To quote Dr Bob Jacobs:
“This is a book about changing perspectives, changing families and ultimately changing the world.”
Foreword by Dr Sarah Lantz (Ph.D.)
Flick to any page in this book and you will experience, as I do, immediately falling away from the everyday formalities of being a parent, “I need to bath the kids”, “What am I cooking for dinnner?”, “Wash your hands”, “Wipe your nose”. As I read, I drop back into my heart, where my children always are, waiting patiently for me to return, to “see” them and to enjoy them for who they are in this very moment.This remarkable book by my colleague and friend, Dr Bob Jacobs, a clinical psychologist and all round conscious-parenting nut, probes into humanity’s most urgent questions via the lived experiences of everyday families he has worked with and learned from.
This book has been a particularly important book for me today. After experiencing a messy morning, filled with brazen confrontation with my four-year-old daughter who wanted to eat lollies for breakfast, rather than the scrambled eggs I had lovingly prepared for her, knowing what her precious little body needs to grow up strong and healthy, I went in search of some quick-fix parenting advice. I picked up Dr Jacobs’ book, thinking “Surely he has some way to stop this insolent behaviour of hers”.
But as the reader, I am reminded in the book about how, when we impose our own expectations on our children, they resist (and rightly so) our hopes that they become… doctors, humanitarians, nice people… and in my case, healthy eaters, organic advocates, kind, calm, peaceful, clean, tidy. Instead, our children just want to be seen for the totality of their being and not the objects of our unfulfilled “projects”.
Dr Jacobs’ book reminds me that our children just want to be seen, enjoyed and related to for who they are at any particular moment. They want us to relate to them as equals—not deficient, developing beings, needing to get somewhere, and eventually “arrive” at adulthood where they will be complete.
In a world cluttered with parenting books that promise healthier children, happier children, more content, well-behaved, “tamed”, “disciplined” children, this book makes me sit more closely to children. Listen more intently. Wonder at them. And when I do this, they almost always surprise me, delight me, and confound my expectations. There are very few books in the world that have this quality—to make us breathe a little deeper and feel a little stronger as parents. When I make my parenting decisions from this place, I am a wise and wonderful parent. We all are, and this book reminds us of that.
Later in the afternoon, I sat down and ate a lolly with my four-year-old daughter. With great exuberance and enthusiasm, she climbed onto my lap and told me about the texture of the lolly, the flavour, the taste, and how she likes to swirl it in her mouth. She asked me what I felt about my lolly—what I liked and didn’t like about my lolly. Would I like a different flavour? I got lost in her joy and delight, and the joy of partaking in this conversation with her. She confounded my expectations. And there lies the task of being a parent—to wonder at children, to learn about ourselves through our relationships with them, and at the same time, not to see them as “them”, but as “us”. Dr Jacobs’ book reminds me that we, as parents, have felt what they are feeling.
We have yearned for what they yearn for—and if we are honest with ourselves… we still do.
I love this book and I know other parents will too.
Dr Sarah Lantz (Ph.D.)
CHANGING THE WORLD BY CELEBRATING OUR PERFECTION
One reader contacted Dr Jacobs in March 2011 to say:
“I just received my copy of “Perfect Parents Perfect Children” by Dr Bob Jacobs today. I picked it up a 2-3 hours ago and I COULD NOT put it down.
“As I finished, tears were rolling down my cheeks. Tears for what I wish I had known 50 years ago when my children were babies and tears for the fact that someone has put into words what I have known in my heart for some time.
“But raised in the traditional family, in traditional religion, in traditional education, my heart feelings were smothered by what is logical and acceptable. I am so thankful that you are kind enough to help the doctor get this high impacting message out to the world by giving this book away Free. [Note from publisher: A limited number of books were available free during 2011 however the price of the book is now as shown above.]
“Pure Love truly surpasses the right and the wrong way of living as so plainly brought out in this book. The more I write the more the tears are flowing, so just know from my heart to yours the love is flowing and may many parents, grandparents, teachers and anyone working with children find this book in their hands very soon.”