In her book Raising good Humans Clarke takes us on her personal journey through the traumas and triumphs of raising her daughter. She humbly approaches the subject of child rearing as a learning curve she needed to go through. This method of writing creates a safe environment for the reader to know that those of us who feel incompetent can rest assured we’re not alone.
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Clarke’s theory is that since our children more often do what we do rather than do what we say, it’s up to us to provide the role model for our offspring to emulate. Hence, she introduces what she calls Mindfulness Meditation.
Raising Good Humans is arranged with writing prompts and exercises that Clarke suggests are important to your own journey. Clarke recommends that the reader create their own journal by answering the questions at the end of the chapters.
“This book will help you model calmer, more thoughtful interactions with your child.” Page 16
Clarke goes on to not only explain but offer instruction for Mindfulness Meditation. By the way she describes it, this concept is also known by other names, as the exercises she introduces are similar to Zen and Yoga and other disciplines, all of which practice self-control. There can be no argument that when a parent is raising a child, they should be able to respond rather than react to situations, especially when a three year old is involved. Clarke has created some interesting guidelines that will help the reader to achieve this self-control.
“The best predictor of a child’s well-being is the parent’s self-understanding.”
Raising Good Humans is, in theory, and I’m sure in practice, an excellent guide to making ourselves better humans. There are many things to take away with this book. The entirety of Raising Good Humans is creating a vessel in yourself where you can empathize and understand what it is your children/child is going through. Most of her personal experience and that of case studies she mentions, is in raising younger children. Granted the first three or four years of a child’s life are the impressionable years. If they see their mothers or fathers losing their temper and beside themselves, the child will react in a negative manner. So, the information in this book good. She has some wonderful exercises that will help the reader become more mindful and more self-controlled. It’s a good book for parents of younger children and creates a safe atmosphere for children to be able to talk with their parents when they get older.
Having raised seven children and made mistakes that I could have avoided, and looking back on my own childhood, I see things that could have been changed knowing what Clarke has written. I would probably have had a much more pleasant life for myself and my children. The only question that I have is how far into the child’s future will just being good people make an impression on them. The theory seems so good on paper. What happens when the child becomes a teenager and is being persuaded by their peers, their schoolteachers, the world? Children need to be taught right from wrong and sometimes tough love is needed also. I would be curious to read a sequel to this book about raising teenagers in today’s world. Sometimes softness and understanding aren’t enough. I’ve raised seven children.
That being said I recommend this book for people with young ones. It’s professionally written, and Clarke is passionate about her subject matter.