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Parenting book recommendations

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
What should I read next and why? I would love to hear some great recommendations. I have only read the Continuum Concept. No other parenting books.
post #2 of 14
I'm just about finished "Playful Parenting" by L. Cohen.

I liked this book because it made me realize that play is a way of seeing into our children's inner world. Their thought, experiences. They may not be old enough to vocalize their emotions in detail, but this book made me see that by taking time to play with my child, allow her to dictate the play, and be a willing participant, I will help foster a relationship that is conducive to good communication.

I'm not sure if you are looking for stuff you can really use, or just stuff that is interesting. "Our Babies, Our Selves" by Meredith Small is an excellent read. It is just so interesting, the way she discusses different parenting philosophies in different cultures and how they relate to what that culture deems important. Full of interesting science, and just gives one alot to think about (ie. makes me realize there is really no absolute right and wrong when it comes to parenting, but does give alot of weight to AP).
post #3 of 14
I'd recommend the Faber and Mazlish books. The first one I read was 'How To Talk So Your Kids Will Listen and Listen So Your Kids Will Talk'. Lots of people here will be familiar with it, I know.

They also have a couple of other books - one expands the 'How To Talk' ideas and the other looks at Siblings...I'm reading the Sibling book at the moment (I started it last night while we were sitting on the ground waiting for the Bruce Springsteen concert to start! How sad is that?!) and I'm sure it will be as good as the How To Talk book.
post #4 of 14
Anything by Dr. Sears or Dr. Sears and his wife.

How to Talk books are great. Those authors also wrote Siblings without Rivalry which is great.

Playful Parenting is great.

When your Child drives you Crazy. I know it is a bad title, but the book is very good.

Children at Play. It is a Waldorf book also great.

I have many more at work, I'll try to browse my shelves there.

Happy reading.
post #5 of 14

You are your Child's first Teacher by Rahima Baldwin

Kids are Worth It! by Barbara Coloroso

Your Child's Self Esteem by Dorothy Briggs

All three of these have been pivital in my parenting. Especially the Briggs book...it's wonderful
post #6 of 14
kids parents and power struggles

i second -- kids are worth it, playful parenting and how to talk....

also, check out the book "mother nurture" not mother nature, though i've heard that is good, too, "mother nurture." that one talks about how pregnancy, nursing and just being MOM is draining to a woman's mind and body. it talks about your relationship with your partner, nutritional needs, depression, everything. it's good to take care of yourself, too. sometimes we get caught up in nurturing the babies and we go neglected.

i also like "how weaning happens" i know you are nowhere near that stage, but it's so interesting to me how natural weaning occurs.
post #7 of 14
I love threads like this. I've read (or have on hold) just about every book that looks interesting I see recommended at MDC. Some of these plus a few others I've read recently are listed below.

The Secret of Parenting by Wolff. Didn't like this at first... though it was heading into muddled John Gray territory. However, the parts of the books that deal with the application of his basic metaphor (private, at-home baby self vs. public self) were just great. Enjoyed this and the Elizabeth Pantley books much more than the Positive Discipline books... I'm put off by the tone of these. Ditto for Dr. Sears.

Your Gifted Child by Smunty, et. al. Full of great ideas for enriching young children's environments... not just "gifted" children. Mentioned lots of other resources and I have six or seven of the books mentioned on hold.

The Learning Gap by Stevenson, et. al. This book is often cited by the William Bennetts and E.D. Hirsch types as supporting their mode of "back to basics" education. After reading it, it's apparent that they selectively quote the work and ignore many of the findings.

Young at Art by Susan Striker. Great resource for toddlers and young children.

The End of Education by Neil Postman.

The Mask of Motherhood by Maushart. Wow, was this book thought provoking. It's often criticised for being "negative" but since the premise of the book is that women don't tell other women much other than the rosy side of motherhood, etc. I'll forgive the negativity.

Why We Do What We Do by Deci, et. al. and Punished by Rewards by Kohn. The latter book could have been effectively condensed to about half its length (a LOT of repitition), but still worth the read.

Mother Nature by Hrdy (yes, the spelling is correct... and I think book had a different title in hardcover). Great anthropological and biological treatise on motherhood. Doesn't exclusively deal with humans. Not for the faint of heart... this isn't warm and fuzzy.
post #8 of 14
I know they've both been mentioned, but I wanted to echo them....I *love* these two book and refer to them over and over.

You Are Your Child's First Teacher, Rahima Baldwin Dancy

Playful Parenting, Larry Cohen
post #9 of 14
I second two books

The Secret of Parenting by Wolff.

His startegies are simple yet effective. Moreover, I think they are more accurate depictions of how kids react to situations than others. In my mind he is the most effective counter to Gary Ezzo I have ever read. This is because he shows why it is simply not ever necessary to punish a child, even if you as a parent want to be tough and in charge. Not totally AP, but great for an AP parent who is struggling with someone who believes that kids will be bad unless punished.

I also think MotherNature by Hrdy is great. Really takes the romance out of the idea that we should unthinkingly follow in the footsteps of those women in ancient cultures and that the "natural" way is always bettter. As other poster said, not for the faint of heart. The brutal truth of human behavior is explored.
post #10 of 14
Some friends gave me Becoming the Parent You Want to Be as a gift. It's supposed to cover birth to age 5, but really concentrates on the toddler years. Nevertheless, my favorite so far: helps the parent take inventory of her or his values and think about parenting decisions in light of those values. Also was good on gender issues, showed dads parenting and addressed them, not as an add-on.

Edited to add: They have a website! I didn't think of that. Well, good, you can check it out before you decide if the book is for you.
post #11 of 14
Well, I haven't read, but I did order Raising America, which looks at a century of parenting manuals. Although it's not a manual itself, I think that it should offer some perspective on the whole advice thing.

Can't wait to read it, actually.

In a similar vein, I also enjoy reading old manuals, e.g., my mother's parenting books, my friend's grandmother's parenting book.

A friend just suggested that I read Robert Coles, a psychologist or psychiatrist, can't remember which, who writes about the moral life of children. Not sure yet if I'm interested. There weren't any sample pages at Amazon, so I will have to wait until I can flip through it at a bookstore.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Those all sound fabulous! I am so excited. I am finally finding time to read a little (on the treadmill, but still!) so I can't wait to dig in.
post #13 of 14
OMGosh, can't believe I forgot this one:

"Giving the Love That Heals: a guide for parents" by Harville Hendrix and Helen Hunt (his wife).

This is a fabulous book for helping us understand ourselves as we try to parent our children in a way that allows them to retain their birthright of a whole person. This founder of Imago Couples Therapy has a theory that we develop our ideas of what constitutes "normal" behaviour in a relationship by the interactions we have with our parents. He wrote several good books on how this affects our love relationships, now he applies it to parenting. I jokingly refer to the title as "Now that you know how much your parents f*cked you up, make sure you don't f*ck up your kids", LOL.

Seriously though, what I love about this book is that it helps you see that the behaviours that bother you the most in your children, are keys to what YOUR issues are/were with your parents in your childhood. Thus, not only do you help to become the parent you want to be, but you heal yourself in the process.
post #14 of 14
Someone here recommended SMart Love to me awhile ago and I really liked it. Supposedly a child's eye view of life. I don't know how they know, or if they know, but theview they give is one I enjoyed.

For more anthropological material, I really enjoyed Love at Good Park, the biography of Harry Harlow who did maternal attachment studies in monkeys.

Then there is the somewhat controversial Aware Baby, and other books by Alethea Solter. Thought provoking and a useful approach to keep in mind even if you don't practice it exactly as she suggests.
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