Its OK Not to Share and Other Renegade Rules for Raising

Its OK Not to Share and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids Parenting can be such an overwhelming job that it’s easy to lose track of where you stand on some of the controversial subjects at the playground What if my kid likes to rough house—isn’t this ok as long as no one gets hurt And what if my kid just doesn’t feel like sharing In this inspiring and enlightening book Heather Shumaker describes her uest to nail down “the rules” to raising smart sensitive and self sufficient kids Drawing on her own experiences as the mother of two small children as well as on the work of child psychologists pediatricians educators and so on in this book Shumaker gets to the heart of the matter on a host of important uestions Hint many of the rules aren’t what you think they areThe “rules” in this book focus on the toddler and preschool years—an important time for laying the foundation for competent and compassionate older kids and then adults Here are a few of the rules    • It’s OK if it’s not hurting people or property    • Bombs guns and bad guys allowed    • Boys can wear tutus    • Pictures don’t have to be pretty    • Paint off the paper    • Sex ed starts in preschool    • Kids don’t have to say “Sorry”    • Love your kid’s lies IT’S OK NOT TO SHARE is an essential resource for any parent hoping to avoid PLAYDATEGATE ie your child’s behavior in a social interaction with another child clearly doesn’t meet with another parent’s approval

10 thoughts on “Its OK Not to Share and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids

  1. Adele Stratton Adele Stratton says:

    Best handbook for parents of preschoolers Ever

  2. Alexandria Alexandria says:

    Parenting books are always going to be a mixed bag and people are going to read those that seem to support their ideals creating a kind of echo chamber I try to avoid this by reading books that rely heavily on scientific studies rather than on well everyone knows that you're supposed to sort of reasoning Shumaker does a relatively good job of referencing the studies she uses to support her work though I would have liked a stronger bibliography or source citation She also tends to rely heavily on her own experiences and the advice of people who worked at the school she attended which can again create a kind of echo chamber But since scientific studies seem to back up the same suggestions and ideas it doesn't seem to be doing much harm Many of the reviews I've read thus far are from people who had a handle on some of the concepts in this book before they ever picked it up Don't force a child to give up a toyplay euipment spot the second another child wants to use it Listen to your children and try to give them the space they need to express themselves without letting them run wild I didn't have a lot of these guidelines when I was growing up I had to follow the rules all the rules or I was Bad Girl To this day I have problems stepping outside the lines and often feel that if I can't do it right then I shouldn't do it at all I don't want to pass these traits onto my son and I think that Shumaker's suggestions could help my husband and I avoid these issuesTouching on topics ranging from No BoysGirls Allowed to introducing the concept of death to children in as safe a manner as possible to toy weapons Shumaker's work covers the big topics where many people are uncertain She brings science and reason to the table but still leaves room for her reader's personal preference and comfort levels She doesn't say This is how it has to be She says this is what scienceexperts think will work best Here's a few ways you can work these practices into your life Go at your own pace whatever pace it is to keep you and your family happy and comfortable She also takes time to point out that there will be days when her reader as a parent or caregiver simply won't have the energy to employ the tips in this book and that it is perfectly fine Expected even All that matters is that we try what we can when we can and do the best we can for our children

  3. Nancy Nancy says:

    Terrific book Parents should always build their own parenting styles and practices on belief and practice a parent who feel rock solid comfortable with their own ideas will make their kids feel comfortable too knowing that mom and dad stand for something have some non negotiables So I wouldn't advise anyone to use this as a manualWith that said the book is full of different ways to look at common practices Say you're sorry and can serve as a spur to re thinking some of the things you learned in your own childhood At that re framing many of the common dilemmas of parenting Shumaker is superb

