I have been fortunate to see many models of parenting from the perspective of being an elementary school teacher for 19 years. There is wide range, and my hope is that beyond recognizing the good ones, I have consciously and subconsciously learned from them in preparation for having my own children.
There are a few who stand out above the others for me. They have a mixture of excellent parenting and values that resonate with mine, and I am grateful for the opportunity to work with these parents–grateful to collaborate in raising their children for the brief time I have with them.
A few weeks ago, I caught up with one of these parents, Tara Keppler, who inspired me when I taught her daughter. Since then she has co-authored a book, Food for Thoughtful Parenting: 12 must-have lists for new parents & young families, and writes an associated blog. I remember devouring the book when I first got a copy. This small, square book is only 77 pages long, and it is organized in easily consumed lists. FFTP is written in such a friendly, approachable style that its lists of ideas all seem familiar even when they are completely new to the reader, and they cover crucial topics such as mealtimes and being stuck indoors.
Some parenting books endeavor to prepare the reader for any contingency and in doing so make parenting seem like an impossible job fraught with danger at every turn. FFTP does the opposite. It reminds you that parenting is not only achievable, but it can even be a lot of fun. Some parenting books are steeped in deep theory and require the reader to buy into a philosophy. FFTP is practical and fits anyone’s parenting; moreover, the authors deftly weave their values and philosophy into the background of this book which makes it much more than just a book of lists. It is a gem in an overcrowded and overwhelming genre.
Tara suggested that I hold a giveaway for her book, and I couldn’t be more happy to have FFTP be the first product I specifically endorse on this blog. To that end, three lucky commenters, picked at random, will receive a copy of the book. To qualify, reply to this post (on Facebook or in WordPress) with a list about dads or dadding. What are great qualities of dads? What are your fondest memories of time with your dad? What are your favorite moments as a dad? Give me a list, and maybe you’ll get a book.