The First Edition
I'm about to share something super vulnerable about myself: I am currently in the process of writing the book that I have fantasized about writing since I was a sophomore in college. Folks, that was over 15 years ago. Why has it taken me this long to just get started?
Hello? Imposter syndrome? Is that you?!
So when was I handed the seeds to this brilliant idea, and why have I been holding out for this long? It all started when I worked in a daycare part time while attending college. What I thought was common sense I am now better able to identify as a personal gift or natural proclivity: I see grumpy, moody, mean, angsty kids as more than just a problem child. I see them so clearly that interacting with them and helping them thrive is something that energizes me to the point of obsession.
But I digress. I want to start this series by crediting a very important mindset shift that may finally help me get out of my own way: the first edition is simply that; the first edition. Now, I have a tendency to favor books that have been published in the last 5-10 years. For better or for worse, this means that I have gravitated towards books that are in their first edition. Books like "Beyond Behavior" by Dr. Mona Delahooke, "The Yes Brain" by Dr. Dan Siegel, etc. But during a recent marketing event I attended, I was reminded that plenty of game-changing books have been revised and renewed multiple times, resulting in several editions. In fact, university textbooks are regularly churned out in multiple editions.
Folks…leaning into the possibility that whatever I write will likely be revised and re-published years later has been one of several shifts that have me ready to just do the damn thing.
I'm embarrassed to admit this, but there's a seminal book that I should have read 10 years ago: "The Explosive Child" by Dr. Ross Greene. The irony is that I never read it because I hate the title…and I just discovered that Dr. Greene himself also hates the title. But that's a post for another day. So I did myself a favor and purchased two books: the first edition from 1998, and the most recent edition from 2021. There have been several editions in between, which I may or may not read. In the hopes of giving myself permission to not get it right the first time, I'm reading both books simultaneously. Not so that I can point the finger and say "hah! you said this one thing that ended up being so irrelevant that you later removed it!" Rather, I am doing this to remind myself that regardless of how this first edition turns out, I am not beholden to it.
This made me think about parenting and how it evolves over the years. How many times have you looked back on parenting mistakes you've made and cringed, or even shamed yourself? How many of you see your child's current progress and think "damn… if only I had done that when they were seven and not twelve…" Consider this your permission slip to revise and publish a new edition of your parenting. I seriously doubt that Dr. Greene edited his book out of shame or embarrassment. It's more probable that he considered how times were changing, or that he integrated new changes based on feedback about what was and wasn't helpful.
Let me know if you want more insights into how the first and most recent editions differ. What are some parenting edits you are ready to integrate into the next edition of your parenting?