Books about Parenting
Berkeley Parents Network >
What/Where to Buy >
Books about Parenting
General Parenting Books
Lately, I have been hearing a lot about Attachment Parenting. I looked on line to
find more information but just found one site. I would love to know more about it
and also would like some recommendations of books and a place in Berkeley where
conferences, workshops and all kind of AP events take place.
New mum interested in AP
Check out ''The Attachment Parenting Book'' by William and Martha Sears. It was our bible for
attachment parenting for many years.
Happy Attachment Family
Attachment parenting means different things to different parents. But if you're interested I'd
check out Dr. Sears' Baby Book for a start. He's known as one of the main forces behind the
I'm sure you'll get lots of replies to this!
The first books I read about attachment parenting were ''The Continuum Concept''
and ''The Magical Child'' - both are more cultural comparison books, which give
you a good context for AP. I also got a zine called The Compleat (sic) Child''
from Canada - which was really good. Dr. Sears is the acknowledged living expert
on AP, and he's got a great website. Second, you don't have to go all in, you can choose the
elements of AP which
work for you. That being said, I think the biggest bonuses come from
breastfeeding and co-sleeping. There is hard science on the benefits of
co-sleeping - check out the Notre Dame Mother-Baby Sleep Lab
Third, people will tell you to let your baby ''cry it out'', get them on a
schedule, don't let them sleep with you, blah blah blah. They'll say that
there's all sorts of reasons why this is better. But I know that my kid is
better for the way he was raised. Trust your instincts as a mom. AP is not as
easy in infancy as the scheduled, crying babies, but giving your infant what
they need really helps them in the long run. My son is confident, smart and
considerate, all the kids I know who were AP raised are great. It makes sense
that secure babies who trust that their family is there for them become secure
people. Attachment Parenting WORKS!
Agree with the previous posts on attachment parenting books and would like to
add two more resources:
1) Dr. Laura Markham http://www.ahaparenting.com/ offers attachment-friendly
tips for parenting at all ages. She has an excellent list of the best books on
on her website.
2) Hand in Hand Parenting, a local resource with a co-counseling approach,
offers classes online and in the Bay Area. http://www.handinhandparenting.org/
I am the mother of a 10 mo old son. He is a good baby and
I guess pretty ''normal'', whatever that means. He
definitely has strong opinions and I wonder what the next
few years will hold with regard to parenting challenges
(terrible twos, tantrums, etc). I would like to be
prepared and am wondering if you can recommend any
parenting books that have been particularly helpful to you
as you navigate these first few years of childhood.
I don't have a ton of time to read so I am just looking
for one or two really good books, that are straightforward
and chock full of good advice. I would also love it if I
could convince my husband to read them too. Advice on
My two favorite books, after 3 kids are:
The Bates/Ames series ''Your One Year Old'', ''Your Two Year Old'', etc,
Spirited Child'' by Mary Kurchinka.
Both are fairly quick reads, to the point. I always give them as baby
with my favorite board books.
We read a bunch of parenting books, but the only one that
really worked was ''1-2-3 Magic'' by Dr. Thomas Phelan. If we
remember to use it consistently (that's the hardest part!),
it almost always works.
One thing, though... the book is for kids 2-12, and I would
definitely stick with that guideline. Even early 2s is
probably a bit young; I don't think my middle child 'got' it
until he was pushing 3 years.
Hope this helps!
I highly recommend ''Becoming the Parent You Want To Be''.
I have tons of parenting books and this one is the only
one I've actually read cover to cover and continue to use
as a resource. www.becomingtheparent.com
I would definitely recommend Gordon Neufeld's ''Power to Parent'' DVD
series. It is 24 1-hour videos and is amazing. He takes the long view
-- trying to help us support our kids in becoming more
mature at every step of their develoment rather than using short-term
parenting ''techniques'' that end up making our kids more defended and
less likely to listen to us as they approach the more difficult years.
I also will be coming out with a new page on my website describing
what I call ''Loving Discipline.'' This will be practical advice for
how to help your child grow into an autonomous, responsible adult
without ruining the relationship along the
way. blog.essentialparenting.com has many posts that will give you a
feel for this approach. The Aware Baby is also really great. Chris
We loved The Portable Pediatrician: A Practicing
Pediatrician's Guide to Your Child's Growth, Development,
Health and Behavior, from Birth to Age Five by Laura W.
Nathanson We got it from the library and then bought our
our kind of doc
I liked the What to Expect books for a heads up on illnesses, sleep
patterns, etc. And I really loved the ''Your one year old'', ''Your
two year old'', etc. The latter series are a bit dated in outlook
(assume Mom is primary care-giver and stays at home, etc) but are
right-on developmentally. My youngest is now 12 and I still refer to
the ''Your 10 to 14 year old''.
Mom of 3
If you want to rethink parenting, try Alfie Kohn's
Unconditional Parenting. It provides a kind of blueprint
for raising thoughtful, aware children. It talks about how
to think about parenting as a long-term proposition: what
kind of person do I want my child to become? Rather than as
a short-term fix-it: ''how do I stop this behavior now?'' If
you think of yourself as someone who is interested in more
progressive ways of raising children, this book will make
I'd like to recommend Alfie Kohn's
Parenting.'' His perspective, to me, is very sensible and
intuitive, yet it belies a lot of conventional wisdom
(widespread, unchallenged presumptions about the value of
punishments/rewards and time-outs). It struck a deep chord
in me about essentially respecting children as human beings
and having this as a starting point, in contrast to a ''how
can I best get my child to be who I want him/her to be''
approach. My two cents. Best wishes.