  4. Chris Norbury Chris Norbury says:

    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 why's 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 adultsWhat 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 PROPERTYThe format is laid out simply logically and clearly Twenty nine rules each with its own chapter Each chapter explains the rule the reason for the rule why it works with children what you might object to initially case studies or examples of the rule in action and Renegade Blessings and Children's Rights which further help reinforce this new way of thinking for parentsEach chapter also contains step by step procedures and suggestions for implementing a new rule Ms Shumaker also deals with the inevitable clash between old and new cultures and how to deal with for example parents who believe it's abhorrent to let young children indulge in any sort of violent or aggressive fantasy or game She acknowledges there will be friction between parents with different parenting philosophies and provides handy explanations and justifications for the Renegade parent to gently educate another parent in how to accept a Renegade Parent's styleBottom line I usually conk out reading in bed by eleven o'clock but It's OK NOT to Share was such a page turner it kept me up reading well past midnight on two occasions This is the best book I've read this year and one of the best nonfiction books I've read in many years

  5. Stephanie Stephanie says:

    Some of it I love some of it I will not incorporate into our life Some of the chapters were not convincing at all even while relying on child development specialists to make her point While I wouldn't say No to weapon play I would also not buy my child a toy gun Just as I wouldn't buy an American girl doll It is important for me being the one who buys the toys that I am supporting what I believe is a good company a good kind of toy etc I loved the overall themes of letting children play and many of my pet peeves like telling kids not to run or to be careful were included Lots of good stuff but there were too many sections that I really didn't like and therefore I finished the book feeling like I can't really recommend the book without a giant disclaimer that some of it is not on the right path in my opinion

  6. Charly Troff (ReaderTurnedWriter) Charly Troff (ReaderTurnedWriter) says:

    If you are a parent read this book It is my absolute favorite parenting book now I can't say enough good about it It has changed the way I and my husband parent the way I interact with nieces and nephews even the way I teach my four year old class at church Everything she teaches is based off of the rights the children and parents have she gives examples of application shares some specific things you should and shouldn't say in certain situations and even shares ideas for how to handle other parents who parent differently than you This is the best parenting book I've ever picked up

  7. Tammie Tammie says:

    I am loving this book I wish all parents would read it

  8. Mary Mary says:

    There's a lot about this book that I really admire the emphasis on protecting play encouraging kids to work out their own social relationships and empowering adults to parent how they'd like I like 99% of the research she journalistically cites although I wish she had proper endnotes or footnotes and a lot of researchers feel like old friendsThe book focuses on the preschool years and the progressive preschool where Shumaker went and where her mom still teaches is the ideal There's definitely an emphasis on boy issues roughhousing gender bending play and super heroes which makes sense since her own kids are boys and as she points out most of kids' spaces are dominated by womenSome of the brilliant bits Since kids develop empathy along with theory of mind and uite late in preschool hood making them say Sorry is hollow instead explicitly explain what happened to the other person and have them make restitution You ran over Elena's foot with your trike and that hurt and now she's crying Can you go get her blanket to help her feel better? Kids find a lot of power in the physically written word so writing out a contract for future events Anders gets 12 hour of video game time tomorrow or emotions Lincoln misses Fluffy Blankie He wishes she were here has a big often immediate impact Don't ban roughloudmessy play but create limits and boundaries where it can flourish Ask wrestling kids Is everyone still having fun? and insist on a safe word like stop or uncle to let kids tap out Direct rambunctious kids to play rooms or outside Have time materials and spaces where roughloudmessy play can be engaged in It's okay to say We can play with Nerf guns at our house but not everyone likes toy guns so only at home It's okay to say You can color whatever you want on paper but not on the walls or library books Let kids negotiate their own relationships They don't have to play with everyone; they don't have to like everyone They do get to set rules in relationships The baby can't touch my toys and redefine them as they go We can pass the ball back and forth though Instead of adults arbitrating let kids do the work Ask those kids what they're playing and if you can play They might say yes or they might say no Talk seriously and literally about Big Issues like death and sex from an early age Ask them what they want to know and focus on answering their uestions rather than being comprehensive at every instanceThe parts I'm not wild about? I'm not sure I buy the if you express the emotion you'll 'let it out' and be done I know a lot of people and kids who spiral into I'm stupidI hate XYou always I never and building those neural pathways over and over again make them easier to travel down Ditto on the chapter on swears if you're accustomed to saying it in private it will be easier in public If you say it when calm you'll be likely to say it when angry She sort of side steps the discriminatory swears like the N word in one paragraph where she has a reasoned conversation with her son about how that word hurts people and for that matter while she's okay with no boys allowed she blithely asserts that racial and ethnic discrimination is relevant to older kids and adults 181 Racist language and behavior is an exception to her it's all practice and play but she doesn't have a comprehensive reason whyAnd there's a big electronic hole in this book that ignores the existence of video games and television and other types of technological play Shumaker even off handed remarks literally that she doesn't even own a television which made me laugh aloud because I didn't think that we were still bragging about that Electronic media and play are part of almost every family's life I almost said every but then remembered the Mennonites and kids and parents need to learn how to navigate those kinds of play too evenespecially as preschoolersFinally I'm not wild about the ethos and title that parents who do these things are renegades These practices should be common sense and the we frame them as common sense the likely they are to take root We aren't brave exceptions we should be working for all kids to have access to free play and autonomyProbably 3 12 stars

