I am a huge fan of parenting books. In fact, I would venture to say that most of my parenting choices are informed by what I read. I always have a pile to go through, because there’s always something or other that I want to learn more about. Another technique that I’d like to hone, or viewpoint that I’d like to hear about. Here are my favourites so far:
1. Kids Are Worth It! – This is my favourite book. I know that I’m going to re-read it many times. It really shifted my parenting focus away from constant praise to quiet encouragement. It focuses on gentle and respectful discipline, which teaches your kids to see problems as challenges to be solved, rather than catastrophes for which they will face punishment. I love this book!
2. Unconditional Parenting – This book is short on details, and long on philosophy. The underlying premise is that we must treat our children respectfully, and communicate our unconditional love and support. The first half of the book is a hard read, leaving you feeling more than a little guilty. Once you get through the whole thing it’s worth it, though. I am a convert, and I’m striving to practice Unconditional Parenting with Hannah.
3. Playful Parenting – I think this book is an excellent companion to Unconditional Parenting, because it provides a lot of details on how to connect with your child through play. There’s a chapter called ‘Learn to Love the Games You Hate’. How can that be anything but a great read? Fabulous book, and far more scholarly than the title suggests.
4. My Child Won’t Eat! – I have a small child. I worry about what she eats. This book put all of my fears to rest. The basic premise is that kids need much less food than adults generally think they do. Some kids (like some adults) are just small, and overfeeding them will not make them grow taller, only wider. This book made meal times much more relaxed and enjoyable for me, assuaging my mama guilt.
Up next? How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk. I’ve heard only good things. I also have a copy of Living Simply with Children that I’ve been dying to read. So, I’d best get cracking!