Sunday, July 29, 2012

Book Review: Beyond the Sling

Beyond the Sling by Mayim Bialik, PhD

I got a lot out of this book even if I don't, and don't want to, adhere to all of its ideals. And that is Bialik's point. She offers up her point of view and experiences and allows readers to make their own choices and find what works for them.

Some of the chapters were so beyond anything I'd ever consider trying that I just ignored them. One topic that is beyond my scope of experience and that I'd like to look at further and probably incorporate to some degree is gentle discipline. I do not like how I feel and how I handle discipline issues with my daughter much of the time, and am looking for new ways of dealing with it, for my own sake if not for her.

I felt validated for my choices in the birthing and breastfeeding chapters, and I got a lot of reassurance from the chapters on baby wearing and the co-sleeping. (Though I never intended to co-sleep at all, I have found it has allowed me to get a lot more sleep than I did with my first daughter, and that is totally worth it. I am slowly working on getting my baby to sleep on her own. Bialik still co-sleeps with her kids, and though that would not be right for us, her views helped me to understand the benefits of the choices I have made and why I've made them. And helped me not feel like I'm doing something wrong since my baby is not sleep trained.)

Whether you subscribe to any of the ideals of attachment parenting or not, Bialik's point of view might make you take a look at your own parenting style and think about your choices conscientiously. And maybe give you some ideas of how to be a better parent and a more well rounded person.

"Being a present and devoted parent if more meaningful and important than anything in the world. ... Choosing to be involved with your children is a gift above gifts, and we all want our children to become adults who want to spend time with us, seek our advice, and respect us. We need to be there for them early on to have the best chance of this outcome."

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