Two Thousand Kisses a Day: Gentle Parenting through the Ages & Stages is written by L.R. Knost, a woman who is herself a veteran mother (and now grandmother), while also still having her heart and hands engaged over many of the ages and stages of parenting. Her six living children range in age from twenty-five months to twenty-five years.
Knost’s book explores the basic framework of gentle parenting and how it is played out from infancy through adulthood. This book is a helpful read for parents at any stage in parenting (and covers each individual stage), but I think it will be particularly encouraging for those who are in the earliest phases of parenting.
There is a common misconception that if parenting does not include spanking or corporal punishment, that such parenting is permissive and there is no discipline. This book is particularly helpful in that it shows some of the ways that gentle parenting actually builds a platform for loving, consistent discipline in a home. Provided within the book are a few examples of how gentle discipline might look within a home.
Knost also incorporates the importance of connectedness with our children, sometimes referred to as attachment parenting. Knost emphasizes, however, that what is more important than specific parenting practices is the connected relationship. She writes:
Growing independence, though, doesn’t have to mean growing separation. Humans were created to be relational beings. We may outgrow our dependency, but we never outgrow the need for community, interaction, appreciation, reassurance, and support.
Infants, children, and adults alike all share this life-long need for connection. While over time that need will also be met through friendships, business engagements, social interactions, and the like, family relationships are the steady and sure bedrock of secure connection and belonging that ground us and assure us that our needs will not go unmet even in the darkest of times.
Attachment parenting is often misconstrued to be simply about breastfeeding, babywearing, cosleeping, etc. But, while those are possible choices for creating and maintaining a secure parent/child connection in the early years, they are just a small sampling of the relationship-building choices that parents can make throughout their children’s lives.
As little ones outgrow the ‘two thousand kisses a day’ stage, parents can begin consciously creating ‘two thousand connection points a day’ to replace those tender expressions of love with age-appropriate expressions of appreciation and approval, love and support.
From responding empathetically to a preschooler’s whine, to paying attention to a seven-year-old when they tell their endless stories, to listening ‘between the lines’ to the angst of a teen, maintaining a secure parent/child connection beyond infancy is simply about meeting emotional needs consistently, intentionally, and relationally.
The book is written by a Christian author, though the religious tone is not as strong as in some Christian parenting books. I see this as both a strength and a weakness for the book. On the one hand, it gives the book a broader audience. On the other hand, some Christians who may benefit from reading such a book may be disappointed by the lack of “Christianese.”
There were elements of the book in which my parenting will look different from the author’s, but overall I found this a hugely encouraging, refreshing, and helpful read. There were also many areas in which I was convicted, as well, in the ways I have failed to love my children. (Thankfully, I know there is grace and forgiveness, and the author addresses this, as well!)
Knost is certainly gifted in her emotional intelligence and in her ability to view life from a child’s perspective. It is this gift that makes her an excellent adult voice for children and babies, and in a tone that comes across strongly and compassionately throughout the book. (As one of many examples of her ability to view life through the eyes of a child, I found her discussion on how children learn about sharing to be quite helpful.)
The book is brief (114 pages; I read mine on Kindle in just a day and a half), easy to read, and also affordable (just $3.99 for Kindle and $7.99 for paperback). Like many books written for women, by women, and on mothering, there are some emotional appeals. (My husband also read this book, and although he highlighted this element in our discussion of the book, he reminded me that we cannot entirely avoid emotional appeals, and we both considered Knost’s to be within the realm of appropriateness.)
Table of Contents: (Giveaway info just below)
I’m also giving away a copy of another book L.R. Knost has written, this one an illustrated children’s book, written by L.R. Knost, and illustrated by Derek Knost!
“In Petey’s Listening Ears, lovable little Petey and his furry friend, Beans, are having a difficult day filled with bad choices and their unfortunate consequences until Petey’s mommy and daddy step in with some gentle guidance and help him remember to turn his ‘Listening Ears’ on!”
You can watch a video of L.R. Knost discussing her book and reading a good portion of it here:
To Enter: Leaving a comment on this post counts as an entry.
I will randomly draw a winner at 11:59p.m. EST, Saturday, March 16, 2013, from all comments that have been posted at that time. (You may interact in the comments or comment more than once, but only one entry will be counted per person.) A copy of Petey’s Listening Ears will be mailed to the winner.
Giveaway x2: I will also be giving away a copy of the a Kindle edition of Two Thousand Kisses a Day. This giveaway will close at 11:59p.m. EST, Tuesday, March 19, 2013, from whatever comments have been posted at that time.
This post is part of the Virtual Book Tour for the launch of L.R.Knost’s Two Thousand Kisses a Day: Gentle Parenting Through the Ages and Stages. Click here if you’d like to check out all of the other stops on the tour!
Children’s book and parenting author, L.R.Knost, is an independent child development researcher and founder and director of the advocacy and consulting group, Little Hearts/Gentle Parenting Resources. A mother of six, her children range from 25- years down to 25-months-old. Two Thousand Kisses a Day: Gentle Parenting Through the Ages and Stages is the first in her Little Hearts Handbooks series of parenting guides. Other works by this award-winning author include the Wisdom For Little Hearts and the soon-to-be-released Grumpykins children’s picture book series for ages 2 to 6, which are humorous and engaging tools for parents, teachers, and caregivers to use in implementing gentle parenting techniques in their homes and schools. You can visit her website at Little Hearts/Gentle Parenting Resources.
Disclosure: I was not provided a free book, and all opinions of this book are my own. Some links within this post may contain affiliate links. The author has provided a book for the first giveaway, and I am providing for the second.