Tuesday, 12 January 2010

The Ultimate Parenting Guide

Dear Gina Ford,
I am sure that you mean well, and you have plenty of fantastic experience but....

On Monday morning GMTV will be doing a section on Gina Ford. Did you read her book? Did it help? I read it after one of our antenatal group informed me that because I was such a hippy (based only on the fact that I was planning to use washable nappies) I would never read it. After vowing to avoid parenting books I then read the lot - well, a sizable number and, wow, there are a lot out there.

I now have a theory that we just keep on reading books until we find one that just reinforces our original prejudices (or tendencies). So if you are the kind of person who needs rigid schedule Gina Ford may well be just what you need. I just loved Deborah Jackson's Baby Wisdom as it was more about anthropology, history and myth.

This got me thinking - if we will twist what we hear anyway to suit our styles there must be abundant information out there. There was was a programme on last week about the business advice encoded within Beatrix Potter; as resourceful parents (or parents to be) we must be able to find sage advice in whatever we are reading.

Nutritional advice from Charlie and Lola? Drink pink milk
Tact and diplomacy from Peppa Pig? Er - this could start wars
Dancing by Angelina Ballerina? Sorry, they have that one covered
Time keeping advice from Cinderella? Listen to your elders and don't be late (okay, so many fairytales are just an elaborate way to avoid being too direct with advice).

Let me know your gems!

The consensus amongst the Mums who sell on our site has been that on the job learning works best for us, and if in doubt ask friends and family for advice. However, I have collected a few pearls of wisdom to share with you.

Don’t stress and try not to listen to too many tips… every child is different. Oh… and by the way your friend's baby doesn't sleep from 7 to 7.
Tammy, Mum and designer of Green Cheeky Monkey

Teach your child discipline.
Mum and Grandmother, Alison of Dribblebuster

No means No
Mum and Jeweller, Heather Stowell

Try and make time for lots of family time.
Keira, Mum and creator of (the Celeb endorsed) Mamascarf

Love your children but also be strict when it comes to rules and things they may do or not. Letting your children do whatever they want is definitely not the best. I think that I am a bit of an “old school style”
Dinorah, Mum and designer of the Gizmoroo collection