Author: Eric Franklin
Basic Overview: As parents, we all wish we had been given an Owner’s Manual when we left the hospital with our first-born child, and probably each child after that–each model has it’s own unique characteristics and requires a little different approach, right? This book is packed with principles that we can teach to our children that will “stick to them like peanut butter sticks to the roof of your mouth.” Within each chapter you will find at least one of these principles–easily identified by the spoon and peanut butter jar — within the framework of a more broad subject, like my personal favorite chapter “Life Is Not Fair, Get Over it.” If you are at all concerned about the Entitlement phenomenon, you will love this chapter as well.
Franklin points out that he was raised in a solidly middle-class neighborhood, with doctors, lawyers, laborers, teachers, factory workers, all living in the same place. The assumption that the most “successful” adults would produce the most successful children, was not the case. He states: “What I noticed was that the common denominator in determining whether a person of this neighborhood would excel in life was whether or not they were raised under a firm set of principles–not rules, but principles that were easy to comprehend, remember, and apply to a lifetime of situations.”
Parts I Like Best: Well, Chapter 1, for sure. And I quote: “Shielding children from loss and rejection gives them an unrealistic sense of accomplishment. When every child walks away from a competition with a ribbon or a medal, these prizes reward them just for the act of showing up; it has nothing to do with excellence. Years later, do you think a college professor will applaud every student who shows up to class or an employer will pat each employee on the back for arriving on time to work?…they come to expect accolades for what should simply be expected of them.” Sound familiar? Here is a favorite line from Chapter 12: “We should set up children in an environment where they can be held accountable for their actions. We need to give them challenges, give them tools, and let them work it out.” If you tend to be a “helicopter” parent, this is great advice for change. Here is another quote from the same chapter: “Feed your children’s curiosity when they are young so that they will want to explore the possibilities, tackle challenges head-on, and become independent thinkers. remind them (and yourself) that parenting is about empowering children to be better–just like leadership.” Love that!
How This Book Made an Impact on Me as a Mother: My girls are grown, married, and one has two kids with another on the way. I wish this book had been around when they were little. So many good principles to teach them to be successful people are in the book. Now, as a mother of adult children, and as a grandmother, I hope to be able to share this book and the lessons learned so that my girls can be proactive moms as they raise my grandchildren to be leaders. I will be able to supplement their teaching now that I have these peanut butter principles stuck to the roof of my mouth.
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