Book Review - My Goodness: My Kids by Nesta A. Aharoni

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

In the green bar across the top of this book are the words "No curfews, No timeouts - No violence, No drugs." An interesting idea but can it really be true? In My Goodness: My Kids: Cultivating Decency in a Dangerous World author Nesta A. Aharoni tries her best to make us believe it is in fact true but after reading the book I still have my doubts.

The idea is definitely a straight forward one be good and your children will be too, raise children to be "good" above all else and you will produce an honest, respectful and kind adult. There are tidbits of information in this book that could be used along your parenting path, like not paying for grades (expect their best and if they need help get it for them) or not being afraid to say you are sorry to your kids (it's only fair if you expect them to say sorry too) but you will have to unearth them from the mounds of gushing praise for her own children that is stuffed into every chapter.

Most chapters are short and can be broken down pretty much like this: first paragraph will open the chapter giving a brief explanation of what the chapter is about, the next two to three paragraphs will vaguely describe the parenting concept and will only occasionally have a real life example or way in which other parents might implement said concept, then the last page of the chapter will be devoted to praising her own children. At times the talk of her children is directly related to the chapter at hand and at other times it seems wholly unrelated but never fear it will always include many examples of how wonderful, honest, smart, respectful and kind they were as children and they are now as adults.

Nesta Aharoni raised three children and those children seem to be smart well adjusted adults now, according to her. But, there in lies the rub, since we the readers don't personally know her children we are constantly taking her word for what great children she has and I can tell you from personal experience a Mother's word about how wonderful her children are is at best slanted and at worst an all out lie. Unfortunately the ideas that are meant to help other parents in their parenting journey are overshadowed by all the motherly child gushing which any parent could spot a mile away thereby making the parental advice all the more unbelievable and difficult to find, let alone follow.

Don't get me wrong, there is good at the heart of this book, in the Appendix of My Goodness: My Kids Mrs. Aharoni asked her other family members to contribute a few words. A paragraph written my her daughter seems to sum up what I believe the general message of this whole book actually is:

My parents showed us time and time again, by buying us ice cream to celebrate a good day or taking us on a vacation to show us the world, that quality of life and doing the right thing are more important than money or possessions. They demonstrated to us that life experience and helping others are more important than a fat wallet or a prestigious title.

I just wish she could have told us this in a more honest realistic kind of way. Less about how wonderful her own kids are and more strategies for myself and other parents like me to implement her ideas so we can all have "good" kids.

Currently "Reading":

Magazine - This months Budget Travel
Book - Love Among the Chickens by P.G. Wodehouse
Audio - latest This American Life Radio Show

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