||November 28, 2006
Wisdom of the Ages
Love, Magic and Mudpies
Raising Your Kids to Feel Loved, Be Kind, and Make a Difference
The beloved physician who wrote the mega-bestseller Love, Medicine and Miracles and other enormously popular books guides readers through the ups and downs, joys and heartaches of parenting
During his many years working with thousands of patients and their families, Dr. Bernie Siegel became an expert on how to turn sometimes trying situations into opportunities for personal growth. In his newest book, this husband of more than 50 years, father of five children, and grandparent of eight, shares the gems garnered from his practice and his own family life to show readers what he’s learned about raising kids with love, wisdom, and humor.
How much time with you do your kids need? How do you teach your children values? When kids misbehave, how do you mix appropriate anger and discipline with love? What are some ways to help children adjust to separation or divorce? Should you get a family pet? With a wealth of quotes, anecdotes, parenting tips, and his comforting, caring, down-to-earth tone, Dr. Siegel addresses the myriad questions that parents face as they strive to guide their kids to happy, healthy adulthood.
Delivered with just the right dose of compassion, inspiration, and gentle humor, Love, Magic and Mudpies is an insightful and supportive guide on every aspect of parenting.
Do What Will Make You Happy
He that always gives way to others will end in having no principles of his own.
Children want to please their parents, but a smart parent knows it is more important for children to make choices that please themselves. This is not about being selfish but about being authentic and not submissive. There are many reasons for a child to select a certain way of life or a career. It is tempting for a parent to try to sway a child to follow the direction the parent thinks is best for him or her. I suggest loving and letting go: Do not take your children's freedom of choice away by telling them what you have decided they are to become. Sometimes their decisions will be based on their birth order as well. The oldest child, growing up with the attention of two adults, is far more likely to become a professional than, say, a fourth child who grows up with other attributes due to his birth position, such as being comfortable with noise and with other people of all ages. With love and encouragement, however, any child born in any order can learn to follow her heart and make her own life decisions.
I hear from so many people who, when diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses, quit their jobs, redirect their careers, and go after their dreams. One patient I knew closed his law office and picked up his violin to become the violinist he always wanted to be. These people, of course, always benefit from reclaiming their lives and do not die "on schedule." They lost their untrue lives and saved themselves and their authentic lives. The words that explain it all go back to the biblical message "He who seeks to save his life will lose it, but he who is willing to lose his life will save it." When children give up their lives to gain the acceptance and conditional love of their parents, they have lost their lives as they could have been.
That is why, when people are seriously ill, they see with total clarity whose life they've been living; this awareness leads them to give up the untrue life and save their true self. At that point, they benefit emotionally, spiritually, and physically from the new life; they may even benefit from a spontaneous reversal of the illness. I fear, and studies reveal, that the child who lives her life to please her parents and internalizes her anger is also more likely to develop a serious illness later in life than the sibling who was a little devil.
How to Make the Magic: Remember to repeat the following to your children often: "Being a success will not make you happy, but being happy will make you a success." When they have a decision to make, such as which activity to do, which college to attend, or which job to take, and they ask for your advice, remember there is only one right answer: "Do what will make you happy!"
--Christiane Northrup, MD, author of Mother-Daughter Wisdom
"Dr. Bernie Siegel has been my mentor and friend for many years. His wisdom has been a beacon of healing and humor. Love, Magic and Mudpies is as funny, wise, and practical as its magical author. Every parent needs this book."
--Larry Dossey, MD, author of The Extraordinary Healing Power of Ordinary Things
"For years, Dr. Bernie Siegel has taught adults how to be healthier. Now he turns his attention to how to raise kids who are physically, mentally, and spiritually balanced. Instead of jargon and expert-ese, Dr. Siegel employs humor, creativity, and rare common sense. In Love, Magic and Mudpies, Siegel emerges as the Erma Bombeck of childrearing."
--Iyanla Vanzant, author of One Day My Soul Just Opened Up
"Dr. Bernie Siegel is a living demonstration of the healing power of commitment, compassion and love. What he offers the world in Love, Magic and Mudpies is a testimony of his wisdom. No matter what ails you, a dose of Bernie Siegel and his work is sure to work magic in your soul."
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