Raising a child can feel like trying to assemble a giant jigsaw puzzle with a couple pieces missing. No wonder so many flock to parenting advice books. Author Sharon Ballantine did, too, when she became a mother. But in the end, she eschewed book advice, opting instead to trust her internal instinct that she and her kids would figure it all out.
She can be forgiven the irony of now penning her own parenting guidebook because she proposes that while families may stumble, in the end they will do the right thing if they learn to trust themselves. Here, she conveys that philosophy using the New Age principles of “universal flow,” “laws of attraction,” and more.
Ballantine promotes teaching children to visualize their “highest selves.” With this “Internal Guidance System,” they will naturally (albeit sometimes with a detour) find their way. Parents must acquire their own Internal Guidance as well, in order to lead by example. While it’s natural for parents to fear for children or have a preset notion of what their child’s success will look like, it’s important to relinquish control and let children define themselves.
Ballantine covers a range of dilemmas, from a child’s choice of friends to teenage defiance to parental divorce. She refreshingly admits that, by doing things her way, her children did sometimes mess up; grades tumbled and one child ran away. But she holds firm to her theory, detailing it with commonsense wisdom, in a straightforward, easily digestible style.
The narrative could be tightened in the beginning as Ballantine lays the groundwork. It also would be helpful to advise readers of how to jump in late in the game, since much of this information presupposes giving children a solid foundation from their earliest days. Still, for all the rigidity that passes for parenting advice these days, this serves as a welcome counter balance and will appeal to readers already familiar with New Age principles and newcomers alike.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.