Thursday, May 8, 2008

Mama Rock's Rules Proves That Mama Rock Rules!

If my mother somehow ever came face to face with Rose Rock, mother of comedian Chris and author of Mama Rock's Rules, I'm pretty sure they would become fast friends. Why? Because Mrs. Rock's Ten Lessons for Raising a Household of Successful Children are right up my mom's alley. These lessons should be required reading for any parent. I mean, she did raise ten kids of her own and seventeen foster children, so I'm pretty sure she qualifies as a parenting expert.

Now not everything in this book is groundbreaking information. In fact, a lot of this falls into the common sense category, but Mrs. Rock presents it in a humorous and warm fashion that makes it fun to read. Even when she's being serious and stern she's still hilarious, like when she suggests you 'pull out that can of whup-ass' to help change your child's negative behavior. Also adding to the book's overall friendly feel are stories from her children peppered in the margins of each chapter. You can tell her kids approve of her methods because of these contributions.

Mrs. Rock hits on many important topics like sitting down to dinner as a family, self respect, the importance of reading and even sex education and spirituality. Even though some of this information presented is stuff most people (should) know, that doesn't mean there is nothing to be learned here. For example, I loved her idea about scheduling some regular family reading time, just as you would do for any other type of appointment. This is something that would have never occurred to me, but now I plan to put it on the agenda ASAP.

I also appreciated how she handled the chapter on spirituality. We are not a religious family, so when I began reading I could feel my eyes beginning to roll. However I was pleased to find her discussion of faith fairly balanced. She also touched upon something, that as a biologist, I find very important and that is recognizing the beauty in nature as a form of prayer. I may not see god looking up at a crucifix, but in watching a seed sprout I can find a higher power.

Another nice touch, at the end of each chapter Mrs. Rock added a bullet point summary of all the wisdom imparted on the previous pages. I have to think that she did this on purpose, knowing that in moments of parental insanity having these valuable lessons summarized and at our fingertips would be highly useful!

Whether your kids are six months or sixteen, Mama Rock's Rules is for you. These are rules that have and will stand the test of time.

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