Book Review: A Family of Value

Okay, onto the second book in my "I should be reading books about babies and such because I'm having one soon" series.

Book #2: A Family of Value 
by John Rosemond

on Amazon

According to his website, John has a masters in psychology and has been writing about families, children, and parents since 1971. If you want a little sample of his writing and his advice, go here for a sampling of his most recent published articles.

I will readily admit -- I've been a fan of John Rosemond's for a long time now. Even though I'm new to this parenting thing, I've been reading his column in our local newspaper since I was probably about 13 years old. At the time, lots of the theory went over my head, but I enjoyed listening to his stories about kids that messed up and how to fix their problems. (I don't know, maybe this says more about me than it does about him...). Also I'm almost positive this is the only child-rearing book I ever saw my mother reading, and I'm sure at some point or another I picked up a copy of whichever one of his books she was reading out of curiosity.

The book is a compilation of practical, hands-on advice for families and how to raise your children in a no-nonsense way mixed with the faults and flaws in both the study of and the applicability of modern parenting psychology. In college I took one psych class, so some of the educational psych stuff was a bit beyond me, but it didn't lose me as reader (a testament to his writing, at the very least).

courtesy ABC

Like I said, a lot of this book was practical advice for parents on how to raise children in a practical way. Rosemond refutes a lot of the "new" parenting advice (aka from about 1980 til now) and advises parents to raise their children as children were raised in the 1940s, 50s, and early 60s. This involves a lot less of the "children are equals to adults" theory and more of the "children should be seen and not heard" mentality. Throughout the book he has anecdotes from his own parenting experience and from readers' questions on how to command respect in the parent-child relationship and how to deal with numerous behavioral "issues" in children. 

The other parts of the book are Rosemond dissecting and explaining how almost all "modern psychology" when it comes to raising kids is pretty much ineffective and has caused a lot of problems in today's world, including the rise of ADD and other learning disabilities, the decline of respect in student-teacher relationships, and the general view of the public that kids today just aren't as good as they used to be. Lots of this talk is pretty theoretical - not impossible to follow, but not always necessary to get the rest of his meaning. If you are a student of educational psychology, though, I have a feeling you'll know every instance he's talking about and might enjoy the book just for that reason alone.

going to try and avoid this as much as possible
I definitely intend on taking a lot from this book and trying to apply it in my parenting style. He includes story after story of using common sense in dealing with kids and the wonders it has worked in his own kids' lives (who are now in their 40s) and the kids of his readers. My opinion is that a lot of today's parents are too afraid to be strong-willed with their kids - and he is not at all afraid of that, and recommends it on practically every page. His advice is easy to follow, easy to see cause-and-effect, and really relies on common sense more than anything (which is definitely good for me especially reading this so far in advance of actually having kids.)

He has tons of other books available, so I'm sure I'm going to be renting and reading those as my kids reach milestones that I am struggling with, or when I'm trying to prepare for a big event in a kid's life. 

I would definitely recommend this book if you're interested in any of what I've talked about. He's easy to read, funny, and easy to connect with as a reader. I can't do the book justice in this post, so you'll just have to take my word for it and read it for yourself!

Happy reading!