  9. Ashley Ashley says:

    I really liked the fresh perspective this book took on parenting and I intend to utilize several strategies I found here In many ways some of these ideas were a huge relief My son was Montessori schooled through kindergarten and it was mostly a good fit for him not unfortunately for my daughter but one thing my husband and I still laugh about to this day is how seriously the teachers took roughhousing and how we were even instructed to eliminate it at our house My husband's evening wrestling matches with my son were frowned upon even though in some ways they were my son's lifeblood and enabled him to get through the task heavy days at school So I am very excited to get the imprimatur from the author to let the kids run roughshod as they roughhouse There were some sections I disagreed with for example exclusion based on gender is simply never going to happen in my house I see too much of that kind of exclusion mostly from girls I hate to say it in my son's school It's confusing and it further deepens a divide that frankly doesn't have to be there But the author is good about saying that not all of these rules need to be followed in fact she says she doesn't even follow all of themMy uibbles are fairly minor There was some sloppy repetition in the text that could have been eliminated sometimes verbatim within the same section I also felt the author relied far too heavily on the teachers at her mother's preschool when she was looking to add some expert support to her ideas I thought the most effective aspect of the book was the author's confidence her commonsense suggestions and tactics not the supporting of the case she seemed moved to do from time to time whether out of insecurity or an editor's prodding I know it's tricky to sell a parenting book when the author doesn't have a platform or isn't a parenting expert but that's how I would frame the book That's what makes it an interesting sell What T Berry Brazelton says is interesting but I'm sold on her strategies because they make sense to me on some core level and because she's not overselling them

  10. Rebecca Reid Rebecca Reid says:

    When I first saw it in the Netgalley catalog I was startled by the title It’s OK Not to Share and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids by Heather Shumaker Tarcher 2012 Not share? Isn’t that the first thing we teach our babies during play dates? I was delighted by some of the concepts in this parenting book not because I agreed with it all but because it opened my mind to different ways to approach teaching my children about relationships compassion and dealing with the ups and downs of lifeI liked Ms Shumaker’s explanations for the “renagade rules” If we make children say “sorry” they learn that they can say a word and go on with playing If we teach them to stop and notice that another child is hurt or crying they learn sincerity and compassion Let them decide to say sorry but do help them notice what they’ve done Similarly if we force a child to share a coveted swing he may resent the parent and the other child If we alert him to the fact that others want a turn and let him choose when to get off the swing he may learn to be sensitive to those around himAlthough I obviously won’t implement all the “renegade rules” I certainly appreciated the eye opening look at a different way to parent I appreciate the thoughts on how our forced compassion back fires and I intend to reconsider my responses to my young children in the future In all It’s OK Not to Share is a worth while read for parents seeking ideasCross posted on my blog

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