I was given an ebook recently called Parents Who Don’t Do Dishes by Richard Melnick. The divorced father of 2 boys, Melnick has much to say about parenting. I found several bits of advice that all parents could use.
When his boys were 3 and 5 years old, Richard was diagnosed with cancer. That led to an epiphany: life is now and should be lived. He let that revelation become one of the guiding forces in his parenting.
In a series of essays, the author discusses ways to parent without suffocating our kids. In his words, parents need to set good boundaries for themselves and let life flow without yelling and cajoling.
Those are lofty goals, indeed.
With some pretty plain language (warning for those offended by swearing: there is a good deal of it in this book), Melnick encourages parents to find ways to let kids grow without getting in the way. This involves giving them both space and responsibility. Woven into the essays were quite a few points I found profound.
One of my favorite parts of the book is the question he frequently boils situations down to: “How is this to your benefit?” That’s a great question to ask a kid: “How is it to your benefit to fight with your brother?” Making children think clearly about the pros and cons of their choices is, in my opinion, genius.
While I appreciated the wisdom Melnick has to offer, I did struggle a bit with the book’s format. Lacking a table of contents and overriding structure, the book instead is more a stream of consciousness. Open to the first page and you just launch right into the introduction and then dive into essays.
I personally prefer books that have a more structured format with a clear path to the point the author is trying to make. I often found myself wondering where exactly a particular chapter was headed. This isn’t a fault of the book per se, just a style preference on my part. I have a friend or two who function very well in the stream of consciousness realm. I’m just different.
In addition to the essays and advice on parenting, the book includes some of the author’s favorite recipes. Several looked delicious.
You can find Parents Who Don’t Do Dishes on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle editions.
FTC Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in order to write this review. The link to Amazon is an affiliate link, meaning I earn a little bit if you click on it and purchase (it doesn’t raise your cost at all). All opinions are my own.