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Read every parenting book out there, then throw them all out the window!

March 1, 2019 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

By Sonal R. Patel, MD

There’s a certain lure to self-help books—especially if you’re anything like me. I’m always on the quest for more knowledge; I’m the perpetual student.

I’m constantly either looking for ways to better myself, or looking for ways to do things better or faster. In other words, a shortcut!

I am embarrassed to admit this, but I’ve read almost every popular parenting book out there. Heck, I’ve even coauthored a surviving twins guide! And before I was a parent, I read many self-help books on dating, better communication, how to improve my career, etc.

Well, by read, I don’t mean that I actually read all of the books from cover to cover. I usually skim through them, or read only particular chapters of interest or those that I feel will be of benefit to me.

What I’ve come to realize is that there’s no magic solution to parenting. There’s no hack.

Parenting is a work in progress. It’s an evolution of ourselves and our children.

Some parenting techniques require both parents (and often grandparents) to consistently apply them for them to be able to work. Some techniques are more rigorous than others. Some are too lax for my parenting style; some are too rigid. But I like picking up a few key ideas from each book. You have to know your own temperament and your child’s. You have to constantly adjust. Needs change as situations change and as your child’s development changes. Know your child, and know yourself so that you can anticipate problems and set boundaries, but adjust them when you need to.

No one tells you how hard parenting is going to be! No single self-help book can help you hack parenting. It’s a work in progress for all of us.

PS: My current favorite is Weird Parenting Wins by Hillary Frank of the podcast The Longest Shortest Time.

About the Author: Sonal R. Patel, MD, is a mom of twin daughters and an allergist with Huntington Asthma and Allergy Center in Pasadena, California. She is double board-certified in allergy-clinical immunology and pediatrics. She is the coauthor of The Mommy MD Guide to Twins, Triplets, and More. You can find her on Twitter @TMommyMD.

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