If I could have had just one book for the first four years
of my daughter's life, it would have been Becoming the
Parent You Want to Be: A Sourcebook of Strategies for the
First Five Years, by Laura Davis and Janis Keyser. It
deals with children's feelings, bodies, difficult
behavior, social learning and play, family relationships,
etc., all through the developmental process. The focus is
on coming up with ways of doing things that are right for
your family -- not a once size fits all approach -- but
with enough concrete information and suggestions that you
are able to choose a course of action. I am a big reader
and have read many parenting books at various stages of my
daughter's development, but I kept coming back to this
one. The authors have a nurturing, empowering and
egalitarian approach, and you will be shocked at what one
book covers, from sleep issues to potty training to eating
to tantrums to separation to learning to share, and it
also focuses on parents' reactions to childrens'
developmental stages. It contains bibliographies for if
you want to explore a certain area further, as well as
bibliographies of children's books on different issues, so
you can help your kids work through whatever it is they're
trying to master through stories and vocabulary that is at
their level. It gave us new ways to look at certain
behaviors, new strategies and ways to cope, ways to talk
about things with our daughter, and certainly a greater
ability to empathize with our daughter and help her
develop a meaningful vocabulary to discuss her feelings,
etc. It was given to me when I was pregnant, with the
advice, ''this is the only book you'll need for the first
five years,'' and I thought, oh, come on! But it's been a
terrific resource for more than four years so far and I
can't recommend it highly enough.
As a mother (and psychologist), I found the ''Positive Discipline''
series to be excellent: http://www.positivediscipline.com/ You might
want to start with Positive Discipline The First Three Years, a good
primer. They also have books for preschoolers, teens, etc. I have
found this series to have a good explanation of basic principles and
practical, respectful, good advice.
Our bible when our kids were babies and toddlers was the Dr.
Sears Baby Book. It covers a wide spectrum from parenting,
child behaviors, rashes, fevers, siblings, discipline, etc.
Check it out:
We survived babyhood!
One of the lesser-known greats is The Winning Family by Dr.
Louise Hart. It was one of the first books to examine the
dynamics of self-esteem in families, and is still one of the
only ones that looks at parenting as its own
transformational process. It helps sort out your own style
from your parents' - and understand the complexities of
communicating with kids. The author is local, too - she
gives workshops for schools and agencies, and is really
good. Her website is http://www.upliftprograms.com and you
can get her book there. There's tons of quotes by people who
have turned their lives around and become better parents.
I'm looking for recommendations for books on raising girls specifically and boys
specifically. Like everyone else, I want to raise my son and daughter to be
caring, confident, resilient, polite, etc, and there are a plethora of parenting
books out there. Two that were suggested to me are ''Raising Cain: Protecting the
Emotional Life of Boys'' and ''Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent
Girls'' but I'd like to know about other good ones. My kids are toddlers now so I'm
interested in books that address young children as well as adolescents/teens.
I recommend the books written by Don & Jeanne Elium. They have one called
''Raising a Son'', the other ''Raising a Daughter''. I remember this couple
from graduate school. Another one for girls is ''Cherishing Our Daughters''
by Evelyn Bassoff.
Why Gender Matters by Leonard Sax, M.D., Ph.D.
This was a great book!
Favorite parenting books? Why do you like it? Do you actually find
time to read it?
It really depends on your parenting philosophy or outlook, in terms of what
you will enjoy in parenting books. Folks who desire obedience or adult-style
cooperation really like 1-2-3 Magic, and Positive Discipline, because they
provide somewhat compassionate tools for achieving that goal. For me, hands
down, the best book I ever read was Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves,
by Naomi Aldort, because it gives you the tools to achieve awareness about why
you are needing or wanting certain things from your children, and how deeply
that is a reflection of how you were raised and whether or not your needs were
met. It allows you to reach out to truly know your children for who they are,
rather than using them to meet your own personal needs (which is what the
''discipline'' books are mostly about, and that may be ultimately what you
want, but this book allows you to be honest with yourself about what you are
doing, and ultimately, to grow along with your children). Loved it!
I won't lend out my copy because I feel like I need to have it close at
hand at all times! A quick read that is also a very useful awareness tool is
Connection Parenting, by Pam Leo, and Playful Parenting., by someone else,
whom I forget. There is also: Respectful Parents, Respectful Kids, also very
useful from the perspective of knowing and growing with your kids.
Mom of 3
Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn - this book changed everything for me.
It's all about truly respecting children. No threats, no bribes, no rewards,
no punishments. He advocates working with your children to come up with
solutions, which often means parents letting go of some control and trusting
their children. It's hard! But totally worthwhile. If you want to be
challenged, buy this book.
Between Parent and Child by Haim Ginott - readable, enjoyable, intelligent and
helpful. And it's a short book (yes, I find time to read it). Check out
http://www.betweenparentandchild.com/. Two of Ginott's students wrote 'How to
Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk,' also a useful book.
besides the first few chapters of ''what to expect: the first year,'' i didn't
read anything else. i checked out dr sears' ''the baby book'' and one of the
''baby whisperer'' books, but didn't have time to read through anything.
instead, if i have any questions, i rely on the awesome BPN website and
newsletters, along with other websites. thankfully, i have a normal family
with a healthy kid, so i'm just going with the flow. (we are a pretty relaxed
household though.) BPN fan
I recommend Playground Politics, by Stanley Greenspan. My partner and I have
found it thought-provoking and useful. He addresses child development during
the elementary school years. He's written books about early childhood
Mother of a 10-year-old
I really like Playful Parenting, by Lawrence Cohen. I read most of it when my
son was an infant and liked to be held while he slept, so I had lots of time
to read. Cohen talks about how children act out because they feel powerless or
disconnected, and gives ways to connect and give power through play.
