Duct Tape Parenting

If you do a google image search for “duct tape parenting” you get a lot of pictures of toddlers taped to the wall.  Don’t worry, this book is not disturbing like that.

Unlike the google images, you’ll notice that the cover of Duct Tape Parenting: A Less Is More Approach to Raising Respectful, Responsible, and Resilient Kids shows the tape NOT on the kid, but on the parents.

One of the main premises of the book is that parents often unconsciously feed their child’s negative behaviors, and that if you could just keep from nagging and lecturing and carrying on about everything, and instead teach your children what they need to know to be independent (in age appropriate ways), you’d have a more peaceful house and a more respectful and resourceful kid.

The book includes topics such as:

  • How to get kids to take ownership of their routines
  • How to minimize fighting and nagging
  • How to define a family vision and put it in action
  • How to build stronger family relationships
  • What sorts of tasks and jobs are appropriate for different ages of kids (laundry, cooking, etc)
  • How to make your mornings, bed times, and other pressure points calmer and easier

I don’t necessarily agree with all of the ideas in the book, but overall I found it to be excellent food for thought, and a good impetus to re-evaluate some of my parenting decisions and goals.

I may have mentioned before that having four children, homeschooling, and working is proving to be an interesting exercise.  What I’m finding more and more is that micromanaging, helicoptering, and supermomming are even less of an option now than they ever were.  I mean, it’s just not humanly possible for me to do it all, and I’m glad because that’s not the way I want to live and parent anyway.

That said, I’ve also found that just up and dropping everything is not a super effective way to live either.  Reading Duct Tape Parenting gave me some great tools and ideas for how to transfer responsibilities to my kids calmly and smoothly so that the chaos and cacophany don’t bring the house down around our ears.

If you’re a parent and plan to get your kid out of your house and living independently at some point, I’d highly recommend Duct Tape Parenting.  I think you could tailor it to a wide variety of parenting styles and philosophies, as well as to different family dynamics and ages of children.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

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