Jul 15, 2011

Parking Lot Rules--A Book Review

Parking Lot Rules & 75 Other Ideas for Raising Amazing Children

Last week I finished Parking Lot Rules & 75 Other Ideas for Raising Amazing Children by Tom Sturges.  While his worldview differs from mine in many areas, I gleaned some good reminders and several new approaches to try with my girls.  I'm just going to list the ideas that I thought were a sensible fit for our family, as you may find some nuggets for yours as well.

  1. Say, "Fingers, fingers" to indicate that your children need to watch their fingers to avoid getting them squashed in a door or similar situation.
  2. Teach children to tap you or other family members gently when they would like an activity to stop.  (rough housing, book reading...)
  3. Smile at your children when you see them.  This is one thing that I already try to do, because I think it makes you more approachable and visually reminds children that you love them and delight in their company.
  4. Anything once seen cannot be "unseen."  Do what you can to avoid your child seeing images/activities that cannot be erased from their minds.  (TV/video images, billboards, accidents)
  5. Recognize and acknowledge moments of happiness.
  6. When your children call you, answer them with "Yes?" not "What?"  "What" can be interpreted as harsh and/or rude.
  7. When you get upset, whisper.
  8. Show your children how to properly shake hands. First impressions can be invaluable.
  9. Involve children in writing thank-you notes.  Make it a habit.
  10. Practice what you want your child to do if they become separated from you in a public place. (stay where you are, stop a person in uniform)
  11. Tell your little one to squeeze your finger as much as it hurts when they get a "boo-boo."  
  12. Do a slow-motion replay with play-by-play commentary when your children falls or gets hurt.  It will make them laugh or forget the possible public embarrassment they may have felt as they crack up watching you.
  13. Teach and exemplify 3 essential table manners.
    1. Chew with your mouth closed.
    2. Talk with your mouth empty.
    3. Hold silverware correctly, not like a shovel.