What parenting book most impacted your parenting your infant, toddler,
and/or young children? Feel free to choose something general, from a
particular approach(attachment or mindful parenting, etc.) or specific
Scream-Free Parenting by Hal Runkel
The basics are: you can scream by using your voice or walking away - You can
have scream-free parenting by allowing yourself to calm down about parenting
and life; give your children and yourself physical, emotional, psychic and
intellectual space, see your children for the individuals they are not as
extensions of yourself and get a life so your children can have one too.
Absolutely the best way to parent - We have resolved conflict with our daughter
by 85% - 90%, enjoy spending time with her and her self-confidence and
self-control has increased and the entire family's flexibility has increased.
''Unconditional Parenting'' by Alfie Kohn!
My favorites are Between Parent and Child, by Haim Ginott, and a book that was
inspired by Ginott, How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will
Talk by Faber and Mazlish.
A Mom Who Likes Books
Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves, by Naomi Aldort. Compassionate
parenting, real guidance
Well, I read at least one Parenting Book a month for a year, and here are the
Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child - John Gottman
Healthy Sleep, Happy Child (disorganized, which makes it tough when
sleep-deprived, but some good stuff like what to do when traveling)
What's Going on in There? - Lise Eliot
Child Care and Child Development: Results from the NICHD Study of Early Child
Care and Youth Development
The Read-Aloud Handbook - Jim Trelease
First Art : Art Experiences for Toddlers and Twos by MaryAnn F. Kohl, Renee F.
Ramsey, Dana Bowman, and Katheryn Davis
From Diapers to Dating
There are many others, but these come to mind immediately
Parenting Book Club Leader
For me, the ultimate parenting book was ''What's Going on in There?'' by Lise
Eliot. It's a layman's summary of the last 20 years or so of
neuropsychological research. For me, understanding what was developing inside
my son's brain, and how that affected his behavior -- and therefore, what I
could expect to happen, and what might be effective, was much more important
than some expert saying ''Here's what you should do,'' (end of story).
I remember, for example, my very mellow infant son who could sleep through
ANYTHING, suddenly going through a phase at about 5 months old where being in a
room with more than four people, or any sort of noise, would make him cry
inconsolably. I would have been very worried -- except that I had just read
how, betweeen 4-5 months, the auditory and visual cortex were developing
millions of new connections every day. So, I figured he was suddenly hearing
and seeing all kinds of stuff he'd never noticed before, and that was hard to
deal with -- and I guessed it would go away in a couple of months, when he got
used to it. Sure enough.
''Our Babies Ourselves,'' by Merideth Small is the BEST parenting book I've
read... and I have read many of them! The book explores the biological and
social history of parenting practices around the world. While biased.... the
data presented is nonetheless completely mind opening.
It made me realize that so many parenting practices are based on cultural
norms... not medical or scientific or proven evidence. The result of reading
this book is that I felt much freer to listen to my own instincts rather than
this or that book.
-- Book and Information Lover
Do you have any recommendations for books with tips on
parenting that include some reference to positive parental
attitudes? I am particularly interested in the elementary
school years. I have checked the website and found several, but would appreciate any
I loved Best Things Parents Do, by Susan Isaacs Kohl. The
book is new this spring. The title caught my eye and I
thought, ''Now Iíll get some ideas from some really good
parents''. What I found were incredible stories about
regular, everyday parents. These parents were
experimenting, learning, and trying, to help their children
grow in joyful and healthy ways. Their stories are easy to
understand and inspired me to try some of their ideas and
approaches, modified to fit my own situation. The author,
Susan Isaacs Kohl, places each story in the larger context of
what the parent is conveying or teaching the child. Like
many of us, these parents may not have been aware of the
larger picture. They were just getting through a challenging
situation as best they could. Having finished the book, the
small steps, and the larger picture, are both more available
to me in my daily parenting. I found it very helpful. Definitely
a good book!
I would like to find a sensitive, informative book that could help me deal
with my strong, at time difficult, child.
I picked one by Dr. Dobson, but as soon as I realized that he
encourages ''corporal punishment'' I stopped reading it and felt very
miserable for even having bought it (even though I had no idea...).
Could any one suggest some useful readings? Thanks.
I recommend Parent Effectiveness Training by Thomas Gordon.
Among other things in the book, the techniques can help parents
learn how to let children have input in decision making; when
children feel involved they are often more cooperative. The
techniques have been working for my daughter and me.
I highly recommend two books by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, ''Raising
Your Spirited Child'' and ''Kids, Parents and Power Struggles.''
She is sensible, has done lots of research about child
development, personalities, etc, and she approaches these issues
from the very helpful perspective of understanding both your
child's personality and preferences, and your own, so that you
can manage together effectively. The parent is still the
authority, but in a way that is respectful and supportive of the
child. And she never makes you feel bad for blowing it. I keep
the power struggles book on my bedside table.
mom of a periodically spirited child
I recently borrowed ''Raising Your Spirited Child'' by Mary
Kurcinka from my local La Leche League, and it seems a lot more
positive and gentle than the book you describe. It emphasizes
working with your child's temperament. Here's what Amazon says
about the book:
Recently, temperament traits have come to the forefront of child
development theory. In Raising Your Spirited Child, Mary Sheedy
Kurcinka's first contribution is to redefine the ''difficult
child'' as the ''spirited'' child, a child that is, as she says,
MORE. Many people are leery about books that are too quick
to ''type'' kids, but Kurcinka, a parent of a spirited child
herself and a parent educator for 20 years, doesn't fall into
that trap. Instead, she provides tools to understanding your own
temperament as well as your child's. When you understand your
temperamental matches--and your mismatches--you can better
understand, work, live, socialize, and enjoy spirit in your
child. By reframing challenging temperamental qualities in a
positive way, and by giving readers specific tools to work with
these qualities, Kurcinka has provided a book that will help all
parents, especially the parents of spirited children, understand
and better parent their children.
