After hearing my youngest daughter carry on this morning about wanting more Shopkins, More Than Happy: The Wisdom of Amish Parenting by Serena Miller
has been a very timely read.
Serena Miller is not Amish, but has Amish friends and has close ties with the Amish community near where she lives. In her interactions with them, she often marveled at how well behaved the Amish children were, and also how happy.
After talking with a variety of Amish parents, there are a few things that stick out:
* The Amish are taught to think of others first. Their own happiness is secondary, and grow up seeing their parents put others' needs before their own.
* The Amish don't focus on material possessions, and the absence of television helps in freeing them of the desire to want for things. They are happy spending time together and can find ways to entertain themselves.
*The Amish children Miller observed ate whatever was served at meal times. The parents also eat whatever is served, without criticizing or expressing their dislike for any food. They are also a part of daily food preparation, and as I have noticed with my own children, if they help fix the food, are more likely to eat it themselves.
* Amish children understand that they are expected to obey their parents. Parents are firm in their discipline, and expect their children to do what they say.
* There is a lot of good, common sense advice in this book. There are several little tips that I wish I had known years ago when my children were younger. And, unfortunately, there are no "do-overs" in parenting. I loved Amy Chua's Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, but More Than Happy by Serena Miller is more applicable to my own life and child-rearing philosophies. This is a parenting book that every parent needs to read.
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