Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Book Review - Parents Who Don't Do Dishes
Parents Who Don’t Do Dishes (and other recipes for life) is part memoir, part parenting book and full-on treatise about living life fully and raising kids who do the same. www.parentswhodontdodishes.com
At the age of 40, author Richard Melnick, then the dad of three and five-year-old boys, was diagnosed with cancer. Suddenly, he faced new fears, first hand: “Who would father my sons?” “Would they miss me?” “Would they forget about me?” “How would my wife and sons manage financially?” The permutations of painful outcomes were beyond his grasp.
The resulting book is an antidote to helicopter parenting and tiger moms. Written in Melnick’s scrappy, heartfelt style, Parents Who Don’t Dishes is an entertaining and easy-to-read book that dives into some of life’s deepest topics with surprising ease.
“I wanted my sons to be secure in the world, without panic or existential crisis,” Melnick says. It was that belief that shaped a completely fresh approach and parenting style From an early age, he expected his sons, Jackson and Josh, to pitch in around the house. He started by asking them to help with the dishes, even when they needed a step stool to reach the faucet. The ultimate goal, of course, was about more than helping out around the house. Melnick wanted his kids to understand the importance of service, to embrace every moment–whatever emotion or challenge it held–and to participate fearlessly in the truth of their lives.
Fueled by a sense of urgency, he introduced Jackson and Josh to ideas typically thought of as adult: introspection, responsibility, acceptance, gratitude. They got it like music, remembering the melody from deep within, without needing to recite the notes and chord changes.
As the book and Melnick suggest, “Parents must be willing to grow too…at the end of the day, no parent can teach their child how to be authentic, kind, create boundaries and manage reactivity without doing those same things themselves. But when kids and adults are on the same page, growing together, magic is possible.”
My Take on the Book
This was an amazing book that brings you on a journey with the author and his family! I have to say the his philosophy on life and living was refreshing and how he shares this with his sons was inspiring and made me think about my own beliefs and thoughts on life. The author really makes you step back and reconsider the value of control in your life and whether this is needed, or whether you can let go of some of this (which is freeing in my perspective). I loved the balance of humor and down-to-earth advice that the author shares and with this book being only 100 pages, the book was an easy one to get through in only one sitting. I highly recommend this book to all!
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