I too had what I thought was a strong willed child which only
got harder with the introduction of a new baby brother last
year. Based on a previous post I picked up Positive Discipline
by Jane Nelson and have found it to be very helpful. It has
also made me rethink whether it was that my child was stong
willed or just rebeling against my initial approach. She is
much more easy going these days.
I suggest you call bookstores, ask if they have a book by Dr.
SEARS, titled: ''Your Fussy Baby & High Need Child.'' Or, any
books by Dr. Sears. Then, go down and get some of these books
today, if possible.
He has a website: I think it's something like: AskDrSears.com.
He's positive, caring and has years of experience, and even had
a strong-willed child himself, so he offers a lot of personal
experience. His wife, a nurse, also helps in the books. Feel
free to email me. -Heather
I really like Raising Your Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy
I am in need of a GOOD book on children's health. For the
last three years my husband and I have relied on the Dr.
Spock book, but it doesn't always have an answer to our
questions. Rather than call the doctor with every little
question, we would like to have a reliable resource on hand.
What other books do people have in their collection that they
would recommend? I have both an infant and a 3 year old,
so I'm looking for something that would include both ages. I
just came across one on the internet called Caring for Your
Baby and Young Children. Does anyone know this one
and/or recommend it? Many many thanks!
I really like the book ''Your Child's Health'' by Barton Schmitt.
I don't use it for the childrearing advice as it seems harsh to
me, but the medical information is wonderful. We can look up
just about any sympton our son has and it give information,
treatment and which conditions require seeing your doctor. We
always refer to this book before calling the Dr. or Advice
nurse and the suggestions always work! The book was recommended
to us at a childbirth prep class at a hospital.
''Caring for Your Baby and Young Child'' by the American Academy
of Pediatrics (the edition I have is edited by Steven Shelov)
is a fantastic book. It was given to me by a very good friend
who is a pediatrician, and she said that every pediatrician she
knows has a copy and refers to it occasionally. Time and again
I have been surprised by how it answers whatever question I
seem to have.
My personal favorite is _The Baby Book_ (by Dr. Sears), though
it technically only covers birth through age 2.
We also have the AAP book, which I think is the one you
mention. It's fine, reasonably comprehensive and covers older
kids as well as babies -- but almost always, when you look up
some symptom or other, this book's advice is to call your
doctor. Sensible advice for a book written by the doctors'
association, I suppose, but less helpful, especially at 2:00
a.m. on a Sunday, than Sears' book, which actually explains, for
example, the difference between ''emergency'' croup and ''non-
emergency'' croup -- and how to treat and watch the latter at
A pediatrician friend gave us ''Your Child's Health'' by Barton D.
Schmitt, M.D. We are first-time parents and when our baby has
been sick, the advice in this book has always turned out to be
right on target (whereas advice we took from other books, various
advice nurses, etc. has often turned out to cause more problems.)
It covers newborns through adolescents and also has advice on
things like sleep issues, discipline, etc. Very straightforward
and easy to find what you need.
The book you are referring to is by Penelope Leach. I have it,
but have found the book published by the American Academy of
Pediatrics to be a better resource. In addition to developmental
information there's an index of common (and not so common)
illnesses at the back -- it was actually an enormous help when my
daughter came down with croup and with hand, foot, and mouth as an
infant; the book helped me identify them (correctly) to the
Can anyone recommend books/stories that poke fun at the trials
and tribulations of parenting infant/preschool aged kids? I'm
hoping to compile a list of books that provide comic relief in
the parenting department. Any suggestions? Thanks...
If memory serves me right Vicki Levine writes some
humorous ''been there done that'' parenting books. I think they
begin with ''The Girlfriends Guide to...''
Try anything by Erma Bombeck.
Great topic! I can't wait to see what books others
My all time favorite book about being a parent in Operating
Instructions by Anne Lamott. I read this book before I had
children and loved it, and then reread it in the midst of the
'baby blues' when I felt like an unfit mother. She speaks to
the best and worst of motherhood in an honest and
I also enjoyed the 'Girlfriend's Guide' books- I read the guide
to pregnancy and the guide to the first year. Funny and
One of my main gripes with so many parenting books is the
total lack of any sense of humor, which I frankly have found
to be the most important quality in my parenting. Humor
helps me see the ridiculousness of fighting with my
two-year old over wearing her bike helmet at the dinner
table, and has enabled me to admit to myself some of the
'uglier' thoughts that have gone through my head. If I didn't
have darkly funny firends with kids, I probably would have
lost my mind by now. Good luck!
I *loved* _Planet Parenthood_ (about the first year of new
parenthood) and _Attack of the Toddlers_ by our very own Julie
Also, books by Vicki Iovine and Erma Bombeck. And, not strictly
humor although it has that, Annie Lamott's _Operating
Planet Parenthood by Julie Tilsner.
I loved it!
I like the various ''Baby Blues'' comic strip books, and often
give it as gifts saying it IS the best parenting book, meaning
that humor is the only way to make it through the parenting
challenges. For new parents, I like the first book (the first
child is a newborn in the hospital), though it is hard to find.
laughing mom of twin toddlers
Can anyone recommend a resource book on early
childhood art development? Ideally it would combine
research on, for example, stages of drawing with broad
suggested approaches for toddlers and young kids. I don't
want coloring or craft-books. I've taught art to second and
fifth graders but I'm interested to find out more about what
my 20 month-old.
