Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Revisiting Books

I used to madly consume parenting books, and got a lot from them, learnt lots of strategies and general parenting tips too.

I guess once we had child number two time became a little more scarce, I started trying to fit work in between parenting two smalls, and trying to keep our life a little more organised, I ditched reading, and found stitching more therapeutic, and brainless TV for when I was really dog tired.

At the moment I need all the tips I can get, so I am revisiting some old parenting books from our shelves. Things might go a bit topsy-turvy as we navigate our way through the next chapter of our life. We need to move house, it's time and we really need to spread our wings as our own little family unit. Moving will mean I have to engage in more work which has its highs and lows.

But there's one thing for certain. We need to get smarter. We need more strategies on positive parenting. We need to clue ourselves up for the next stages before they arrive. Pre-empting will be my homeboy.

What have been the best parenting books you've read or come across. Talk to me.

I've been re-reading this one (which I think is ok to refresh, but sometimes not really that helpful, it's written from the perspective of a child and I sometimes think it's a bit patronising to the child); plus Toddler Taming.


Lucy said...

Lexi, the ones I keep coming back to, time and time again, for all ages and stages, are The Secrets of Happy Children by Steve Biddulph.....

Sophie said...

raising your spirited child, by mary sheedy kurcinka. my elder daughter put me through the ringer as an infant and toddler -- this book really was the first step on the road back to sleep and sanity. and now, she is an absolutely lovely, talented and amazing young woman of 14. and her much calmer younger sister is now giving me fits!

sophie said...

I think the only parenting books I read were on breastfeeding, after that I have been winging it! I have just sat down at the computer right now as some downtime after screaming at Lucia and Eva for not listening to me, so maybe when you find those parenting books you could hook a brother (sister?) up?

Michelle said...

My favourite is http://www.amazon.com/Heaven-Earth-Handbook-Parents-Children/dp/0880105666. It's a waldorf based book and really helpful. I've also just read Steady Days http://www.steadydays.com/ and I'm trying to incorporate some of Jamie Martin's great concepts in my life. How to Raise An Amazing Child (a montessori based book) is another favourite.

Good luck! x

Georgie Love said...

Anything by Sears & Sears is brilliant, and they are really good with "high needs" (Spirited) kids. Very gentle and sensible. The other one I like cause it's so practical is Mama Rock's Rules, which is funny because I am essentially Mama Rock (when DrMr finally puts a ring on it) http://www.amazon.com/Mama-Rocks-Rules-Houseful-Successful/dp/0061536121

leslie said...

i've gotten lots of good tips on encouraging the good and discouraging the bad from "the happiest toddler on the block"

Anonymous said...

I agree about Steve Biddulph's "secrets of happy children". And although I (naively) originally thought there probably wasn't much difference in raising boys or girls, when my second born turned out to be a boy (he is now 3 and a half) I also loved Biddulph's "Raising boys" (read it about a year ago). I don't have brothers so his tips for/ideas about boys were fantastic.
I also keep coming back to "Buddhism for mothers"....

mama bear said...

I haven't read many, but one I did like was Buddhism for Mothers by Sarah Napthali. It's more about dealing with the situation rather than changing it. A bit hippy-like but maybe you can take something from it.

But I'm pretty new to this mama thing, so my advice is handed over with a grain of salt ;)

Kristi said...

Heaven On Earth by Sharifa Oppenheimer. I don't send my boys to a Steiner school but I did find it really interesting and helpful.

Things like:

Letting children get bored, and not always trying to keep them occupied with things. They will eventually find some sort of play and play for longer.

Sitting near your children while they play, but not really being engaged (reading a book or stitching), they play better just having you near. It totally works.

Daily and weekly rhythms of the home.

Hope this helps. I will be interested to see what responses you get.

Trash said...

I think I read one once called (something like) Raising Happy Children.

Someone mentioned taking advice with a pinch of salt and that I would agree with - each child is different and that has to be recognised in the parenting.

Definitely go down the road of letting your child get bored, the things that spring from it are amazing.

Encourage talking about and interaction in their community (age dependent but can be as simple as the room around them), get dirty, make a mess, tidy up a mess. Let the child lead the day sometimes. Offer a starting point and watch what develops. Listen both to your child and to your instincts. Much can be garnered from both.

Lobstah said...

hi. i have three boys (12, 10 and nearly 6). i think i've read a lot of books on parenting as some form of research. so that makes me feel very old. i read them and with gut instinct, or what feels right for me, i apply those that i feel useful, or resonate with my own instincts and values.

in our bookshelves are "parent talk" by chic moorman (worth looking into). how we speak to children make a difference in raising them to be responsible, self aware, resilient. i've even printed the phrases and stuck them in our wardrobe as a guide. (one wrong thing to say is to count "one...two...")

another one that also helps you relax about not having to parent the right way "the nurture assumption" (posits that the child's peers/environment mainly determine the kind of person that he becomes, despite the "perfect" parenting provided).

now i have a lot of money-related books to teach my kids about money ("money doesn't grow on trees," etc.) because i notice from even my own family, we never talked about money and a lot of young people don't know how to handle it and end up with debt). it starts when very young! (how to teach them to save, how to approach paid chores and unpaid chores, budget, etc.)

i borrowed this very new book from our council library and picked it up to read more on my preteener/teener but found it has a lot of info for very young kids. i strongly urge you to get it: "NurtureShock" by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman. Debunks all the things we have been told by parenting gurus, heavily research based.

Enjoy your reading!

bec said...

i can definitely vouch for 'buddhism for mothers' great book, just take what you need from it. its been great to have on hand and revisit from time to time

flossy-p said...

I have no advice re: parenting books, sorry. But good luck spreading those family wings ;)

P.S. Thanks so much for the link to faroutbrusselsprout!!! I had no idea! :D

The Essess said...

I don't have any kids, so I am just sending Good Luck your way... Parenting is a very hard job and hope you find some great tips!..x

Michele said...

i agree re the steve biddulph
also Every Parent by Dr Matt sanders (but I have to show my hand here I worked on the research project and then as a psych in community health delivering the Triple P positive program) but you know what IT WORKS. One of the few evidence based programs that is australian and proven to show over time to prevent minimise and manage common child behaviour probs as well as increase parental confidence, decrease parental stress and decrease parental conflict (ie between mum and dad over parenting/child behaviour) You can do PPP (triple p) for free through community health in qld not sure about other states. Now while it DOES work/is effective...it is not for everyone my advice is to check it out for yourself and see if it fits your family as nothing will work if you arent sold on the basis of the strategies and on board wiht them /aligned wiht them if that makes sense

Lots of other great books

off the top of my head:

How to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk

Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child by daniel goleman

How to make your children mind without losing yours and How to Have a New kid by Friday by Kevin Leman (christian author and christian content but good stuff in there too even if not a christian family)

Lots of great Montessori/steiner books as others have mentioned

Will scan the bookshelves and get back to you with some of the better ones (in my opinion)

Cindy said...

The one that the psychologist has recommended for us and worked really well with Pops is 1, 2, 3 Magic. It is about setting boundaries and dealing with tantrums and stuff. It has done wonders with her and amazingly so and helped her confidence which is kind of weird when you think about discipline. Let me know if you want me to give you the authors/

Nicole said...

I recently finished the triple p course and found in amazing. It gave me a whole new perspective on my daughter's behaviour and gave me some strategies to help stay calm. I also like Steve Biddulph's books and have also started reading one called 'Who'd be a parent?' which was recommended to me. Good luck with everything.