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It's OK Not to Share and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids Paperback – August 2, 2012


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It's OK Not to Share and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids + Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting + How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Tarcher (August 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585429368
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585429363
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,155 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Rarely do parenting books trigger in me an exhale. But the title alone for Heather Shumaker’s new book came like that rare August breeze." –The Washington Post "On Parenting"

"An insightful, sensible and compassionate book full of downright revolutionary ideas." –Salon.com

"Brilliant. . . . It's OK Not to Share is an enlightening book that will make you take a second look at everything you believe." –Parents.com

"Did you read the title and think, what the heck? Me, too. Not only did I read it to figure out the title, I underlined about a third–it's that good." –Melissa Taylor, ImaginationSoup.net

"What an amazing book! [Shumaker] challenge[s] the parenting myths and fallacies that our society has embraced for so long." –Provider Resource Organization

"A breath of fresh air" –Jane Pratt, founder of xoJane.com

"These 'renegade rules' will resonate with what you know to be true, speak to what you want most for your children, and teach you how to achieve it. Don't let this one slip off your reading list." –Dr. Becky Bailey, author of Conscious Discipline and Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline

"This beautifully written book. . . provides immediate, sanity-saving answers to tough parenting questions. I highly recommend it." –Michael Gurian, author of The Wonder of Boys and The Good Son

"From 'Bombs, Guns, and Bad Guys Allowed' to '"I Hate You!" Is Nothing Personal,' the table of contents alone is music to my ears. Heather Shumaker is a healthy mom I can relate to–and I'll bet you will too, when you hear out her logic." –Paula Spencer Scott, author of Momfidence!

"A refreshing change from the usual admonitions. . . Shumaker's Renegade Rules are based on what children really need." –Lawrence J. Cohen, author of Playful Parenting

"Shumaker beautifully shows us why letting kids be kids may be the single most important thing we can do as parents." –Anthony T. DeBenedet, M.D. coauthor of The Art of Roughhousing

"A must-read for parents and teachers. This is a book you will want with you all the time." –Daniel Hodgins, author of Boys: Changing the Classroom, Not the Child

"A no-nonsense commonsense appraoch. . . As you read this book, you will begin to feel the stress of parenting melt away." –Vivian Kirkfield, PositiveParentalParticipation.com
 

About the Author

Heather Shumaker is a journalist whose writing has appeared in Parenting, Pregnancy, Organic Gardening, and other publications. A frequent speaker on parenting topics and an advocate for free, unstructured play in homes and schools, she has a special passion for nonprofits; before turning to writing full-time, she worked for The Nature Conservancy, Audubon Society, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, and many others. She holds an MS degree from the Institute for Environmental Studies at University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a BA from Swarthmore College. Heather makes her home in northern Michigan, with her husband, three chickens, and two children.

More About the Author

Heather Shumaker is a mother and journalist whose book "It's Okay not to Share: and other renegade rules for raising competent and compassionate kids" shares unconventional parenting wisdom. She has written for magazines and radio including "Parenting" and "Organic Gardening," and currently lives in northern Michigan where she raises chickens.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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This is the best book I've read this year and one of the best nonfiction books I've read in many years.
C. Norbury
While many of her assertions were quite familiar to me already, I found in her book a number of very useful specific suggestions for dealing with tricky situations.
Dawn R. Pedersen
One of the things I like most about Renegade Rules is that Shumaker takes the time to help us take off our "adult lenses" and see the world through a kid's eyes.
Think Banned Thoughts

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Dawn R. Pedersen on March 9, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Have you ever found yourself in a group of other parents, playing with your children, and peer pressure alone makes you direct your child to do something, or avoid something? And then you wonder whether that was really the best thing for your child, or if you're just reacting to the presumed expectations of other moms and dads. Sometimes we coax our kid to share something she's enjoying, or to apologize for an action he doesn't really understand. Sometimes we remind our child not to climb the slide, or not to exclude another child from play. If you ever had the gut feeling that maybe that wasn't really a useful approach, you may be right.

Heather Shumaker has put together 29 "Renegade Rules". The rules provide an unorthodox angle on common parenting issues, and each is based on successful practices in child development centers and homes around the world.

Shumaker is a journalist who had the good fortune to be enrolled as a young child in a preschool that respected the individuality and developmental needs of each child. Her mother was even a teacher there, so the ground rules set forth at school were carried over into her home. It's OK Not to Share cites a multitude of other authors, experts in early childhood development and psychology. I've read a number of these books and value them, so Shumaker's text fit nicely with my overall approach to mothering my son. While many of her assertions were quite familiar to me already, I found in her book a number of very useful specific suggestions for dealing with tricky situations.

"It's OK Not to Share" covers a gamut of early childhood topics. The book discusses a need to revive unstructured, free play for all children. It shows us how to deal with the wild emotions of little ones.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Think Banned Thoughts on October 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
When I heard about It's Okay Not to Share and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids by Heather Shumaker, it seemed like a book that might have some practical answers to this epidemic. There was a free sample chapter available called "Let Your Kid Swear". I read it, shared it and thought to myself "Ah-ha, here is someone who gets it."

The book arrived in my box shortly afterward and I dove in.

I quickly discovered that this book was written for parents of younger children, under the age of 6 - those really formative years. My kids are older than that, but I kept reading anyway. After 8 years of being told that I am a strict, lax, mean, over-nice, lazy, tough, terrible, brilliant, neurotic, crazy, casual parent, it was kind of nice to read a book that told me that for all these years I have been doing everything (mostly) just right. (Which is not to say that any of you have been doing it wrong - read on.)

My approach to parenting is based largely on what I consider "common sense", but what this book has told me is actually Renegade Sense - which explains so very much. I didn't realize that I really was parenting off the rails, but looking back, I see that for most of the fellow parents I know, these rules go against everything their "What to Expect when you have a toddler/preschooler/child" type books have told them.

All of these common sense guidelines, er, Renegade Rules, for parenting stem from one single rule - It's okay if it's not hurting people or property. They also stem from a deep respect for children's play. Something I fully support.

One of the things I like most about Renegade Rules is that Shumaker takes the time to help us take off our "adult lenses" and see the world through a kid's eyes.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By C. Norbury on September 24, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Most of one's success in life is based on using plain, simple common sense. Most of one's success raising children should be based on common sense too. Ms. Shumaker's book drips with common sense on every page. Her main premise is instead of trying to raise our children to become mini-adults, we should use common sense to understand the whys of their behaviors, and then raise them to become the best children they can be, with appropriate challenges and success at each stage of their development. She feels this is the most effective method for helping them become successful adults.

What I see as her overarching rule of rules is her Renegade Rule #2: It's OK if it's not hurting people or property. My translation: let kids be kids. Allow them to make noise, make messes, wrestle and roughhouse with each other by mutual agreement, have arguments, be selfish and hog a toy for the entire day, say almost anything (with certain limitations), play during 99% of their free time, and make believe any fantasy they can dream of, even if that fantasy appears to be violent on the surface. AS LONG AS IT'S NOT HURTING PEOPLE OR PROPERTY.

If you read this far and have dropped your jaw in shocked disagreement, you need to read this book so you will understand the growing legion of parents who will raise their children by these rules and will succeed. You might also discover that your experts have misled you about effective, beneficial child raising techniques.

If you read this far and have dropped your jaw in shocked amazement and enlightenment that your intuitive impulse and desire to raise your child with the common sense is valid, even though you went along with standard child raising guidelines, then you especially need to read this book.
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