Reviewed by Jill P. on August 17, 2012
Local journalist Heather Shumaker is generating a lot of discussion with her new book on parenting, It's Okay Not to Share. As you might guess from the title, this book isn't your typical "I need to make the world perfect for my child or he/she won't turn out right" tome. Instead, Shumaker lays out for us her Renegade Rules, rules that are based on the principle that a behavior is okay as long as it's not hurting people or property. Instead of covering up issues, making nice or intervening so that children don't have to confront the negatives in life, Shumaker encourages parents to allow children to experience these feelings and develop appropriate ways of handling them. Readers who find themselves struggling with her concepts will find her concrete suggestions and tips for dealing with specific situations and emotions extremely helpful. Shumaker also encourages families to develop practices that best fit their family, so even if you can't fully agree with some of her ideas, she's outlined ways of incorporating compromises that most any parent could support. It's Okay Not to Share is an excellent book for those looking for a thought-provoking parenting guide.