Mama Rock’s Rules

Mama Rock’s Rules: Ten Lessons for Raising a Houseful of Successful Children is a spunky parenting book written by Rose Rock (with Valerie Graham), who knows a lot about raising children. She is the mom of comedian Chris Rock, his nine siblings, as well as 17 foster children. She is also an early childhood and special education educator.

As the title implies, the book is divided into ten “lessons”–tenants that will lay the framework for a well-structured family life, one where the expectations are known and consequences enforced. This is a tell-it-like-it-is, YOU-are-the-parent sort of parenting book, where the first lesson is, in fact, that you can’t be your child’s friend and his parent at the same time.

Rose Rock fills this book with practical advice–ways to incorporate routine that children crave, ways to facilitate the family dinner hour, and ways to give your children responsibility. She talks about the importance of parents as teachers–about instilling a love of reading, teaching family and cultural history and instilling a strong self-worth. There are many stories and anecdote of the Rock clan growing up that illustrate the benefits of routines and high expectations.

This book picks up where most of the parenting books I have read leave off–as the children are entering elementary school. While she mentions younger children, the bulk of the book focuses more on the older child and what he faces in the world–and how you, the parent, can guide him through it.

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