Wednesday, April 1, 2009

How to Talk to Moms

Mostly I try to stay away from bookstores the way recovering gambling addicts should avoid casinos. But once in a while, armed with a gift card or a mission, I end up in Borders or Barnes and Noble.

The other day, I was on a mission. I am trying to find a good basic book about solar power. Preferably one with a title that does not include the words "Idiot" or "Dummies." (Although I must admit, those tend to be very useful books.)

Anyway, I didn't find a book for myself, but as usual I found myself drifting toward the children's section. The children's section of a bookstore is dangerous, because even though my kids have a couple million books scattered throughout the house, I can always find a couple million more that they don't have, and that would be absolutely perfect for them.

How to Talk to Moms, by Alec Greven, caught my eye right away. When I picked it up and started reading, I decided it would be perfect to read together with my 6-year-old son.

Concise and humorous, this book is filled with advice for kids, but without setting up unrealistic expectations of perfect behavior. Sometimes parents need a reminder that it's normal for kids to fight with their siblings, whine, use their shirt as a Kleenex, and make up excuses to try to get out of chores. And kids need to learn that moms generally don't like these things, and the excuse thing will probably backfire.

There is an empathy lesson here as well, with sentences like: "Being a mom is a really, really hard job because we don't always follow directions and things can get wild."

The first couple of times I read this, I didn't realize it was written by a 9-year-old. Learning the author's age gave the advice even more credibility in my son's eyes.

Apparently Alec Greven gained national recognition and hit the New York Times Bestseller List with his first book, How to Talk to Girls. I haven't read that book and don't know anything about it, but I'd say this one stands solidly on its own, with valuable kid-to-kid advice and a reminder that even when moms and kids bug each other, they always love each other.

1 comment:

Meaghan said...

This is fantastic! It should be required reading for 3rd graders. (And maybe husbands?)