From our guest contributor, Michele Borba.
Truth be known: I am a huge Amy McCready fan. I love her common-sense approach to parenting, and her sage, practical advice. I devoured (and recommended) her last book, If I Have to Tell You One More Time), and bookmark her blog, Positive Parenting Solutions. But her latest book, The “Me, Me, Me” Epidemic: A Step-By-Step Guide to Raising Capable Grateful Kids in an Over-Entitled World has my vote for the “Must-Read Parenting Book of the Year.”
McCready’s latest book is not only timely, but also well-researched and useable. As the cover states, “In today’s, 24/7, overstimulated, overindulged, can’t-get-enough culture, even the best parents struggle to find the energy to say no to their kids-when they need to hear it most.” Amy offers proven and practical strategies that will empower our kids (and us) without indulging them. And if we stay that course, the result will be reaping exactly what we hope: kids who are compassionate, considerate, and can focus on others and not just on “me, me, me.”
Here are just a few tips McCready offers in The “Me, Me, Me” Epidemic:
To boost empathy:
Turn on the TV and tune down the volume. Try to guess what each character is thinking or talking about. (p. 297)
Use current events to jump-start empathy building conversations. After watching news reports about devastating wildfires, ask: “What do you think those families are worried about? What do you think they’ll miss most about their homes?” (p. 297)
To boost gratitude:
Make gratitude rituals. Express thanks and gratitude for at least one thing during before-bed prayers. Or share a positive thought about your day at dinner or bedtime. (p. 288)
Start a gratitude journal. Keep a gratitude journal or gratitude jar as a family. Read old gratitude’s monthly or yearly. (p. 288)
To boost optimism:
Model your own silver linings. Verbalize your thoughts so your kids overhear them. “This is quite a traffic jam. I’m just glad we have an air-conditioned car to wait in.” (p. 289)
Help your kids find silver linings. When your nine-year-old’s pet gets loose, ask “What’s the silver lining here?” Child: “I’m grateful it’s summer, so at least if he escapes in the house, he’ll be okay.” (p. 289)
To boost charity:
Institute a one-in-one-out policy. Every time your child brings home a new toy or article of clothing, encourage her to donate another. (p. 290)
Make it real. Let your child see for themselves what it’s like for real people who overcome challenges or make do with less. (p. 290)
There are dozens of powerful ideas throughout the book that you can instantly use with children. But The “Me, Me, Me” Epidemic also offers 35 easy-to-implement tools that will help us set limits with consequences and cultivate responsible behaviors.
Whether you have a toddler or a teen, McCready shows us how to cleanse our homes of the entitlement epidemic so we do raise confident, resilient, successful children. The book is a gem, and I urge you to seek it out.
Thank you, Amy for writing a manual that will help our children become good and caring human beings.
Dr. Michele BorbaMichele Borba is an educational psychologist, parenting expert, TODAY show contributor and author of 22 books including The Big Book of Parenting Solutions: 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries and UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World.