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Nobody Told Me That!: 10 Tools for Parenting a Happy, Healthy Children


As parents, we worry constantly: Will our kids grow up healthy? Independent? Happy? Are we doing all we can for them? Are we making the most of the time we have with them?

Everyone’s got advice. If we followed it all, we’d never sleep. (Maybe we already don’t.)

This book will help you focus on what really matters. The 10 things you need to do to raise kids who are: confident and resilient; ethical and loving; ...

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Nobody Told Me That!: 10 Tools for Parenting Happy, Healthy Children

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As parents, we worry constantly: Will our kids grow up healthy? Independent? Happy? Are we doing all we can for them? Are we making the most of the time we have with them?

Everyone’s got advice. If we followed it all, we’d never sleep. (Maybe we already don’t.)

This book will help you focus on what really matters. The 10 things you need to do to raise kids who are: confident and resilient; ethical and loving; competent, responsible, and fulfilled; engaged and enthusiastic.

What to do, and how to do it: Read this book, use its lessons, and then, relax.

As a parent, you can’t do everything, no matter how hard you try: nobody can. Given that, how do you make sure to do the things that are most important? The things that’ll help your kids enjoy their childhoods and help them grow into healthy, confident, successful, happy adults? Nobody Told Me That! has the answers. Renowned parenting expert and author Roni Jay has studied what the most successful parents do and distilled those insights into 10 core principles: what you really need to do when you can’t possibly do it all. Plenty of books focus on parenting babies and toddlers: This one’s designed to support and inspire you the rest of the way, from age 2 to your kids’ college years, and beyond. Roni Jay doesn’t just identify the principles you need to know: She covers the hard part—actually applying them in your own family. With Jay’s help, you’ll enjoy your kids more...they’ll enjoy you more...and they’ll grow up with the solid foundation they need to find their own paths, build their own lives, and thrive!

• Help your kids build unshakable confidence and self-assurance

Give them a rock-solid foundation that’s always there for them

• Give your kids some magic in an unmagical world

Find the space and time for enchantment–and fend off the magic-killers

• Make sure they know right from wrong and the value of money

What your kids really need to learn and how to get it across

• Get your kids to think, lead–and even clean up their rooms

Build real grownups, one loving day at a time

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780138156732
  • Publisher: FT Press
  • Publication date: 3/24/2009
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.30 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Roni Jay is mother of three young children and stepmother to three more (now grown up). She has written or edited some four dozen books since 1993, including Family Matters: Parenting Tips from the Business World, Zen Meditations on Being Pregnant, and Babies for Beginners.

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Table of Contents

About the Author xii

Introduction xiii

Tool 1: Make Their World Solid 1

Tool 2: Give Them Some Magic 23

Tool 3: Show Them How to Separate Right from Wrong 37

Tool 4: Teach Them to Think 49

Tool 5: Let Them Lead You 67

Tool 6: Forget Quality Time 83

Tool 7: Make Sure You See the Forest and the Trees 97

Tool 8: Teach Them the Value of Money 117

Tool 9: Show Them That Broccoli Can Be Fun 135

Tool 10: Give Them Each Other 159

Index 179

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It’s often said that the most important thing you can do for your children is to love them. Well, yes, of course it is. I’m taking it as obvious that you love your kids, and you don’t need any book to help you do that. But, whatever anyone says, love is not enough. So, what else really matters?

We do a million and one things for our children, from teaching them to walk, through checking to ensure they have clean socks, to making sure they know how to stay safe, and we listen to them tell us for the fifth time how they scored the winning goal in their playground game of basketball or football.

No parent has time to do everything (and nor would it be good for our kids if we did). That’s even truer if you have more than one child, or a demanding job, or are on your own. So how do you decide what you absolutely must do and what you can let go? Unless you want to live in a permanent state of guilt, angst, or trepidation, spending some time thinking about what things will make the biggest difference to your child and what you can afford to let ride really makes sense.

Let’s think about what you’re aiming for. You want your kids to enjoy their childhoods, and you want them to grow into healthy, confident, successful adults who will be happy and will make those around them happy, too. Recognizing that goal starts to focus your mind—but how do you narrow it down further to the “must do” priorities? How do you know what’s really, really important?

I’ve spent many years watching lots of children grow up, with great fascination. Not to mention my own—I have three children, and three stepchildren whose lives I became involved with in their early teens. This deep fascination with what parents do and the effect these actions have on their children has also led me to ask many adults about their own childhoods. When I pulled all this information together, the picture that emerged clearly indicated that parental input makes the most difference.

I’ve narrowed down the real essentials to 10 broad principles. These are the things that you need to get right in order to set your children up for the best possible life. You can get them right in your own way, of course—we’re all different. Occasionally, I should warn you, you’ll get them wrong. We all do that. You’ll realize you got it wrong and you’ll make amends, so that will be okay, too. After all, your children don’t need perfect parents (how excruciating would that be?).

Your children need parents who put them first. I’m guessing that you put your children above yourself in your priority list. That’s good; that’s one similarity I’ve noticed among all the best parents I know.

There’s a lot of very important stuff in this book that will make a big difference to your children—but don’t panic. I bet you’re doing a lot of it already, and the fact that you’re reading this book shows you take your job as a parent seriously, which is a big plus. Assuming you’re human, however, there are bound to be some important things that you haven’t thought through.

We tend to have certain principles we feel are important (often having to do with what influenced our own childhoods) and others that we don’t really think about. This book can help you spot the gaps so that you can give attention to the most important things you could be doing for your children.

Doing some of these things may be hard work; some of them will come naturally. Irritatingly, some of the pieces you find difficult will come naturally to your partner, but that works both ways. On the plus side, however, working on the difficult pieces will help you realize just how much of what you do for your children isn’t so important. Best of all, after you have these 10 bases covered, you can stop stressing about the rest, and get on with being a great parent and enjoying your child.

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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