“Empathetic, thoughtful, full of wisdom and heart. Positive parenting will make the world a better place,” states the review by Wonder Woman actress Gal Gadot that appears on the cover of Einat Nathan’s new book My Everything, The Parent I Want to Be, The Children I Hope to Raise.
While Israel is known for its unicorns and exciting startups, parenting innovation may be a first.
The new book by the parenting guru Einat Nathan, which was just released in the U.S. became an instant bestseller in the Startup Nation and was quickly embraced by young parents, like Gadot, who looked for clear and cutting-edge solutions in every other aspect of their lives. Nathan’s innovative parenting model provides them with an action plan that includes clear directions as well as compassion, and considers the potential “bugs” and variations in what is surely the most demanding relationship of our lives.
Like most paths to innovation, this too began with problems that required solutions. “These days parents are stressed because they feel they have to show the world a picture of perfect kids, who are well-behaved and over achievers, and that this picture should reflect how magnificent they are,’’ says Nathan. ‘’In most cases, or maybe all cases, this is an unachievable goal. We live in a world that pushes parents to reprimand their children and do things for them that they can do for themselves; the result is that we mainly lose the joy of basic family intimacy, togetherness, and the ability to raise self-motivated human beings.”
As a mother of five, who juggles her clinic and successful TV and Radio shows, Nathan’s first priority has always been her children. She began writing down her thoughts, experiences and advice in a ‘stream of consciousness’ form. She took the painful issues of modern parenting that she encountered in her clinic and combined them with personal memories from her childhood and her own experience of motherhood. With uncompromising honesty she designed guidelines that were perhaps not politically correct but still fully oriented towards results every parent aspires to achieve. She wrote about her personal trauma after giving birth to a stillborn child, having her eldest son diagnosed with autism at the age of two-and-a-half, and growing up with a mother who had a terminal disease. She also wrote about day-to-day matters, ranging from tantrums to Instagram crises, the role fathers play to the influence of bad company, and so much more.
Little by little, she started publishing these notes on social media, and her posts quickly became viral, attracting responses and requests from all over the world. ”I suggest parenting 101 without looking down on anyone or boasting about a picture-perfect reality in my own home, solving any distress with a patronizing smile and clear-cut conclusion.”
The notes written on her phone served as the basis for the newly released book, which was just picked as one of Amazon’s best books for April 2021. Its original version in Hebrew was published in Israel in 2018. The book quickly became a bestseller, not only in the niche of self-help books but in the general market as well. According to Israel’s two leading book chains, “My Everything” was the bestselling book in Israel among all genres in 2018.
“My philosophy is not so much about law and order, as it is about long-term relationships that are the ultimate cure for many of the challenges parents face today and also a response to the child development needs.” In contrast to many parenting experts, Nathan’s approach is guilt-free, with an emphasis on the big picture and a deep understanding of children’s points of view; this takes a huge burden off parents’ shoulders.
“When I saw how my book was received in the Israeli microcosm, when I realized my audience was not only college-educated yuppies living in Tel Aviv, but also ultra-orthodox Jewish or Arab women and men who have a very different way of life, I realized that parenting is a universal human problem; there may be cultural differences, but the basis is the same everywhere. The problems parents in Texas experience are not that much different from the problems that parents deal with in Seoul. Around the world, parents face the same challenges, have the same worries and feel the same love,” she claims. “We live in a time of ‘every person for herself’ – there is no tribe and there are no elders. In a world geared towards quick and innovative solutions and results, there is too much confusion when it comes to ‘how to raise kids’ and the web has only intensified this. However, I’m a great believer in the next generation of parents. They are aware, sensitive and want to do things differently: not to raise children through coercion, punishments and threats, but through encouragement, while courageously facing difficulties, and maintaining a good relationship for years to come.”