Book Review: The Handbook for 21st Century Mums and Dads – Felicity Evans

This is a sweet book with the very best intentions at heart for you and your child. As a parent of a highly sensitive child myself I am no stranger to turning to books such as this one for help and guidance when feeling out of my depth, but it is perhaps because of that fact that I did not get as much from this book as I expected. The reading I have previously done on the subject of parenting (especially parenting a sensitive and often misunderstood child) meant that I was already aware of much of the philosophy behind Felicity’s approach, and (pleasingly) I found I was already doing (or consciously working on) many of her suggestions. 20th c parents

Having said that, there were several sections of the book that were very valuable to me – one part in particular really saddened me as I realised the negative effect that one of my main parenting strategies could be having on my child. I have already made changes in how I parent, and feel I have a much better understanding of how my actions could be interpreted by my child. Even though I felt like I was doing much of it already, this book has built on my knowledge in an incredibly important way and filled in some gaps that I didn’t realise were there. It’s motivated me to try even harder than I already was to get it “right” for my child.

My main criticism would be that I felt like I was constantly on the verge of being given a practical suggestion or exercise to do that never quite materialised. Two thirds of the way through the book I realised that the small text on the bottom of most of the pages included links to printable worksheets from Felicity’s website to help put into practice her suggestions. However, I don’t read a book with my laptop and printer to hand and would have found the book infinitely more useful if the worksheets were included within the book.

Additionally, although the message is very valuable and the suggestions suitably “entry-level”, I fear the language is too “flowery” to attract more conventional parents and so it’s not a book I feel I could recommend to my friends. However, I would recommend this book to anyone who is already conscious that their parenting style could be improved for the increased wellbeing and happiness of their child, and who is keen to seek a more considered and mindful approach.

rating 3 stars

The Handbook for 21st Century Mums and Dads is available here, with many additional resources availble from www.felicityevans.co.uk

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