I’ll admit something – I usually take good advice, even if it’s unsolicited. I guess it’s because I’ve always known that I don’t know everything. But Dr. Ray Guarendi’s newest book, Advice Worth Ignoring: How Tuning Out the Experts Can Make You A Better Parent, was a refreshing read for this special needs mama. I mean, when you have kiddos who are atypical in any way, people are quick to dispense what they believe to be helpful words of wisdom that often just leave me feeling like a failure as a mother.
Dr. Ray offers 50 points of common parenting advice that most of us have heard a million times, such as “Don’t spank” or “It’s the ‘terrible twos,'” and – my favorite – “It’s normal.” Seriously? What is normal, anyway? But that’s a question for another time.
In each section, Dr. Ray overrules the prevailing expert opinion with – not advice – but words of practicality, wisdom, and no-nonsense logic. The parent who reads each point gleans a greater understanding of what works in his/her family, not necessarily seeking a panacea.
Perhaps Dr. Ray writes in this way, because his worldview is shaped by a very deep sense of human dignity and worth. As a Catholic, there’s a clear underpinning that a) all of us are special needs children, because we’re all gifted with different talents, and b) parents are equipped through grace to know what will work (or might work best) in their situation.
In his tongue-in-cheek style, Dr. Ray presents real life scenarios, including unwarranted adoption advice that adoptive parents often hear, in his signature humorous way. My favorite part of reading each section was the witty name that corresponded with each child’s offense or question, such as, “If Penny asks for an early allowance…”
Parents of kids in any developmental age will appreciate Dr. Ray’s advice about not taking advice – or at least taking into consideration everything that affects how and why we make decisions for our children’s moral and emotional development.
Text Copyright 2016 Jeannie Ewing, all rights reserved.