I have not found the type of book you are looking for (though I
looked for one a year or two ago and am sure one must exist),
but I have found the handouts on children's art from Habitot
Children's Museum to be very informative and helpful. Their
handouts let you know what to look for and expect as development
progresses and provide great advice on providing appropriate art
experiences and on how to interact appropriately with your child
around art. If you find a great book let us know!
Ria Kellogg... I am not sure of the spelling. Had a great book on
children's drawings...it talks about the stages of children's art
form 'scribbles drawings to semirepresentational drawing...it is
wonderful...it is an older book so you may be able to get it
used. The Creative Arts by Linda Edwards is a great book about
process approach to art. It does talk about all different types
of art from visual, to music and drama. It is a teachers guide..
but I as a Toddler teacher love it. NAEYC had some good stuff....
Early school materials which is a teacher supply place had a good
web site that may have some good info. That is all I cna think of
right now. Good Luck
I looked through the web site and didn't find anything helpful. I'm
looking for recommendations for a book(s)/class/method of child
rearing to help foster emotional/mental health in my 16 month old
daugther based on good solid research. My husband is a pretty happy,
stable adult but his sister has bipolar disorder, and his mother and
brother are both alcoholic and depressed (brother has been sober for
past 5 years).
I am a happy and (I think) quite emotionally stable adult, but as a
teenager I engaged in risky behavior, I was depressed, I was even
suicidal at times.
Both my husband's and my parents divorced when we were young, but in my
case I didn't feel that this event was sufficiently traumatic to
warrant such a miserable adolescence. I think my parents overall did
a good job raising me. I don't understand why I was so miserable, and
I don't want my daughter to go through that if I can help it. There
are sooooo many books out there on raising children and many seemingly
based on theory. I'm a strong believer in the ability of scientific
research to provide useful guidance.
And I'm sure it's out there. I'd love recommendations for some solid,
proven resources on raising happy, healthy children.
Regarding the Resources for Raising Mentally Healthy Children, you didn't
say if your daughter was currently having any problems. You can't prevent
problems from happening any more than your own parents, who you have
admitted as having done a pretty good job of raising you, could have
prevented your problems.
There is no "proven right or wrong way" to raise a child. There really
isn't. All you will find is different opinions out there. The best book you
will find on the subject is the one that most closely mirrors your own
beliefs to begin with. I've read enough of them to know they all cater to
different personality types, but not one of them has told me the secret of
perfect parenting. There's no such thing which is why I won't recommend any
to you. No matter what the philosophy or "theory", everyone just does the
best they can. That's the bottom line. We always want our children to have
it better than we did. We always want to protect them from the things we
went through. That's human nature. Every generation goes through this. That
A home is not a laboratory. Theories don't work with children. Common sense
(and rules) do. Any book worth anything will tell you that. That's all you
need. That and a lot of love and nurturing. Every child is different,
especially those raised together. We all learn from our own growing up
It sounds like you already know what to do for your child. If your child is
happy and you're happy, that's all that matters. If you really feel the need
for more help, go visit a daycare or preschool you've heard other parents
praise, especially the co-ops where the parents volunteer their time. If
it's a good one, they won't mind if you just observe for a couple of hours.
Being around other parents and seeing how they deal with their children
firsthand is better experience than any book you'll ever read because what
you see is fact and what you read is just someone's opinion, including this.
You should trust your instincts.
This may seem a little tangential, but here's my advice: seriously
consider investigating your own background, your relationship with your
partner, etc. After years of therapy myself, I found that the things
that threw me for a loop were actions and behaviors within my family
that I had no idea were unhealthy, and I thought I was happy and well
balanced, and didn't start thinking about it further until my first
marriage broke up and then all hell broke loose. I think I benefited
tremendously from all the time it took me to investigate more honestly
where my own behaviors and tendencies originate, and how I can pass
those things on unconsciously to others, including my own family. It
sounds a little esoteric, but one of the books that really got me to
thinking was "The Drama of the Gifted Child," which is not really about
gifted children but the tendency for narcissism (i.e., wanting your
children to reflect who you want them to be) to pass from one generation
to the next (e.g., by praising and supporting characteristics of a child
that you prefer, and teaching a child to repress tendencies that you
don't particularly care for). The result is that a child ends up
denying parts of themselves. The book can be found at used bookstores,
and if you do read it, try to skip through the psychobabble to get to
the message. Another book that explains some of this in more lay terms
is "Getting the Love you Want." This has some exercises that help you
understand yourself relative to your family (though the book
theoretically is for couples).
You seem to be looking for a quick list of things to do better, but your
family structure and befuddlement suggest there may be other issues. I
think there may be some ways to address raising healthy kids (such as
books that help kids understand and express feelings), but if you don't
understand your own feelings or tendencies, you may simply repeat
tendencies that are passed down from previous generations. And if it's
unconscious, the books and advice won't help and could hurt (e.g., you
believe that you're doing the right thing b/c you read the book). I
also grew up in a household with an alcoholic father, co-dependent
mother, bipolar sister and depressed brother. It never occurred to me
to try to figure out what was wrong (nor did I believe that it had any
effect on me whatsoever). I now have more empathy for my siblings and
parents, more ability to protect my own self-esteem and personal
boundaries and stand up for myself, better communications skills, and
immensely improved self-understanding. And I have seen how this
translates to my interactions with my own family members (and, quite
frankly, professional colleagues). It took me a while before I found a
therapist that was effective for me, and it also took some intensive
reading and self-reflection and practicing healthier behaviors. Maybe
if you notice some internal conflict of your own, or conflict with your
partner or child, that could provide the avenue in which to explore
I hope this helps. I responded with this since your family sounds so
similar to mine, and your attitude sounds so similar to mine 10 years
ago, and I feel very strongly that personal mental health is the best
way to ensure passing on good mental health to your children. Sorry
for the long post.
