Book Review by Jane Palmer

In his new book Idolising Children, 29-year-old father of two, and government consultant on young parenting issues, Daniel Donahoo, wants us to have a new relationship with our childhood. Donahoo argues that today’s parents adversely affect their children as well as themselves though their obsession with extraordinary children and perfect parenting.

Donahoo articulates very clearly some thoughts I’ve had about parenting. I’ve been witnessing an increasing level of fear in society and a hypervigilance regarding safety around our children (and in other areas of our lives). While obviously some level of safety is important, vigilance about safety issues has become extreme. Donahoo examines safety and childhood with wisdom and perspective.

In an effort to raise the perfect child parents tend to schedule many different activities for their children, some of these activities put literacy and numeracy before play. So many activities leave little time left for spontaneous play. Donahoo looks at play from many different angles and stresses the importance of unstructured, spontaneous play.

Donahoo encourages you to throw away the parenting manuals, he is pro-parents and honours children (as apposed to idolising them). He seeks to break down the hysteria about children in our modern world, and his message is ultimately a positive one: If we start to respect and honour children more, rather than fret about them, we might find that other issues take care of themselves.

This is a great read. I highly recommend this book.

Jane’s rating ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ (4 out of 5)