Last week, you got exactly fifteen words from your teenager.
Your younger children were much chattier, but you can barely keep up with everything they yammer about: school, friends, music, TV. They’re growing up so fast, and it seems like they’re doing it without you. Weren’t they babies, like, ten days ago?
“Take Back Your Family” (c.2008, Gotham Books, $25.00 / $27.50 Canada, 273 pages) says Rev Run and Justine Simmons in their new book with the same title. You didn’t have kids so you could miss out on their upbringing, so put the brakes on your busy life and enjoy your family again.
If you watch “Run’s House” on MTV, you might think that being a good parent is easy. Rev Run sure makes it look like it is. But, hey, that’s Hollywood for you. Cameras can make anything look real.
But in this case, “Run’s House” is real. Rev Run says he counts Brad Pitt among his fans, but stardom hasn’t gone to Rev’s head. Run practices what he preaches, and in this book, he teaches, too.
There are a lot of firsts in “Take Back Your Family”. Number One, always keep your marriage first. That doesn’t mean you should neglect your kids, but that the relationship you have with your spouse (or other parent, if you’re single) should be a united one. As long as you support your other half in the family, your kids will have a strong web on which to rely.
The second “first” is to always put your kids first. In light of the above paragraph, this sounds odd but it’s not. Always put your family in front of work, partying, and anything that would take you away from your kids. And if you’ve got a job that requires a lot of traveling, Run says you should look for work closer to home, at least until your kids are grown.
Get rid of clutter, both physical and emotional. Make your kids feel “large”. Treat your family like a well-run business. Make hugs imperative and openly show affection to your spouse. Know what’s going on in your children’s lives and at their school. Promote an “attitude of gratitude”. Pull together on bad days as well as good. And be willing to let your children go when it’s time.
Ahhh. In the category of family care books, this is a breath of fresh air.
Although – like most parenting books – much of “Take Back Your Family” is common sense, things like this always bear repeating and seem to mean more when you see them in print. That doesn’t mean this book is boring. Authors Rev Run and Justine Simmons will also surprise you with some unconventional advice.
I also enjoyed this book because of the behind-the-scenes peeks, because it didn’t seem preachy, and because this “parenting” book also included some solid advice on relationships.
No matter what your family looks like, and no matter how well your kids behave, this is good to have on your bookshelf. “Take Back Your Family” is a book you’ll take out often.