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Crystoppers - A Play by Play Guide for Wise Parenting

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Crystoppers - A Play by Play Guide for Wise Parenting
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Dr. Aaron Kaweblum has written a book which is sure to raise some controversy among fathers and parents everywhere. His book Crystoppers - A Play by Play Guide for Wise Parenting challenges parents to think differently about their roles and to take a stronger stand in parenting wisely, and not just in a way that helps their children stop crying and whining. Dr. Kaweblum suggests in strong terms that parents take the long view in raising and disciplining responsible children, focusing on doing the right thing for our children and not doing the wrong things.

How Parents Actions Affect Children

We have all seen the situation, and many of us may see ourselves in it. It is repeated many times every day in grocery stores, restaurants, and homes. A child who is screaming, whining, and htting his parent because things are not going precisely his way intimidates and manipulates his parents into giving in to his wants. "Anything to get them to stop crying" a harried mother or father might think.

That is precisely the problem according to pediatrician Dr. Aaron Kaweblum. Too many parents have not taken their appropriate role as teacher and molder of children and have become nothing but "crystoppers." As Dr. Kaweblum has watched his patients and their parents over the years of his medical practice, he has become convinced that inappropriate behavior, parent abuse, childhood obesity and sleep disorders among children are largely the result of the epidemic of "crystopper parents" who are failing their children.

In Crystoppers - A Play by Play Guide for Wise Parenting, Dr. Kaweblum suggests that parents need to leave behind the "crystopper" mentality and become "wise parents." Parents who follow his advice to focus on wisdom rather than crystopping will follow three basic rules:

  • If something is bad for your child, don't do it, no matter what the objection.
  • If something is good for your child, do it, even if the children resist.
  • Never say "I will try" when it comes to the good of your children; just do it.

The Three Spheres

Dr. Kaweblum identifies three major spheres of a child's life and suggests ways that parents can think about what is good for them and for their children in each of these spheres. The spheres are:
  • Nocturnal sleeping
  • Behavior and temperament
  • Nutrition

In Crystoppers - A Play by Play Guide for Wise Parenting, Dr. Kaweblum looks at each significant stage of a child's life from birth to teenage years and explores in each of these three spheres how parents can help raise responsible children without falling into crystopping approaches. He covers topics like toilet training, heathy eating, disciplinary techniques, vaccinations, dealing with aggresive behavior, handling new siblings, snacking, ADHD and more.

The Bottom Line

I will have to admit - I found myself agreeing more with Dr. Kaweblum the more I read of Crystoppers - A Play by Play Guide for Wise Parenting. It is not very politically correct and it will challenge many parents who see themselves as victims, but it calls on parents to give their best effort to parenting. Too many parents see themselves as their children's friends or as a parent only when it is convenient. They are tired from work, hobbies and other demands and simply find themselves giving in to their childen to maintain peace or to avoid embarrassment. Dr. Kawebaum encourages such parents to turn their attitudes and priorities around and to put the wellbeing, short term and long term, of their children first.

One of the best parts of this book was that the author didn't just call out parents who could do better, although call them out he does. Dr. Kawebaum also offers a detailed and effective set of recommendations and perspectives that will help any parent stand up and make the changes their need to make. As the subtitle suggests, this is a "play by play" guide for parents to take a more assertive and appropriate approach to parenting.

Fathers especially will beenfit from the advice in Crystoppers. My experience suggests that we sometimes have a hard time defining when we should be tough and when we should lighten up. After you read Crystoppers, you will have no doubt about where the lines are in terms of your role as a father and what you can and should expect from your children. Definitive lines are helpful in any context and fathering is no exception.

If you are concerned about the impact of your choices, decisions and parental attitudes on your children, and if you are frustrated at how your children are behaving, eating, sleeping and acting in public and private, Crystoppers is an important read and a guidebook you should adopt to help you become a more effective father.

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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