Friday, January 14, 2011

offensive! Warning!

I find this book offensive on so many levels. I can't even explain how much it grates against my soul.

Start with the title: "Children you want with the kids you have".  What? In other words, your kids don't measure up to your dreams, so instead of loving them, you're going to REMAKE them? That shows the ultimate disrespect for them, both as individuals and as creations of God. Besides, it doesn't work. It just damages the kids' psyches. How about loving, valuing, respecting the kids you have and helping them learn to deal with who they naturally are in the real world? Maybe you should get to know them instead of NOT WANTING them. Sheesh.

The description: "Do you want to know the secret of getting kids to work? Train them early! If you want your children to work together, finish their chores, complete their homework, and take care of their own personal hygiene and possessions, you have to train them. And it usually takes a helping hand and a few hints from someone who has "been there - done that." These suggestions, charts, and to-do lists from professional organize Marie Ricks will get you well on your way to having a clean home, a well-kept yard, and helpful, hardworking, on-their-way-to-being-independent children."

OH! So really the title should be "The SLAVES you want from the kids you have." That is more what this book is about.

Because, obviously, nobody wants a kid who has ADD, or is a little creative but also a little messy, or a kid who is busy programming computers and doesn't finish their chores, or a kid who has Asperger's.....

Because obviously all adults work together without stress, finish their chores before they do anything else, finish their housework every day.....etc.

Gosh, according to this, nobody wants my kids. Or ME. Or my husband--or anything he contributes to the world (like his music, videos, etc).

Newsflash: Creative people don't live this way. As adults. They don't work with other people. They don't finish chores if inspiration strikes. They lose their possessions--or give them away. And if you didn't have creative people in the world, doing everything "wrong," you also would have no music, art, books, dance, film....You want to live in that perfectly organized, clean, well-kept world? Sterile. No fun.

I don't even WANT a life like that. Might look pretty. And be pretty stifling. Not to mention stressfully impossible, and therefore confidence-shattering. Making that kind of organized the highest good destroys a lot of souls. Just sayin'. MOST of us can't live like that, and we waste a lot of energy feeling guilty about it. And this book is there to teach your children that THEY need to feel guilty about it, too, because if it doesn't come easy to them, then they are not wanted.

One of her chapters: "6. Obedience Is First, Honesty Is Second, and Their Bedroom Is Third"

Really? And here I am, busily teaching them that God is first. And everything else comes after, in a different order depending on the day and what the Spirit tells them. I guess I should put their bedroom in there somewhere. And start telling them that obeying me is more important than being honest. Because, after all, I am the most important thing EVER, and my instructions are always infallible and always have the greater view of what's going on everywhere.

I have issues with a lot of the things she says in the excerpt, too, but it's nitpicky.

It's probably a great book if you are a completely  uncreative person who needs a white-glove-approved house in order to think.

But for the rest of us? Nah....if you want clean, try the FlyLady instead. And WANT your children. As they are.


Brooke said...

Ew. I second the motion on that book. Ew ew ew.

Loralee said...

The text "How to have the Children you Want" is probably wrongly stated. But if the title were "How to instill the behavior you want in the kids you have" I wouldn't have a problem with it, and the author's purpose seems to be trying to teach behavior--which is what all parents try to do (although they differ on what behavior they teach.)

Regarding organization, I once read an article in a writing magazine that pointed out how organization could save you time, and create writing time. It was so persuasive I created a spot to stash my keys to avoid the two-minute key hunt every time I left the house. So organization has its place.