Parenting for the GENIUS is for parents who would rather spend time with their families than read this book. It offers a no-nonsense approach to parenting that presents values you can proudly parent and live by in an accessible and enjoyable way. Parenting for the GENIUS is a guide for parents of children of all ages. It’s a how-to book that supports parents in creating clear and realistic strategies based on reflective practice.
As a resource, Parenting for the GENIUS is full of usable strategies for a host of situations that are discussed with honesty, complexity, and care—in the comforting style of discussing difficult problems with a good friend. Amy Alamar delivers her wisdom and expertise through insightful, familiar, and charming examples. The anecdotes and practical advice come together to illustrate the importance of reflecting on your parenting practice to inform your future decisions.
Parenting for the Genius is a comprehensive source for parents that discusses:
• Helping your child develop an authentic identity
• Developing character in your kids by addressing who your child is and who your child will be
• Promoting independence and encouraging and honoring that independence
• Nurturing well-being and healthy choices and increasing your family’s wellness
• Relating to your community and supporting your children’s entry into that community
• Helping your child build, enjoy, and benefit from the people and institutions around your family
Additionally, Parenting for the GENIUS provides day-to-day practical advice in areas such as:
• Thinking big picture, even when invested in the small stuff
• Finding clarity in anger, frustration, or disappointment
• Creating a space for yourself and identifying when you need that space
• Negotiating with control and supporting your child’s confidence
• Encouraging your child’s healthy choices
• Focusing on learning and not performance
“Amy Alamar dispenses parenting advice with humor, compassion, and wisdom. This is a confidence-boosting book for parents and one that will be useful from cradle to college.”
– Daniel H. Pink, Author of Drive and To Sell Is Human
“The brilliance of this book is how it blends real-to-life vignettes with practical advice, allowing parents to reflect on what is best for their children. Parents will develop strategies to develop the character, values, and resilience in their children that will prepare them to thrive now and far into the future.”
– Kenneth R Ginsburg, MD, MS Ed, Author of Building Resilience in Children and Teens: Giving Kids Roots and Wings
“Like a good parent, Amy doesn’t adopt a judgmental or scolding tone. She approaches her reader like the good, experienced friend every parent needs. Her practical, realistic advice acknowledges the realities of balancing work, personal health, and relationships. I thought I’d heard every bit of parenting advice, yet this book kept surprising me.”
– Peter Hartlaub, Father, Parenting Blogger (The Poop), and Journalist (San Francisco Chronicle)
Where Can I Get It?
Make no mistake, you’ll be making many mistakes. Sometimes there are no right answers, but often there are plenty of wrong ones. If you take nothing else from this book, know that mistakes (while they can present challenging situations) are extremely valuable and that you can view each one as a teachable moment.
I can’t stand it when parents say things like, “I’m such a bad mom,” or “I know, I’m the worst father in the world!” You will say the wrong thing. You will react too strongly, or not strongly enough. You will lack consistency. Tell yourself this is okay as long as you learn from it and make a better (but still maybe not the best) choice next time. It is very hard to move forward and enjoy the great moments of parenting when you feel stuck in the bad ones. Nobody’s perfect, so why should you be any different? But you can be a terrific parent—as long as you make productive mistakes. Stop worrying about being the best or worst parent, and just focus on being the best parent you can be. Have good intentions, reflect on your practice, and forge ahead with knowledge.
I recall my mother’s advice when I returned home from a show with my son. I had made a special day for him: dinner out, a live show. On the way home, he wanted to go for a treat. I said it was time for bed, and he pouted and whined—and that is a nice way of putting it. Well, I lost it. Really? How could he be so ungrateful? Why wasn’t he thanking me for such a special day? As I went to bed, I was frustrated that I had spent so much time making it such a special day only to find it was all ruined. I was near tears with anger as my mother pointed out to me that just because we had a bad drive home didn’t mean the whole day was ruined. It was a great day with one bad moment.
At some point, you have to let these things go. It’s okay to be upset, of course, but you have to move forward and know that one imperfect experience doesn’t make the whole day a failure. More importantly, it doesn’t make you a bad parent—just a good parent who had a perfectly normal imperfect moment with your child.
Who is Amy?
Amy Alamar, EdD, is the director of school partnerships at Girard Education Foundation, where she works with K–12 schools on integrating Activate Instruction, an interactive, online curriculum tool. In this role, she gathers and disseminates best practices and works with teachers, administrators, parents, and students to implement this tool. Previously, she served as the schools program director for Challenge Success at Stanford University. In her role there, she oversaw all the programming for member schools and conducted professional development for middle and high school faculty and parent education presentations. Amy has been working and researching in the field of education as a teacher, teacher educator, researcher, and reformer for over fifteen years, with a focus on underresourced students, literacy, curriculum design, and constructivist education. She has also done additional research in the areas of utilization of multimedia in education and student stress. In her role as an educator, Amy has been in classrooms ranging from elementary all the way through higher education. In her role as a frequent speaker for parent and faculty groups, Amy has facilitated parent education sessions focused on student stress and wellbeing as well as faculty development workshops focused on engagement with learning, professional communication, and curriculum design. Amy is the mother of three of her very own research subjects whom she learns from and enjoys each and every day.
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