I have a love-hate relationship with parenting books. I love my Karp, but as I wrote in that review, most parenting books are “too darn long, stuffed with sidebars and anecdotes, and take forever to get around to the point.”
So I posted today over at GNM Parents about how best to use parenting books. Here’s the story I start out with:
…After months of trying, our friends finally got pregnant and so they set up a nursery, bought a layette, and started to read lots and lots of parenting books. Too many parenting books, it turns out.
Dad-to-be came home after work one evening and found his wife curled up on the sofa, sobbing because sheâ€™d been reading the â€œproblem pagesâ€ of a popular parenting book. You know this section, right? Itâ€™s where an author details every possible complication and genetic anomaly, and not just those that affect infancy, but a childâ€™s entire life.
After consoling his wife, our expectant father friend took every last parenting book, piled them in the outdoor fire ring, and burned them to a crisp.
Honestly, I don’t think that burning the parenting books was such a bad idea in their case, but there are other ways to make use of ’em, too. (Shoring up sagging table legs comes to mind.)