12 Huge Mistakes Parents Can Avoid by Tim Elmore

This is a surprisingly good book packed with very useful and up to date observations on the iY gen child (i for ipad/iphone/etc. and y for Gen Y).  Most of the book is focused on parents and the repercussions of how parenting has evolved after the fin de siecle. So while the title sounds very simple the book is anything but simplistic; there is a lot here to really make you think you twice about your parenting. Note, however, that this is a Christian themed book with bible references, quotes, scriptures, etc. Honestly, I wish it wasn’t because the information contained herein is very universal and the Christian references will distance non-Christians from some good information. As well, the Christian themes can be removed so the book is universal to all religions in America without impacting the important information/advice/observations within.

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The book is broken down by the 12 main mistakes and then some recommendations/things to remember afterwards. Almost all of them have to do with overparenting, which the author feels is the main shortcoming of the modern parent. Children aren’t allowed to fail, develop their own lives or personalities, or become equipped to deal with the harsh realities of life as an adult. The result, as noted by the author, is the sheer amount of children never graduating university/college and increasing numbers returning to live at home. At heart, the author makes great points that the needs of the future and adult life are sacrificed to concentrate on the moments during childhood.

I was very impressed with the points asserted and honestly agreed with every one of them. I could see my own faults in there and areas I needed to change, improve, and (most especially) step back from to let my daughter develop, learn to adapt and thrive, and face hardships as well as the best times so she is prepared for all circumstances as an adult.

The book really focuses on Americans but the author notes that there are similar circumstances in a lot of English-speaking countries such as Canada and Britain. Almost an epidemic of overparenting combined with schools and society feeling the need to ‘level the playing field’ by deciding to not give honest assessments, grades, or mentoring. As such, kids grow up in a bubble that catastrophically pops once they are out in society and there is no mommy or daddy to guide their every move.

Although the information in the book is a solid five stars, I did rate down 1 star for the numerous plugs for the authors book(s), lectures, and organizations (they may be great, but when interspersed throughout the book, it feels more like a marketing tool or infomercial). They cheapened an otherwise well thought out and informative look at modern parenting and how we are likely setting our children up for horrible failure in the future.

Reviewed from an ARC.

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