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The Three-Martini Playdate: A Practical Guide to Happy Parenting Paperback – March 1, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Mellor, mother of "two darling little angels," tells parents it's time take back their lives--and their right to have a few cocktails at a child's midday birthday party. With chapters such as "Bedtime: Is Five-Thirty Too Early?" and "Screaming: Is It Necessary?," the author lays out a plan for parents to enjoy themselves and not be slaves to their children while still offering their kids a warm, nurturing environment. Mellor's advice has a retro twang, and is always wry and often quite funny, standing in sharp contrast to the guidance normally found in books of its kind. The author urges readers to recruit children to pitch in with household chores ("Three years old is not too soon to start learning the fundamentals of decent vacuuming") and thinks excessively childproofing a home is ridiculous, since kids find a way to open complicated locks anyway ("You might as well festoon all your drawers and cabinets with brightly colored flags that say 'Hey, You! Kid! Fun and Danger in Here!'"). Mellor's guide will surely be a boon to parents in need of some "grown-up time." -Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
I laughed out loud over some of the reviews which describe the author as not liking children or being intolerant of other parenting techniques, because I *KNOW* what those people's kids are like. The author does not dislike children nor is it alternate parenting techniques she is intolerant of--it's the whiny, spoiled rotten brats they produce she doesn't like.
I'm pediatrician who's been in practice a long time, and I spend all day with kids who cover the spectrum. I love kids. I hate whining. Here's a news flash for some parents--most kids are not actually whiny! Find that hard to believe? Then yours probably are.
This is actually my single favorite parenting manual. Yes, there's a lot of hyperbole, but the underlying message, that kids should join your world and not take over the universe, is one that a lot of parents don't seem to understand these days. This book gives parents permission to set boundries, to actually take some personal time and to plan activities for themselves, not just their kids, without feeling guilty about it. Happier adults with balanced interesting lives make much better parents.
So, if you want to raise a self-centered, whiny pill of a child incapable of entertaining himself, sleeping in his own bed or calming himself down without breast feeding when he's four or five, who thinks that saying the words "excuse me" is a free pass to interrupting adult conversation, and who believes the entire adult population was put on the world to cater to his every whim (and god knows apparently a lot of you do, because you seem to put a lot of time and energy into it) this really isn't the book for you.
If, on the other hand, you want to raise a happy, healthy, responsible, self-confident child who understands that life should be balanced, doesn't argue endlessly when you say "no", says "please" and "thank you" when you're at friends' houses, who you can take to a restaurant without worrying about how she's going to behave, who eats the well-balanced dinner you've spent a chunk of your evening preparing, who is capable of entertaining herself for an hour or so (without turning on the television!) while you do other things, who goes to bed at night without tantrums and most of all who your friends and family enjoy being around, then you're going to love this book.
And no, I don't expect kids to be perfect--far from it! But I do expect them to be raised with some modicum of boundaries and manners. And I expect parents not to completely give up their adult lives and relationships. For what it's worth, there are far more pleasant than unpleasant children around, but boy, can the unpleasant ones ruin an afternoon, dinner out, or a family gathering!!
No, it's not a manual of precise techniques (for that, check out the Super Nanny website--Jo has a lot of good videos there) to suddenly tame the child you've let run your life for however many years, but it's an important book about the role children should play in a family.
As I tell my patients' parents, yes, your child should BE the center of your universe, and they should feel safe and secure in life and in their relationship with you, but they shouldn't BELIEVE they're the center of the universe. Otherwise, they're in for a really rude awakening later. Raising children other people don't enjoy being around does the kids a huge disservice. Not to mention the rest of society who has to interact with them.
From a delighted parent.
p.s. As a big fan of Miss Manners (and now Miss Mellor), I was surprised to see the [comparison]. Judith Martin's humor relies on an imperturbably ladylike primness and pedantry; Mellor is far more slapstick, loopy and fun. Buy both, and see for yourself!!
She's right on when it comes to the parents of today and hilarious in her reminicences of the child rearing of the past. A great read. Highly recommended to anyone with kids AND a sense of humor.