Thursday, April 24, 2008
When I found out that Rose Rock's new book, Mama Rock's Rules was being offered by Parent Bloggers Network for a review, I jumped at the chance. I am a huge fan of her son, comedian Chris Rock, and I thought that this book would be side-splittingly funny. I thought it was going to be a goofy, joke-filled diatribe about the trials and tribulations of being a mother.
Boy, was I wrong.
What I found, instead of the schtick that I expected, was an engrossing book filled with Rose Rock's advice for raising good, solid kids into responsible adults. Filled with anecdotes about her own experiences with a parent, the book is heartfelt and poignant without being sappy - you can tell with every page that Rock wrote this as a labor of love and as a testament to her family of birth children as well as 17 foster children.
Rock believes in raising children with a firm but loving hand. She advises against becoming "friend" instead of "parent", but also counters that with advice geared toward making children feel loved, admired, and proud of themselves as individuals.
Each chapter covers a different topic ranging from family traditions to sex - and at the end of each chapter, a summary of the topics is provided. Peppered throughout the book are quotes from her children and foster children about things they remembered from childhood and how their parents' love and discipline molded them into the people that they are today. Interestingly, although references to Chris Rock are sprinkled throughout the book, Rose Rock pays homage to all of her children and their individuality and you can sense her pride in their accomplishments.
Rock encourages parents to keep constant contact with their children. As busy parents, it's our duty to make sure we are there for our kids by having family dinners and attending special events in our children's lives even if we have to juggle things around to do it. In her opinion, children remember those things way more than a toy they bought or a TV show they watched once. Her description of their kitchen in their home, with all of the kids doing homework at the kitchen island while she cooked dinner, is just as clear as a photo in my mind.
One of the other sections that I enjoyed was discussing sex with your children. Her advice, "don't lie down with anything you don't want to live with forever" is advice that everyone can take! But she believes that keeping an open and honest dialogue with our children is essential in keeping them on the straight path not only with sex, but with all aspects of their lives.
Rose Rock deals out her parenting advice with humor, love, and pride. Mama Rock's Rules is a great book for any parent to read and would make a great gift for Mother's Day! Check it out at Amazon.com, and make sure that you stop by Parent Bloggers Network to see what other reviewers have to say about this book!