are meant to be, seems like a huge challenge. We are beyond toddlerhood and well into parenting older children with a seven year old and an almost eleven year old… It’s a new, fun and somewhat scary stage. We want to do our best to get our bit right.
So, having tools to help us help them, in our parenting arsenal, is important.
So this book by Gail Hugman, arrived just in time for us.
Gail is an incredibly experienced teacher who taught in primary schools from 1974 until 2005 when she set up Lessons Alive as a teaching and development service. She still works 1-2-1 with children (5-14 years), in their homes and run parent workshops.
‘100 Things to Learn before you’re 10’ draws on my experience and provides parents with the insights and tools that I have found most effective so that they can feel more confident and better equipped to support their children’s learning and development.
The book is easy to read and was an instant winner for me because unlike some of the parenting books I have read before, and it’s not patronizing or totally prescriptive and doesn’t make you feel guilty that you aren’t doing things a certain way.
Gail has so much experience from working with children and their families and she really does know what she is talking about. She has so much sensible but sensitively worded, wise advice to give, on a whole range of things we parents need to know to help our kids to deal with life from their point of view. She really does seem to know how kids think and how to see things the way they do, which is really helpful.
From what kids need to know about school, to teaching them about time keeping, boundaries and responsibility, habits, homework and much more, it’s like a little bible of helpful information. We particularly liked the school section, we have had some struggles with our tweenager and her confidence and happiness at school and some of the input from Gail in the book has helped us to reflect and also hopefully handle things a bit better. There isn’t a section that I didn’t like or didn’t feel was helpful in some way. I read some parts of it through with my oldest, and she enjoyed reading and talking to me, through sections as well. The advice is practical and sensible and not just well meaning but not helpful.
It really is rare for me to say “parents you NEED this book”, because I am a bit cynical about parenting or family self help books, but I would definitely say this one is a must for your bookshelf and to read. It really is insightful and useful and applicable through a wide variety of parenting situations. Well worth investing in and a book I will reach for again and again and would recommend to my fellow parents
*we were kindly sent a copy of the book to read, but all opinions are honest, and our own*