A little lost in the world of parenting, I bought this book after reading advice Judy Arnall gave on the Mothering Dot Commune "Ask the Experts" webpage. The writer sounded sincere and grounded and I was moved to spend the money on yet another parenting book. Akin to that dog-eared Best Ever Dinner Cookbook one always gravitates toward, all our other parenting resources are shelved... somewhere.
I call this book my bathroom bible, because it sits close to hand, near where I sit... whenever I need a sanity break to resolve the issue I've just run from. It's useful for leaving open to a page for my husband to read regarding a particularly draining parenting issue; even friends have picked it up when in the loo!
The book is packed with information, easily navigated, well-referenced, has a great bibliography, and the margins can't get much narrower, so I definitely got my money's worth. Of particular interest and help to me is the 50-page quick reference tool guide... a life-saver during a quick bathroom escape. The book is an easy, informative, thought-provoking read whenever I simply thumb through it to learn about something new.
What IS refreshing is the short yet informative presentation of childrearing experiences (she's been through each stage FIVE times) and the humble, personal recount of what-not-to-do. I appreciate, and prefer, the humanness in authors who have learned their lessons from real life experiences.
I certainly have a lot more strength when I recall the author's words about parenting with dignity - no more blow ups here anymore - who's the adult, anyway? Parenting certainly is far more peaceful with Judy Arnall's guidance and, combined with no-processed-foods nutrition, we have a toddler we confidently take anywhere - dinner parties, multiple errands around our city, and long-haul flights overseas.