Parenting a Baby
Does anybody know of a good book/reference explaining how to
put an infant (6 months) on a schedule.
''Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child'' by Marc Weissbluth was the
book that helped me figure out my daughter's nap schedule. If
you are looking to set baby's sleep schedule around YOUR
schedule, this isn't the right book for you, but if you are
trying to understand your baby's sleep rhythms and encourage a
schedule around those, this book will be helpful. Best of luck.
I don't know of a good book, but I know which book NOT to
use: ''Babywise'' by Ezzo. The American Academy of Pediatrics
came out against the book. You can find out more at:
''On Becoming Baby Wise'' by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam - highly
Try it - it's worth every penny!
We are reading ''The Baby Whisperer'' right now. It was
recommended to us. Seems decent so far.
Try Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child or something like that.
Whether you want to go all-out and do some of the crying it out
that the book describes, or just understand sleep patterns to
start a more predictable schedule, this book is very
informative. Good luck!
I found the Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg to be very helpful for
getting babies into a routine, as well as for helping us avoid
getting into some bad habits. She makes a big distinction
between ''routine'' and ''schedule.'' I highly recommend checking it
Babywise. It really works - though you may want to slightly
modify some of your approaches. IT worked like a charm with my
now 5 year old (we got him on a schedule at 3 months) We were
less disciplined with our younger son (now 21/2) and he was a
tougher child so it took longer - but the princilples apply and
we did finally get him sleepting through the night.
Our baby is almost 6 months and we are getting ready to introduce food
to her. We are looking for a few good books on the subject. Any
suggestions? Also, we need to get a high chair and wanted feedback
which one is best.
Book - Super Baby Food
High Chair - IKEA's plastic, buy tray seperately. We've been
using the same one for over 3 1/2 years. Now, without the tray,
our son can sit right up at the table with us. And, the best
part - take it outside to hose it clean - or in the shower if
you're in an apartment!
Super Baby Food is easy to read; we really enjoy it.
[Editor] see also advice about introducing solids
My son is about two months now and my wife and me are
looking for some good books about baby development and baby health in
baby's first year. However there are quite many books about the subject.
Could anybody recommend a helpful book on baby development and baby
health? And which books are not worth reading?
I can't recommend highly enough "The Baby Book" by Dr. and Martha Sears.
It is comprehensive, providing all of the developmental milestones and health
information you could want, with the special addition of a wonderfully
compassionate philosophy of child-rearing. My son is now 25 months, and I
still turn to the book on occassion. I am now reading Dr. Sears' Discipline Book,
which embodies the same respectful, loving, understanding view of our children
and how to bring out the best in them -- and in us.
With my baby's due date about three months away I thought this would be a
good time to start reading up on baby books. I am looking for
recommendations on what books other parents have found helpful or not
helpful because I really would like to start off with just a couple really
good ones. The authors that I have heard most recommended for delivering
solid and sensible information are Dr. Spock for general health
information, and Dr. Brazelton for developmental information. Does anyone
have another author they find a must? Also, I notice that Dr. Brazelton had
many book out in print. Which have you all read, and which do you
I am very fond of Penelope Leach's book, called (I think) Your Baby &
Child. I think there is even a new edition of this one. She's very
sensible in her approach. The other book I've found useful is The Well
Baby Book. With either of these and Spock, you'd be fine.
We've been really happy with a book called The Portable Pediatrician
written by Laura Nathanson, M.D. (I think), both for
behavioral/developmental and for medical info about kids (we have two).
I highly recommend Brazelton's book "Touchpoints." It really gave us a lot
of insight into the developmental stages of our babies. Also provides
thoughtful, balanced discussion of issues such as spacing of children,
sleeping with the baby in bed, whether to allow thumbsucking, etc.
My husband and I love The Baby Book by Sears and Sears. They are a
husband/wife pediatritian/pediatric nurse team with 8 children of their
own, so they have LOTS of experience. They have a very humane philosophy,
but it may be too touchy feely for some- sleep with your baby, breast feed
on demand, wear your baby (He invented the baby sling) generally be very
loving and caring to the infant and she/he will grow up with a good sense
of self-esteeme. It also has behavial stuff/ sickness/ how to play with
babys at different ages, and a lot more. Less useful were P. Leach's book,
and What to expect from the first year, but they are good books, we just
like the philosophy of the Baby Book best. All these books are at Codys-
they have a large selection of this type of book.
One that I found helpful is The Baby Book by Sears and Sears. They have
chapters dedicated to things like "Nighttime Parenting" and "Parenting Your
Fussy or Colicky Baby," which are helpful especially in the early weeks. There
are large sections on how to take care of a sick baby (it goes into detail on
how to un-stuff a baby's nose, for example), how to feed your baby (tips on
breastfeeding and formula feeding), etc. I found that the Sears's parenting
philosophy was pretty similar to my own, which is another reason I liked it. I
think it is a very well-rounded discussion of babies' needs. However, this
is not too powerful in the psychological development department, but I think
that's because they're physicians rather than psychologists.
I actually haven't read any of the Spock or Brazelton books, but I do
like the Sears' "Baby Book" , and
Penelope Leach's "Your Baby and Child
- the first 5 years". The latter is really an excellent all around
guide and it covers way more than infant needs/behaviors, which is
helpful because the questions never stop.
