Parenting Manifesto: The Gospel According to Mom (Or Dad)

I recently had the pleasure of speaking to a reporter about parenting magazines and mommyblogging. Specifically, I told her that I had stopped reading parenting magazines once I discovered the mom-centric writing in the Blogosphere. She seemed surprised at my declaration that real information--written by real parents--can be found on blogs, unlike the trite and contrived information I often found in magazines.

Brian Reid of RebelDad and his Manifesto Project is a perfect example of the kind of writing I find online, writing that offers real advice written by real people.

Reid is challenging readers of the Washington Post parenting blog On Balance to "share [their] universal truths about parenthood." Readers can email Reid a five-hundred word manifesto on any parenting or balance topic they choose. He's posting the replies on either his blog RebelDad, or on the Washington Post blog.

As a start, Reid offers his ten truths about parenting, starting with truth #1:

"All kids are different: What works with your eldest won't automatically work for your youngest, and what worked for your mom or your brother or the dad next door isn't necessarily going to work for you. Be flexible."

He's compiled all of the manifestos he's received to date on his blog. Here are a few samples:

From Cathy White's parenting manifesto:

"90% of the advice we get on child-rearing is pure shit. If you’re a brand new parent, you might want to write this on your hand. I don’t care if the advice comes from your parents, your in-laws, your sweet grandmother, or your best friend. Advice is great when you hear it in large quantities from different sources. It’s a source of ideas for solving your own problems. But believe you me, most of the stuff you hear is either patently untrue or will not work with your particular situation. You can trust your gut when it comes to what’s best for your family and your children. Don’t forget that Aesop’s fable starring the man, the boy, and the donkey."

From Elizabeth of Half Changed World's parenting manifesto:

"Children aren't nearly as fragile as we sometimes think. You don't have to get it right 100 percent of the time, which is a good thing, because none of us will. An abundance of love will make up for most other failings. When you screw up, don't be afraid to admit it and apologize."

Hat tip to Parent Hacks for the link.
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BlogHer Contributing Editor Mary Tsao also blogs at Mom Writes.

Image credit: Microsoft Clip Art

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