Thursday 23 July 2015

Kids Don't Come With A Manual by Carole and Nadim Saad (book review)

I don't often review books for grown ups because it's incredibly hard to find the space in my day to read for myself, but I found a little extra time when the married co-writing team Carole and Nadim Saad asked me to make a look at their parenting book 'Kids Don't Come With A Manual'.

Kids indeed do not come with a manual, and I like the title, it implies this book is going to be a little chatty and less formal, and actually it is. The style is very friendly and understanding, with lots of personal anecdotes and examples of when the couple themselves didn't agree about how to handle a siutuation, and how they worked together to come to the best solution for all. 

Their book is a big 292 page parenting book, which seems a bit daunting at first, but I've found it's actually a very easy book to dip in and out of. Clearly split into chapters and sections, with short overviews and then more in depth explanations, one of my favourite things about this manual is that everything is explained in plain English. If you can tell me why something should work, I'm far more likely to try it.

I like common sense, I like to try and be calm, and I like to try and understand my children and why they behave in certain ways. Carole and Nadim's book seems to be based on those values, and I've found myself agreeing with them almost completely - which is not what I expected before I received the book.

Full of tips and hints, and strategies for dealing with specific behaviours and incidents, this is a very useful book for anyone who has passed the baby stage and is finding their children are now becoming strident individuals who seem to do all kinds of bizarre things just to make our life hard. It will show people that their child is perfectly normal, and help them to cope with the tricky bits that come with that normal.

I like that actually Carole and Nadim found themselves in the good cop/bad cop roles which are all too easy to fall into, and they realised this made them the losers every time, with their children becoming increasingly savvy and dividing them further. Working together makes life far easier for a parenting couple, it makes them a stronger unit with a stronger relationship and prevents build up of the stress and frustration, and ultimately annoyance, that comes with failing to properly have control of the role you are in.

The focus throughout the book is the children, having empathy and understanding for each other, and how the whole family unit needs to be happy in order for them to have the best childhood that is possible. Something my counsellor reminds me all the time is that I need to look after myself first in order to be able to look after everyone else efficiently and effectively, and 'me time' is discussed in the book as an essential. I think it's very wise.

Kids Don't Come With A Manual is an interesting and often humorous read fullof familiar situations. It is written really well and incredibly clearly, and I have no doubts that a lot of parents will find it incredibly useful on several levels.

Kids Don't Come With A Manual by Carole and Nadim Saad is available now at £9.49 paperback or £6.99 on Kindle.

We were sent our copy of the book for review.

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