It's about now, in mid-January, when any New Year's resolutions we might have made to help us make a fresh start, or better ourselves in some way or other, begin to waver. Maybe you've had a glass or two of wine by now, or skipped that last gym session, or bitten your nails - and grrrr... you'd promised yourself you weren't gonna do that in 2015. It's about now that most of us really need a bit of help; to really turn those resolutions into routine; to stop those chances to change becoming discarded and forgotten like yesterday's socks.
I recently read a fascinating article here, by Emily Temple for flavorwire.com, which shared 50 books to inspire and keep you on the straight and narrow with your New Year resolutions. The list featured a pretty eclectic selection of fiction and non-fiction books to encourage you to travel more, watch less TV, play a musical instrument, learn a new language - there was even a book to get you thinking about living your life in an arboreal kingdom amongst the treetops. But, for me, there was a category missing; for anyone who's made a parenting New Year resolution this year. You don't often hear about those, and yet I know that many mums and dads have made them. These are the parents who are trying their best but still want to improve the way their family functions. They might have made a resolution to feel more empowered as a parent and less like the maid, to be more in control more of the time, to be more present, to play more with their children, to improve their family's communication, to yell less, to get frustrated less - or they might - dare I say it - have even made themselves a promise to try to enjoy being a parent more.
It is for those people, who have made, in my opinion, such noble New Year's resolutions - and who might by now be needing a source of inspiration - that I wish to add The Playful Parent; 7 ways to happier, calmer, more creative days with your under-fives to that list of books. There is no better time than now to plunder its pages for practical, non-patronising and positive ideas to help make the parenting of young children more of a pleasure and less of a chore this coming year.
Here's the link to my book's website The Playful Parent, and here are a few of my favourite reviews:
'As a stay at home mum of two (4 years and 21 months) I thought this would be worth a read. I must admit I approached it with a slight skepticism, having read some pretty patronising and unrealistic 'how to do parenting' books, but I've been really very pleasantly surprised. It openly acknowledges the struggles we face in raising young children and juggling the chores of every day life, but passes no judgement, and offers loads of ideas of how to entertain your little ones without having to be giving them 100% of your attention all of the time. At the time of reading this, I'd been really struggling with my feisty 21 month old boy, and even just reading the introduction really inspired me and reminded me how very lucky I am!'
'This book is full of fun ideas, simple ideas and useful ideas. It will show you how to engage your kids when you have jobs to do, how to create invitations to play and to set up play very quickly. It encourages you to get involved and to make it easy for your child to access play independently too. It is a wise,fun and inspiring book and an easy, pleasant read.'
'I love the fact that this book is written by someone who clearly knows how kids work. It's refreshingly positive and offers such fun, interesting ways out of real, every day problems where both the parent and child can win. It's certainly a book that you can dip in and out of whenever you feel in a rut or lacking motivation. I have already adopted some of her ideas and found they have worked a treat.'
If you did make a parenting New Year resolution back on 1 Jan, I salute you, and wish you the very best of luck. Please keep me posted about how it's going - you can find me on Twitter here or on Facebook here.
I'd love to hear from you.