In addition to the ones you already mentioned, I highly recommend Your
Baby and Child" by Penelope Leach - she seems to have the most balanced
approach to controversial topics such as sleep and feeding. The Baby
Book" by William and Martha Sears is full of good practical information,
but they are quite dogmatic about attachment parenting. While I agree in
spirit with their approach, the book made me feel almost guilty for
wanting to have my son sleep in a crib. I had fun reading both books (and
Spock), and it was particularly helpful to go back and forth between them!
Have fun with your baby!
A wonderful book for any new parent is "Becoming the Parent You Want to
Be" by Janis Keyser and Laura Davis. This is a parenting book focusing
on the task of parenting rather than medical or developmental
information. It is really great when you have a toddler who is driving
you crazy and you don't know how you want to deal with it. Instead of
being a "how to" that tells you what every expert thinks you should be
doing, it guides you through figuring out how you want to parent and what
is best for you and your unique family. My friends and I affectionately
refer to it as "The Good Book". It covers everything from sleeping and
food to body image, discipline and parenting with a partner. I can't say
enough about this fabulous book. It's at the library, check it out!
I've promoted it before, I'll do it again: Dr. Elmer Grossman's "Everyday
Pediatrics for Parents" is my favorite, no nonsense baby (and kid) book. I
just re-read a bit, and I'm enthusiastic about the common sense approach to
kids and life he puts forth. Of course, I'm a little biased, since he was
my pediatrician when I was a kid. He has also written a more scientific
pediatric medicine book that I haven't yet read.
The misc.kids news group has an FAQ with reviews of various birth,baby and
child rearing books. I know it's on the web somewhere. Check
news:misc.kids.info to find it.
What you read depends on your philosophy as well as how much time you have.
The recommendation I make to all my friends who get pregnant is that at a
minimum, they should read the chapters on "nighttime parenting" and the
"high need/colicky baby" from William and Martha Sears' _The Baby Book_.
I recommend the latter even for parents who have an easy child because it
has a lot of nuts and bolts info on how to soothe a crying baby type
The P. Leach books are really great on psychology, but, unless she changed
this in the new version (anybody know?) her advice on breastfeeding wasn't
very good (she says the baby will settle into an every 4-5 hr schedule on
its own if fed on demand--NOT). I don't like the What to Expect Books at
all. The only Spock book I've read is the one my mother used for me and I
know he's updated since then :-) I gathered that he was very progressive
for his time, but he's not my cup of tea.
I also like Faber and Mazlisch _How to Talk so Kids Will Listen_ as
well as the Sears' _Disciple Book_.
Most of all, take everything you read with a grain of salt, your baby won't
have read the book:-) I remember when my first son was born watching these
how to take care of your newborn videos and was obsessed with bathing him.
My second son didn't get a bath until he was at least a month old and then
only monthly after that. We used Goldenseal powder on his umbilical cord
instead of swabbing it with rubbing alcohol and it dropped off a week and a
half earlier than my first son's.
My favorite baby book is still The Baby Book by Sears&Sears. The
chapter on baby wearing saved my sanity with my first child and was the
only thing that worked. Ignore the chapter on child care if you're
going to back to work, it's guilt-ridden and I think the book would be
perfect without that chapter. For myself as a new mom I found The Year
After Childbirth by Sheila Kitzinger extremely supportive and spiritual.
You should also buy a copy of Mothering Magazine. If it's your thing
you'll love it and be glad you found it. You can't buy it at Lucky's.
Barnes & Noble stores has it for sure.
About baby books: My husband and I really like the What to Expect the
First Year. It's the only one of our many baby books that we bought
ourselves, and we've found it to be really balanced and to go through the
developmental stages of the first year in a very useful way.. We've found
Spock to be useful as a resource when our baby is ill, and
Penelope Leach and Brazelton's Touchpoints to be good books for psychological
development. We also have the Sears and Sears The Baby Book, but there
were times when we found it to be a bit overwhelming, especially as a
first time mother (it made me feel like I shouldn't want my child to sleep
in her own crib, and since I was unable to breast feed, the philosophy of
breastfeeding or else was a little strong).
Parenting a Toddler (1 & 2 year olds)
I'm mama to a wonderful 2.5 year old little girl. I'm
looking for books to read about her development, why she's
doing certain things, what's going on in there, etc. I
loved reading about the baby developmental stages in The
Baby Book (Sears)- but we are well past that now. I'm
looking for something that is geared toward parents, not
professional, and I'm an attachment/natural parenting type
of mama, if that matters. I'm just looking to understand
what's going on and try and be the best parent I can in
all these different stages!
As a proffessional in early childhood development I highly
recommend that you read books by Arnold Gesell on child
development. Also, books by Louise Ames Bates, Your One Year
Old, Your Two Old and so on. I trained with the Gesell
Institute myself and specialize in assessing young children
for school readiness especially kindergarten and grade one.
Please contact me in the event you would like your child
assessed for school readiness and placement.
First, full disclosure: I teach child development, so it's
possible my definition of ''a good read'' in this category is
a little skewed. That said, some of my favorites as a
parent have included Penelope Leach's Your Baby and Child
(good for basic toddler/ preschooler stuff), Barbara
Rogoff's The Cultural Nature of Human Development
(definitely NOT a ''parenting book,'' but fascinating),
anything by Alison Gopnik (''The Philosophical Baby is her
most recent, I think), and Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman's
Nurture Shock. I didn't expect to like the last one, but I
actually think it does a good job of presenting several of
the more surprising findings that have come out of cognitive
developmental and educational research.
We love Penelope Leach's ''Your Baby and Child, From Birth to Age Five.'' (Knopf,
1997. There may be a more recent one, not sure if it matters). She focuses on
the big picture, and is pretty funny. It's attachment based. Not so good for
specific ''tricks of the trade,'' but I always feel better after reading a few pages.
