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It's Your Kid, Not a Gerbil: Creating a Happier & Less-Stressed Home Paperback – August 1, 2011
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No pressure or anything. :)
This book had some good points and I underlined them here and there throughout the book. I've read quite a few family/parenting books in the 30+ years I've been a parent and this one didn't stand out for me. It was okay and maybe would appeal to a younger dad, mom or care giver but it wasn't a fascinating (to say the least) read for me.
One thing though, shared in the pages of this book should be shouted from the top of every parent's roof top:
"When does your 'help' hurt your kids? When you do things they can do for themselves."
We've parented both ways ... not helping our kids with what they could do themselves and helping too much. The former is surely the better way.
I didn't learn to survive and thrive when I've managed it from what my mom did for me but I have been empowered from what she expected me to do without her help. This is a great lesson the book shares more on.
Another great point shared by this author is to let children learn from their own consequences. Instead of getting frustrated, nagging, and/or complaining over having to pay for their actions... don't. Let them wear dirty clothes if they don't get them to the laundry and/or deal with school discipline if they forget an assignment. Don't take away from your time to fix it. Trust me, some of us need every single second of the school day to do what ever it is we need to do!
In case it sounds like I am telling you what to do... please know I'm not. I wouldn't do that to you for it would imply that I am a shining example to follow. I have both been successful in this area and failed beyond miserably. The one thing I did right and strongly encourage anyone who will listen is... I prayed for God to teach and train my kids in spite of my failures... that is worth repeating!
I received this book from Tyndale Publishers at no cost in exchange for an honest review.
In It's Your Kid Not A Gerbil, Dr. Leman challenges families to create a happier and less-stressed home by an earth-shattering technique: removing activities. Parents today are obsessed with making sure their kids have opportunities they didn't have and giving them the best and allowing them to try every single different activity out there so they know what they might be interested in. This doesn't produce super-kids; it produces super-stressed kids. It produces kids who begin to believe that their worth lies in what they can do, rather in simply who they are. It also keeps you from leaving the imprint you long to have on your child's life, as they get the majority of input from other people, like coaches and teachers. Dr. Leman reveals the secrets to battling the "busy hands are happy hands" myth, choosing activities wisely, and creating an atmosphere your kids will love to come home to.
My girls are tiny right now, but I can definitely see the lure of the activity trap. My little Pumpkin Pie is so social, that I could see myself signing her up for a number of different activities just to feed her social appetite. But, when I think about it, I want the biggest influence in her life to be her family, not all her friends. This book has helped me to be aware of what lies ahead, and to come up with a game plan of how to handle it.
My two favorite aspects were Dr. Leman's theories on quantity time vs. quality time, and the value of boredom. Dr. Leman believes that quality time is a bunch of hooey and it truly is quantity time that matters. The reason for this is the fact that quality time is so relative, and parents who preach quality time only don't realize that they are the ones coming up with the definition of quality time. What is quality time to them most often is not quality time to the kid. The kid knows when the parents are spending "quality" time with them just to assuage their guilt about not being around more often. As far as boredom goes, parents tend to over-schedule their kids because they fear boredom. Dr. Leman emphasizes the good in boredom, as boredom is truly the springboard for creativity. Take away the springboard, and many kids don't ever get the chance to truly see how creative they can be.
I loved this book. I think it will speak to parents of kids of EVERY age. And you can be sure that I am now going to read every Dr. Leman book I can get my hands on. I've already reserved one from the library.
Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a free copy of this book as a part of their blogger book review program.
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It's Your Kid, Not a Gerbil written by Dr.Read more