Working Parent Stories often mentions the fact that kids learn from parents and the kids of working parents learn unique and valuable lessons. Having just finished reading the book Educated by Tara Westover, it seems safe to claim that she learned some really unique lessons from her working parents. And many of them have turned out to be surprisingly valuable and definitely thought-provoking.
We're late to the party in terms of reviewing and praising this book given that Barack Obama included it on his 2018 Summer Reading List and Bill Gates recently gushed about it too. With that said, in addition to being a compelling memoir, it gives parents a lot to think about in terms of what aspects of parenting and education help a child the most.
Educated is a real page-turner* that will leave you thinking and thinking and thinking some more about what you've read, what it means to be a "good" parent, and what opportunities and responsibilities you provide for your children. After you finish the book, we recommend listening to interviews with the author posted on YouTube (like this one) to gain even more insight into her story.
* We actually listened to the audio version
An update from working parent Patrick Hickey, Jr.
Last August, Patrick Hickey, Jr. shared a great Working Parent Story with us; A Haven for Her Soul. Since then a lot has happened in his life including the publication of his first book, The Minds Behind the Games, which is a collection of interviews with cult and classic video game developers. And not only has Patrick published a book, but people like it as evidenced by its five-star status on Amazon.
Being a working parent is a challenge. After reading the book The Hate U Give recently, I'm reminded that it's even more of a challenge for some parents, like those depicted in the book. This young adult novel was a book club "assigned read" and one that I feared would be a difficult one. But it was just the opposite. While the subject matter is heavy and revolves around a police shooting of an unarmed young man, the story is told in a way that is compelling and well-rounded. Along with the very difficult situations, there is love, laughter and teen-aged silliness (and angst).
Even though the book is targeted at readers much younger than me, I found it compelling, relevant, and very worthwhile. It made me realize than one person's idea of struggle just may be another's idea of privilege. If everyone in the US (at least) read this book, I think we might have at least a little less strife and a lot more understanding of each other.
A book review
Sisters First was written by Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush
Lately I've been watching YouTube videos while exercising, and recently I stumbled across some very entertaining segments featuring the Bush Twins, Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush, daughters of former president George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush. These young women (now 36) have been on tour promoting their new book Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life. They are highly entertaining, and I especially enjoyed their Nov 8, 2017 interview at the Reagan Library.
After watching a number of their interviews, I started to wonder if I really needed to read the book, but finally decided to buy it in an effort to encourage them to keep the stories coming. And I'm glad I did. It's entertaining, informative, and touching, and there are quite a few stories in the book that haven't been shared via the interviews. The reason I mention it within the context of Working Parent Stories is that I think it provides a valuable example of how a parent's career can not only enhance a child's life, but how it can shape it as well. It's probably not surprising that these young women's lives have been shaped by their experiences as "first daughters", but their stories seem to present a suprising case for the value a working parent's career can provide to his or her children.
The interviews left me wondering if their childhoods were almost too good to be true, and while watching them I even started to feel a little like a slacker parent, but the book does a great job of painting a more well-rounded picture of their family life and a portrait that I personally found encouraging and inspiring. This is a collection of stories that are likely to encourage working parents everywhere.
If you ever wonder if your career is helping your kids, I recommend you read this book or at least watch one or more of the videos. The stories are likely to bring you comfort and they may even inspire you to find new ways to be sure that your career is influencing and shaping your own children in a positive way. Happy reading!