Book Tip: The Mommy Manual

6 09 2005

I’m not going to do a full blown review of this books, but just give a brief summary. I’ll be doing that with some of the books I read – just too much for me to review them all!

Here’s the run down on the book:

Title: The Mommy Manual: Planting Roots That Give Your Children Wings (By clicking the title, you can purchase this book or read more reviews at Amazon.)

Author: Barbara Curtis

Publisher: Revell Publishing

I still think of myself as a new mother. As Bump hits each stage, it’s all fresh for me. I’m not sure what’s next, so I’m really happy to read material that might give me the one up – even it it’s where he’s at right now.

The Mommy Manual is a different kind of “how to” book on parenting. While it provides a variety of tips for moms, author Barbara Curtis looks at it not only from a Biblical perspective, but also throws in some of her Montessori techniques for good measure. Reading this book will not make you “Super Mom,” but will give you ideas on how to be come a thoughtful and deliberate parent, making choices for your children at various stages that will not only further their development but ground them in the family nucleus.

Curtis divides the book into three parts – “Treasures”, “Measures”, and “Pleasures.” Each pat has two chapters of encouragement, sound advice and successful parenting techniques.

In “Treasures” she offers advice to mothers to not only find joy in the mommy experience, but to instill joy upon your children by taking certain steps at various critical times that will help them take it to the next level. Particularly powerful in this section is her treatment of order, self-control, and concentration. By establishing these things early on, mothers set their children up for success in their teen and adult years. I find this strategy very relevant in an age of young people who don’t want to do for themselves. It’s too late to mold them once they hit those teen years. The critical time is in their early childhood.

“Measures” covers areas of service and character. As we open up responsibilities to our children at these young ages, we help them grow their servant hearts. At this level, accountability is also taught through small everyday tasks. All along the thread of these chapters, Curtis offers testimony and tips that help mommys understand how powerful these building blocks are at this level.

Curtis saves the best for last in “Pleasures”. Here she talks about two very important and fun parts of parenting – instilling cultural heritage and family legacy into your own family. By developing what Curtis calls a “Play Ethic”, you’ll help your children make the discerning choices in the entertainment part of their life. This is done through reading, films watching and introduction to the arts. It’s up to parents to fill their child with choices they’ve selected vs. letting the randomness of television and popular culture shape our children. She provides reading lists, film lists and ideas for introducing the arts. It’s a great starting point for parents looking for help in this area.

Finally, she gives a handle on family heritage – a real place to impact your children. In the day to days children fall back on the traditions of their family. They look forward to certain things in their life – special celebrations, the way mom does birthdays, the way dad does summer cookouts or whatever it is that your family does. It’s up to you to establish this, and Curtis details story after story from her own brood of 12 to help you understand this portion. In fact, I decided to adopt the crab legs Christmas tradition for my household starting this year!

I am very thankful for this book. As a stepparent for some years now, I never understood the importance of certain components in the children’s lives – why they did the things they did and refused to entertain changes. This book not only helps me to understand how their mother laid the foundation for them, but also helps me see as I raise my own son that these early years are of vital importance to shaping him.

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