“My Mother’s Rules” by Judge Lynn Toler is a combination between self-help and autobiography. It aims to provide guidance and advice for the average person who experiences difficulty being “emotionally well-practiced”. Using the advice of her mother, Divorce Court’s Toler aims to condense and compile a collection of rules towards managing emotions and gaining emotional intelligence.
“My Mother’s Rules” explores the author’s history with mental illness as a bystander as well as her own personal experiences fighting her demons. Delving deep into her family history, Judge Toler reexamines her childhood experiences and how they impacted her own mental health. She also explores the tools her mother used to manage the tempests rolling within their household.
Of equal importance are the anecdotes from Judge Toler’s time on the bench. Within these anecdotes it is evident that the common failings of the average person are often directly related to the negative emotional response towards an uncomfortable situation. Using these experiences, the author depicts to readers not only the importance of emotional intelligence but how the emotional rules can be applied successfully and the benefit of these applications.
In a society where many of us fall prey to our emotions, allowing them to consume us, “My Mother’s Rules” is a practical and reliable guide to maintaining self-control and practicing emotional management. While it does not and can not replace therapy or psychological intervention for those who may need it, this book does provide tools which the average person can apply to everyday experiences. Furthermore, in the acknowledgement that practice indeed makes perfect, readers are provided with a handy appendix which makes the rules easier to follow without rereading the entire book.
For those who enjoy autobiographies or are seeking honest, real-world advice, “My Mother’s Rules” is an essential read available in both physical and digital copies.