Monday, November 13, 2006
You know what I love about this book? It’s not dull. It’s not pages and pages of text in the same font, saying basically the same thing over and over again: Give it up, Mom! Your kids are beyond repair! That’s one reason I’ve forever chucked many parenting books. I know that I mess up on a regular basis; I don’t need to be reminded of that fact in 300+ pages.
Maybe that sounds harsh. But, seriously, give me something I can use. Okay, I'm teasing. Yes, there are some good books out there (and, from personal reading experience, some very bad ones). This one, however, is special.
In Generation NeXt Parenting , Tricia Goyer identifies with Gen Xers because, well, like me, she is one. She says, "My generation is serious about parenting—just look at all we expect from our children and ourselves!" Ooh, can I relate to that.
The book looks different too. It's designed like a magazine because, as the back cover says, no parent has time to read a non-fiction (I added the 'non' because you'll all make time for fiction, right?) book cover to cover. Amen, sistah! It’s got quotes from Gen X parents, quizzes, sidebars, and I love this—song lyrics from the 70s and 80s. Can anyone say Hall & Oates? Mixed in to the stories from Tricia’s childhood, and fun bonus material, are helps for all of us on the parenting battlefield—especially those of the Gen X crowd.
Tricia and I sat down in cyberspace (can you imagine?) and had a little chat about her new book. Join us, won’t you? BYOL (that’s bring your own latte :-)
1. What's a Gen Xer?
A Gen Xer is anyone born between 1961 and 1981--Basically part of their formative years touched the 80s. Of course, some people who are a bit older or younger but have kids in elementary school can also be considered Gen Xers--since they have the same concerns.
2. Why this book? Why now?
Good question! I am addicted to books and parenting books, but whenever I read one I felt like I could never live up to what they were recommending. Somehow I felt that while the 70-year-old male writers had great advice, they couldn't relate to what I dealt with as a mom in this time in history.
As for the "why now," I wanted to encourage parents. It is no coincidence that we are parenting these kids during this time in history. God has chosen us during this time. Not only that, He can give us the wisdom and strength we need to succeed!
3. Tell us about the design. How did you come up with that non-conventional layout? What's the feedback been like?
Well, since I was writing for young parents, like me, I know we don't have a lot of time to sit down and plow through long chapters. Yawn. I wanted fun, short chapters that draw readers in. I also made each chapter title be the lyrics to an 80s song. Overall, I wanted the layout to be as interesting as the content :-)
The feedback has been excellent. I've had many, many people tell me, "I can't put this book down," which is not something one usually hears from a parenting book!
4. How can Gen X parents take some of the negatives of being a child of the 70s/80s and learn from them?
A few things that are common with Gen Xers include the facts that many of our parents divorced, many of us were latch-key kids and we spent more time watching TV families than interacting with our real ones.
Today I think that Gen Xers swing the opposite direction. Parents today are spending more time with their kids than ever, they are commiting themselves to giving their kids everything they didn't have. So, we are already on the right track, but at the same time all our commitments are overwhelming. And we can only turn these negatives into positives with the grace of God!
Visit Tricia at the Gen X blog.