I had the chance recently to review Preparing the Millennial Child by MaryAnn Ball. This book is organized as a virtual parenting class. The premise behind the book is that Millennial Children are “are more precocious, more gifted, and more prone to mental and metaphysical differences than children of previous generations. They arrive hard-wired to perform tasks that were not expected of previous generations.”
Overall, there were some very valuable points in the book including the statement “the child’s bid for undue attention is an indication that he believes that if he does not have your undivided attention, you have stopped loving him.” I thought this was very interesting because often when I’m on the phone, Kora and Logan become extremely disruptive. I knew it was because they wanted my attention, but didn’t realize the foundation for it.
The author states “from the moment of their birth, children are held, touched, and cared for whenever they need attention. When that attention didn’t come immediately, they felt alone, abandoned, and unloved.” The book suggests offering non-verbal reassurance of your love for your child with a simple ruffle of the hair, pat on the back, or stroke on the arm. Even if you are unable to devote your entire attention to your child at that moment, simply acknowledging that you recognize they are there will reassure them. I’ve tried this while I was on the phone and it does seem to help a bit. I plan to continue trying the technique as the extra attention can’t hurt them and if it allows me to talk on the phone without them fighting in the background, I will be pleased.
Aside from a few points similar to that above, I couldn’t connect with much of the book. I found some of the concepts a bit far reaching such as the idea of “escorting” your child when they don’t do as asked. When asking your child to do something and they ignore or argue with you, “you wait for a few minutes and then with a genuinely friendly smile on your face, but without saying another word, go to your child, wrap your arm around her and gently nudge her until she gets up and moves toward her responsibility.” Even though there were claims in the book that this technique works I find it difficult to believe. I also felt the book offered far too many stories of how these techniques worked perfectly especially in the author’s own home. The author has raised eight children and is considered a parenting expert, but when she relates story after story of how blissfully everything worked out for her family after incorporating each technique, it became a little unbelievable. I did, however, enjoy the stories from other parents who attended her parenting classes.
I can see some value in this book and believe some parents will take away wonderful tips and advice for raising a happier and healthy family. However, for me, having to wade through the new age type philosophies to pick out the key points required a lot of effort.
The book was provided for review. The honest opinions are my own.