Thursday, June 25, 2009

Favorite Parenting Books

Reading: "THIS is the end.  The. End."

Here's links to my favorite parenting books, because we keep chatting about this at playgroup and it's overwhelming. I'm looking for good tips on what to read next, too!

Something funny I noticed is that so many of these repeat the same idea: we need to change our ideas about "misbehavior" and make sure our expectations are developmentally realistic for our children. I know having set routines that work for ME and Sophie make both of us better able to enjoy the day, so that neither one of us runs out of internal or physical resources and crashes. Also, just reading books and articles helps me keep reminding myself that a lot of the time, all Sophie needs is a touch of connection and a few signals that Mommy and Daddy are indeed there to order the world, and she's cooperative and happy.

Two Sophies!

First, here's a list from Mothering's forums with a LOT of book and resource suggestions.

Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn
Amazing parenting philosophy; this captures what I already believe parenting and childhood should be. Not a lot of specific tips and tricks, though. Kohn's writing is very much based in solid research, and focused on enjoying our children as people right now, and helping them grow into independent and loving adults.

Kid Cooperation by Elizabeth Pantley
Wonderful specific techniques you can use immediately, that really work! Very gentle; I ignored the few bits on time out, and enjoyed the parts that remind us that we're really looking to help kids become responsible, happy adults, and that punishment doesn't work. Great advice for specific problem areas of parenting and life. A nice list of things you can try. I think she has a new "No Cry Discipline Book" to go with her No-Cry sleep books.

Adventures in Gentle Discipline by Hilary Flower (and published by La Leche League)
Much longer than Kid Cooperation, but similar in terms of giving you reminders about how to tackle each day, and lots of specific tips.

How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
It even has CARTOONS illustrating the techniques for engaging kids in positive interactions. Perfect for harried parents. I think this is more for older kids, though. I still am glad we have it on our shelf.

The Natural Child Project has many good articles about guiding children, what works and what to avoid. And just lots of interesting information about feminism, parenting history, breastfeeding...

I took her picture because an older woman asked if she could take her picture.

Some other books and resources I'm checking out in the near future:

Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles : Winning for a Lifetime by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, because my friend is finding it useful.

Becoming the Parent You Want to Be

Enjoy Parenting

Playful Parenting by Lawrence J Cohen Because I think we do a lot of stuff like he suggests, and I want more specific ideas, games, etc. Mary Poppins was a Playful Parent/Nanny, I think :)

Our Babies, Ourselves... Hold On to Your Kids... Reclaiming Childhood... Coloring Outside the Lines...

...Ah, and so many from the list on MDC above. I'm glad there's a lot out there, because like I said, it all helps keep me in a mindset that is open to seeing my daughter as a person and not just behaviors, and as a part of our larger family and not a child in a vacuum. I find it grants me patience and the resources to be creative, which is SO necessary.

So I'm looking forward to seeing what else people are reading or have found useful.

On the train-- the best one of many attempts to get us all together


Jenny said...

Our Babies, Ourselves (and the sequel) are fabulous, as is Playful Parenting. I also like Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline (terrible title but a good book). The Continuum Concept is also interesting.

Hippie Housewife said...

All of the books mentioned so far are great, but one that really surprised me was Barbara Coloroso's "Kids are Worth it!" I wasn't expecting a lot from that book, but so far it has been the most straight-forward, practical and useful parenting book I've read. I really couldn't recommend it enough.

Leanne said...

Oooh, thank you for the recommendation! I'm going to go add it to my requests at the library website... :)