Jun 18, 2019

Book Review: Parenting - Innocence to Inner Sense by Aarti Rajarathnam and Brinda Jayaraman

 Though social media usage is attributed to several issues, I must admit that I discover interesting people and their works through social media. Early 2014, a friend on FB shared a video snippet of a talk by Dr.Sivaraman and ever since I saw that video, I have become a big fan of him, read all his books and articles. His works have made a tremendous difference in my food habits since then.

A few months back, I stumbled upon a hard-hitting talk given by Aarti Rajarathnam on modern-day parenting issues. Since then, I have listened to many of her talks. So sensible, patient and relevant for today's parenting challenges. I also found out that she had written a book on the topic of parenting along with Brinda Jayaraman. 

I was so happy when I realized that this book is on Kindle Unlimited

This book dives into depth about four parenting styles, the issues both the child and parent need to handle and the impact on the personality of growing children depending on the parenting style being followed. This was an interesting chapter with relevant case studies.

The chapter on quality time is something we modern parents need to hear. This hard-hitting line sums it up - "You should never be substituted by an object or gift."

"Children know when you are not paying attention to them and it affects them deeply and often makes them feel rejected and unwanted because you make them feel that someone else or something else is more important."

Importance of social skills, respect for others, rules and boundaries are explained in detail. The reasons for a child's misbehavior could be attributed to one of the four Cs - the need to connect, to feel capable, to feel counted and to feel courageous. The explanation was just brilliant and I could relate to many scenarios.

The book keeps getting better as we progress. The chapter on "Mental toxins" was so impactful. The difference between poison and toxin felt like an aha moment to me, and I could relate to this when it comes to why parents feed junk to their kids.

"Poison is any substance that causes instant death. A toxin is a substance that causes a slower death often with subtle or no symptoms."

Mental toxins being referred here are excess use of gadgets, television, video games etc. The author has explained on the possible ill-effects of such use and how it affects the child. She has also given many guidelines on how to set rules and moderate usage, how to use technology effectively, importance of PLAY and outdoors. 

There is also a chapter on various parenting myths. The one that I really loved was the difference between bribe and reward. It was mind-blowing. I have been making this mistake with D - only IF you do this, you will get this. 

"The difference between a bribe and a reward is that in the bribe scenario the child is in control though you think you are and in the reward situation, you are truly in control but are able to get the desired outcome or result from the child. "If-then" rule implies a bribe and "When-then" rule implies a reward."

The final chapter on mind, body and spirit talks about many useful practices that contribute to holistic development of the child. Lots of helpful tips and guidelines here. I'm sure I need to read this book one more time to fully absorb the material.

I'd highly recommend this book to ALL parents. Please do read.

"To be in your children's memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today" - Barbara Johnson


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