Gifts to Our Children

Merry Mary

Publisher: AuthorHouse Pages: 106 Price: (paperback) $15.18 ISBN: 9781477231449 Reviewed: January, 2013 Author Website: Visit »

Self-esteem, joy, laughter, and the value of hard work: these are a few of the emotional and spiritual gifts this small inspirational book suggests parents should provide their children.

Author Merry Mary (there’s no indication of whether or not this is a pseudonym), begins each chapter with a personal story. For example, in one chapter, Mary talks about how she was appreciated solely for good grades as a child. Each story leads to the life lessons learned and the corresponding emotional gifts one should impart to children, having learned such lessons. In this case, for instance, she explains the importance of giving children the gift of unconditional love.

Mary’s book is a quick, easy read with some genuinely wise thoughts sprinkled throughout. However, the lessons imparted quickly become tedious and preachy and sometimes ramble. For instance, in “The gift of parenting” chapter, the author writes: “Have you over-delegated, also known as abdicating your parental responsibility, to your domestic help?” In the same paragraph, she then shifts focus to: “You are the breadwinner, yes, but earning your daily bread isn’t that easy as we all know. It takes time and work. So why not spend some time making sure that your hard-earned bread is of benefit to your kith and kin…?”

In addition, occasionally the advice feels outdated. In “The gift of self-love” chapter, for example, Mary writes: “Teach them to celebrate their gender. Let the man be macho and the girl be girly.” She notes that boys should be real men and not confused by hair braiding or nail polish. In these modern times, the message comes off as homophobic.

The book takes the tone of an old-fashioned grandmother imparting her hard-won wisdom. Unfortunately, the uneven nature of the content can make it hard to bask in the author’s positive message. Still, it’s a lovely premise that offers fodder for consideration to those readers willing to overlook its flaws.

Author's Current Residence
Nairobi, Kenya
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