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Dojo Wisdom for Mothers: 100 Simple Ways to Become a Calmer, Happier, More Loving Parent by Jennifer Lawler
256 pages Penguin March 2005 Paperback rated 3 1/2 out of 5 stars   

When it comes to parenting books, most are oriented around how-to, do and donít, ten steps and twelve strategies for this and that. Few call for a more wisdom-based approach that asks parents, moms especially, to look within themselves for answers, and fewer still ask us to refer to the teachings of martial arts. Jennifer Lawler does that and more in Dojo Wisdom for Mothers: 100 Simple Ways to Become a Calmer, Happier, More Loving Parent.

Lawler is a martial arts expert and the author of Dojo Wisdom, and this time she applies her knowledge by creating a guide for moms who need to first get their own house in order before they can effectively parent their children. These brief and beautifully written lessons cover everything from mastering your chi energy, finding your own inner child, being flexible and learning by teaching others, to pushing beyond your limits and nurturing and trusting yourself first and foremost.

Dojo wisdom involves finding balance, discipline, structure and focus, and the martial arts training serves as a backdrop for dealing with issues involving parenting and just being a tired, harried mom. Because moms are such multi-taskers, itís so important to be at balance in body, mind and spirit, and this book is filled with ideas and techniques for achieving that inner calm needed to deal with anything the day may bring.

This is not a book about what immunizations your child needs, or how to potty train, or which preschool is best. Itís about the way to inner and outer health and happiness that is necessary before moms can be great and loving moms. First they have to be masters of their own lives before they can ever hope to master those of their children.

We learn about centering, keeping fear from preventing joy in parenting, dealing with our lack of faith in our abilities, using breath and meditation to strengthen our inner spirit and outer body, committing to optimism, finding patience and acceptance, and so much more.

Dojo Wisdom for Mothers is a perfect gift for any mom or mom-to-be, inspiring a quiet inner trusting and strength that can be carried over into all aspects of life. Because being a mom is so much more than just knowing which diaper is best - itís about knowing which path is best for ourselves, and for our children, and then having the courage, insight and strength to choose that path.

Parenting book reviews and books for educators, teachers, and librarians

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Marie D. Jones/2005 for curled up with a good kid's book
 






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