Mention “parenting book” to moms and dads and you’ll see shoulders tighten, and a tinge of worry cross their face that communicates: "The last thing I need is a book that will put more on my plate. Or make me feel worse about my parenting than I already do. Besides, who has time to read?!"
After 12 weeks on the road giving talks about my new book -- a book for time-starved, overwhelmed parents -- it's been a pleasure to watch those shoulders drop, and the joy come back to their face when parents realize this is one book that won't put things on your plate, it will take things off. Hear me out...
My approach takes things off of parents’ plates, it doesn’t add to them.
Don't read the book cover to cover. The book is organized into sections – while it's recommended everyone should read Part 1 and 2 (which take under an hour), the rest of the book is to be treated as a reference manual....spot problem solving in areas you need to recalibrate your time on. Before diving into the specifics, though, the book offers readers a self-assessment, to help identify where they’re doing well and where they could be doing better. Then readers can proceed in a focused way diving into specific chapters in the section on P.A.R.T., which covers the four primary responsibilities of raising a human; or in the section on S.E.L.F., which examines the four areas of being a human. And of course, over time, as life changes – and children go through different ages and stages – readers can dip back in to the book in the areas where they’re feeling off balance.
Won’t make you feel bad. Too many books make readers feel bad about something in their lives. My approach aims to offer help, without judgment. In nearly three decades of my work as a professional organizer, I’ve seen it all. And I can tell you there’s no one right way to organize, nor is there one right way to be a parent. What I offer is a road-map with a path to a goal that’s universal among moms and dads of all stripes: quality, connected time with their children. The book offers a “job description” for parenthood -- laying out the key responsibilities parents have to their kids, including keeping them safe and arranging schedules; but also making sure they feel seen and learn basic life skills. It then helps parents prioritize and structure their time in a way that ensures they are meeting kids’ needs, while ensuring that they are also making time for themselves. The key takeaway from the book will absolve almost every parent of guilt: Kids need short bursts of quality time (literally 10, 15, 20 minutes periods), delivered consistently, to be healthy and happy. That feels like a reasonable, achievable goal.
Practical tips you can implement immediately. I’ve never been very fond of theory. Show me the problem -- where the rubber meets the road -- and I can get to work on a solution. This book is based on my 30-years of experience working with families all over the world, interviews with child development experts, parenting coaches and psychologists, and eight years of research into the academic child development literature. I’ve done my very best to distill what I’ve learned from the experts with what I’ve seen work in real life, for real parents. As such, “Time To Parent” has practical tips on everything, from setting up a good morning routine to having a tough conversation with your partner about household responsibilities.
“Time To Parent” offers the one thing every mom and dad want this holiday season: the gift of time. Take the self-assessment here to learn how you (or someone you know) might get started.