Friday, November 9, 2012

It's OK Not To Share: A Book Review

About The Book:

Parenting can be such an overwhelming job that it's easy to lose track of where you stand on some of the more controversial subjects at the playground. In this inspiring and enlightening book, Heather Shumaker describes her quest to nail down "the rules" to raising smart, sensitive, and self-sufficient kids. Drawing on the work of more than a hundred child psychologists, educators, and other experts, as well as her own experiences as the mother of two small children, Shumaker get to the heart of the matter on a host of important questions. Hint: May of the rules aren't what you might expect!

It's OK Not To Share....questions standard parenting adages and offers a brand-new set of “renegade rules” for raising young kids (ages 2-6). Rules like:
  • “Kids don’t have to say ‘Sorry’ ”
  • “Bombs, guns and bad guys allowed”
  • “Let your kid swear”
  • “ ‘I hate you’ is nothing personal”
  • “Boys can wear tutus”
  • “Paint off the paper”
  • “Only punch your friends”
Some of the Renegade Rules discussed in the book, include:

-It's OK if it's not hurting people or property
-Boys can wear tutus
-Sex Ed starts in Preschool
-Kids Need Conflict
-Love your kids lies
-Go Ahead: Let him hate the baby!
-Goof up

Although it flips convention on its head, It’s OK Not to Share… is based on child development and emerging neuroscience research. Discover concrete skills to help your child prevent bullying, channel active energy, express feelings appropriately and much more. It’s designed to make you rethink what you thought you knew about parenting and give you saner days

You can read an excerpt of It's OK Not To Share... here, in PDF format.

About The Author:

Heather Shumaker is a journalist who’s been writing professionally since 1996 for radio, print and online magazines. Her publications include Organic Gardening, Parenting, Pregnancy, Swarthmore College Bulletin, Traverse, Wisconsin Natural Resources and others. She was a radio script writer for Earthwatch Radio, a nationally syndicated program which also aired internationally on Voice of America.

As a mother, author and speaker, Heather has expertise and passion for the early childhood years, ages two to six. She’s the author ofIt’s OK Not to Share…And Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids (Tarcher/ Penguin 2012) and an advocate for free, unstructured play in homes and schools.

The renegade rules from It’s OK Not to Share… were inspired by the philosophy of aunique, unorthodox preschool in Heather’s hometown of Columbus, Ohio. Heather attended the School for Young Children as a child and her mother is a senior teacher.
Heather’s writing has been awarded funding through the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and she is the author of a local history bookUncommon Conservation: The Story of Saving Grass River (Chabanelle, 2010). She holds a BA in sociology / anthropology from Swarthmore College and an MS in land resources from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Heather once worked as a milkmaid, sailor, llama trekking guide and fire crew, as well as a garbage worker in Antarctica, at the U.S. South Pole station.  She now makes her home in northern Michigan with her husband, three chickens and two young children, where she also blogs about parenting and writing at Starlighting Mama.
My Review:
As an Early Childhood Educator since 1998, I have read a large amount of books covering topics like child development, discipline, program planning, and theories of education. There have been books I have enjoyed more than others, and others that I just dismiss after reading. Most have been your typical child rearing books and I have quite a collection of them. 
Recently, I had the opportunity to read a child rearing/parenting book that is totally out of the box and different (in a good way) then the plethora of parenting books out there.
It's OK Not To Share and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids is a book that will change the way you look at training life skills to children forever! I especially enjoyed the chapters about sharing, playing and rough house play. The renegade rules regarding super hero, guns and rough play were especially enlightening, as was the rule, "It's okay if its not hurting people or property". This last rule is one that I already implement with my children and family child care program, "in this house, bodies, feelings and things are safe". 
If you are tired of always saying "no", using discipline methods that do not work but also drive you crazy, and caring for kids that cannot play for even a few minutes without fighting with friends or siblings, then you need to read this book! The book takes common sense to a new level and definitely will get you thinking. It did me, and we are still trying to implement many of the ideas and tips I learned through reading this book. The book lists step by step instructions to use and it is very easy to read and understand. A perfect gift idea for all new parents for this upcoming Christmas season!
  My highlighter was in overtime mode as I used it to mark many points in the book and its a book that I will recommend to my Early Childhood Educator friends to be sure.
I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up! 
BUY IT: You can purchase It's OK Not To Share online through Amazon
***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of the author, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

1 comment:

  1. Hope the kids in your care are loving the new ideas as well, Shirley. Thanks for your huge thumbs up.

    Readers - let me know if you have burning questions. I'm happy to answer them.