When a couple decides to become parents, everyone has advice: mom, dad, aunts, uncles, even complete strangers feel the need to share their knowledge and experience with the new parents. This desire to impart tidbits of wisdom from the experienced can often be frustrating, intrusive and even offensive to the new parents, and it seldom gets better as people progress through the parenting journey.
'Now You Know What I Know: Parenting Wisdom of a Grandmother' by Pat Montgomery is a rare exception. Ms. Montgomery presents her words of wisdom wrapped in a sensitive, caring and loving array of stories and examples that makes the reader feel welcome, intelligent and empowered. Each chapter addresses a different parenting topic. Whether she covers babies, siblings and friends, spirituality or teens, she provides her readers with beneficial guidance coated in loving words and a knowledgeable embrace.
How is Ms. Montgomery able to cloak all of this wisdom in a compassion that presents itself as nurturing as opposed to preachy? She is not afraid to be personal and she directs her thoughts to her own children. Every pearl she drops is supported by personal experiences from the rearing of her own children, both positive and negative, that she shares with a transparency that makes the reader feel that she is a voice to trust and thus able to mother the reader.
In addition, this book is also exceptional because she not only addresses mothers, but she is equally as wise with her words for fathers. In a society where we encourage fathers to participate in the lives of their children with more than financial contributions and attending the latest extracurricular activity, it is refreshing to read words of guidance that support fathers embracing the parenting process as well.
Finally, Ms. Montgomery's words reach beyond the parent child relationship and addresses the spousal relationship. She takes the time to address issues that normally arise when two people are raising children and she encourages the spouses to find each other and harmony in the process with some solid advice.
Ironically, though she has the background to bring a clinical perspective to parenting, she chose not to do so. This position actually helps to make the advice in 'Now You Know What I Know' easier to receive and a must read for parents at all stages of the parenting journey.
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