New York, NY (PRWEB) May 09, 2013
According to humorist and children’s book author Ageleke Zapis, sometimes parents need the outside vantage point to “see the forest for the trees.” In the case of America’s tens of millions of parents, it’s useful in gently guiding their offspring through the ups and downs of childhood to a productive adult life. A multitude of celebrity-, free-range- and Tiger-Moms have had their say in an avalanche of best-selling tomes. Now this Mother's Day comes advice from the ultimate outsider and interloper, a non-parent observer who shares her opinions in the new book, A Childless Woman’s Guide to Raising Children.
While she has no children of her own, Zapis has plenty of experience with kids that she relates in helpful and humorous anecdotes she knows will benefit, and sometimes infuriate, parents. Much comes from watching her own siblings succeed, and crash and burn, with her brood of nephews and nieces. And then there’s the old world logic that seems on the point of extinction in our politically correct times – learned, both the easy and hard way, from her oft wooden spoon-wielding Greek mom!
Zapis’ 126-page book covers 17 areas that she feels need some serious attention: from sharing, chores, bullying and grooming to cultivating manners and self-esteem. Special attention is devoted to kids in public spaces, with a list of commandments for dealing with little ones in restaurants and even a prescription for Brat Bans – the places parents shouldn’t dream of taking children of certain ages.
When addressing grooming and appearance, Zapis points her observations to two major faults, overly adult and alluring outfits on little girls and hair. When she observes one six year old girl proudly showcasing her hot pink “lispick,” she counters with a new rule: “If a child can’t pronounce it, she can’t wear it.” On hair, she laments that many parents are treating their children’s heads as “art canvases” that put form over function. For children who refuse to eat she recommends “Vet Wisdom,” placing the bowl before them and taking it away in 20 minutes if the meal hasn’t been consumed, as veterinarians suggest be done with a finicky pup.
On the subject of “Eating Out,” Zapis offers a fool-proof, 11-point plan, starting with ordering the child’s food as the adults order their drinks. A firm “no-no” is going out to dinner at 8 pm or after, as the kid, whose mealtime is normally 6ish, is sure to be in ballistic mode by then. And when it comes to the time when serious discipline is unavoidable, Zapis argues for the wooden spoon, a staple in most every kitchen, a requisite in that of her Greek ancestors. “What’s great about a wooden spoon is that you don’t ever have to use it,” writes Zapis. When she and her sister were misbehaving as kids as her mom prepared dinner, what would immediately put an end to the hi-jinks was not her mom’s shout to calm down, but the sound of her fingers rummaging through the utensil drawer to find the spoon! As a childless woman, Zapis counsels that it’s okay if kids aren't perfect. “If you have children, accept them for all the wonderful and smart things they do and, of course, all the dumb things they do. It’s part of the human experience… Your kids aren’t perfect and neither are you. And that’s just fine with the rest of us.”
A Childless Woman’s Guide to Raising Children doesn’t only contain Zapis’ advice but a compendium of insightful and gut-busting quotes about parenting spanning from ancient Greece to the Algonquin Roundtable to today’s top comics and beloved TV parents. The concluding chapter of Zapis’ breezy read is the only place we are likely to hear Socrates, Dean Martin, Quentin Crisp, Billy Graham, Red Buttons, Erma Bombeck and Dorothy Parker share a stage.
A Childless Woman’s Guide to Raising Children is available on Amazon and in paperback at lulu.com ($18.96 US), e-book and Ebook versions at Smashwords.com ($8.00 US) or visit: http://achildlesswomansguide.com/
Jacky Agudelo/ 212.244.9797 / jacky(at)cataldipr(dot)com