Why not go back to the original "modern" guru, Dr. Spock. His books, available
both in hardcover & paperback, were used by parents extensively in the early
50's-60's. Very sensible & accurate advice about what to expect. Most children
are still going thru same development stages; parents' expectations & those of
society have changed. Our children, now all parents themselves, were curious,
thoughtful, honest, mischivous (sp.?) & friendly as children; generally began
sleeping well thru the night at around 3 months of age, could be taken to
friends, restaurants, etc. w/good behavior unless they were sick, & had real adult
friends of their own by the time they were around 12 or so. They were not easy
teenagers, but this was during the Vietnam War, explosion of drugs in Bay Area,
etc. They all did well in their educational goals, & we love them both as children
& like them as people. Dr. Spock played a large role in our methods &
expectations for them.
I have always found the Ames and Ilg Books (Your Child at 2,
Your Child at 3). I am sure that many people will give you
the same answer. I buy one every year (right now I have one
for my 5-year-old and one for my 7-year-old)
A few weeks ago, a responder suggested reading books on early childhood
development to help understand the behavior of a tough 2.5-year old child.
I am hoping that maybe the poster (and others!) might suggest some reading on
early childhood development to help a nervous mother-to-be.
I like the Louise Bates Ames books: ''Your X Year Old:...''
(e.g. ''Your Two Year Old: Terrible or Tender''; ''Your Three
Year Old: Friend or Enemy''; etc. She has books for every
year of childhood) I also found the Sears Baby Book to have
a lot of very early developmental information in it that was
quite helpful. Many of the books on child-rearing will have
useful information about child development: Postive
Discipline, Unconditional Parenting, Attachment Parenting,
You are Your Child's First Teacher (though that last has
some spiritual/religious references that may seem odd to
some people, so you have to read with an eye for what is
useful to you, and leave the rest - well, I guess that's
true with anything!) etc.
Do a search on Amazon.com under ''Early Childhood
Development'' and I'm sure you'll get many others.
I suggest you make friends with your local children's
librarian. Browse through the parenting books and see what
you like, what meshes with your parenting style, what offers
practical advice for your relationship with your child
(after your baby is born). The Happiest Baby on the Block
(the book or the DVD) might be a good starting place, as you
can use the info right away.
I use the book ''A sympathetic understanding of the child''
with my student teachers (a little bit different from the
advice request) and my students really like it. It provides
a good overview of development in very accesible language.
As a mom of 2, I liked reading about some specific sections,
such as the development of concepts of friendship.
I am a first time mom to a six month old and while I realize that she is way
to young for any type of discipline, there are some things that I would like
to discourage (ie. pulling my hair, biting, putting certain things in her
mouth, etc.). While these things are not such a big deal right now and most
can be dealt with if I don't give her access, it's gotten me thinking about
positive discipline and how I can teach her things without saying ''no'' so
much. Can anyone recommend a book on the topic of positive reinforcement with
Want a headstart
try this series - was recommended by my therapist:
Parenting Young Children: Systematic Training for Effective Parenting
(STEP) of Children Under Six by Don, Sr. Dinkmeyer, Gary D. McKay,
James S. Dinkmeyer, and Joyce L. McKay
There are three books - one for each age range Stefanie
I only wish I had looked at Jane Nelson's books when my son was
younger. Nelson's first book is called, POSITIVE DISCIPLINE.
She has many others now that deal with subtopics, such as toddlers and
teens. As well, there are usually courses available in Positive
Discipline. I know the Berkeley YMCA has the classes twice a year.
-fan of positive discipline
I would love to hear your recommendations on favorite books (discipline,
development, positive parenting whatever) that help/helped you keep your
sanity while going through raising the terrible twos. While I know books
won't solve everything, for sanity's sake I would love to have a few good
ones on hand to give me some tips and get me through the tough moments when
I think I'm just a terrible parent with a terrorizing child!
Try reading 1-2-3 Magic - although your child is only 2, starting
the process with this book was tremendously helpful. In the book
it says to have a specific conversation with the child; however, at
2, they don't get it so I just reinforced by repeating that this is
a time out and the whole 1-2-3 thing. You'll understand when you
read it. This can be used for years to come.
'Your Two-Year-Old: Terrible or Tender' by Louise Bates Ames.
Ames's whole series really helped me. Also, 'The Happiest Toddler
on the Block' by Harvey Karp. 'Toddlerese' really helped with my
Love & Logic For Early Childhood really helped us. My son's
behavior has improved dramatically since my husband and I started
using this method. Also, I feel more in control of situations,
which is is an even bigger deal, I think.
I read quite few discipline books (Happiest Toddler, Positive
Discipline, and a T. Berry Brazelton discipline book), but none
helped me very much in the 'real world'. The Love & Logic book gave
a lot of examples that actually work, and that are fairly easy to
I highly recommend Sal Severe's book How to Behave So Your
Preschooler Will Too. Using the techniques suggested in this book
have made life with our 2 and a half year old much easier. We are
Here are three books we found helpful:
The Emotional Life of the Toddler by Alicia Lieberman is wonderful.
It offers insight into the developmental basis of many of the
behaviors that leave parents frustrated or exhausted. It is a
wonderful window into this period.
Also, Becoming the Parent You Want to Be: A Source Book for
Strategies for the First Five Years by Davis and Keyser is very
Lastly, Your Baby and Child by Penelope Leach.
mom of 2 in elementary school now
I have gotten a lot out of a series of books called ''Your One Year
Old,'' ''Your Two Year Old,'' etc. I check them out each year a
couple of months prior to the kids' birthdays and so far they have
been pretty on target at describing developmental milestones and
why they happen etc. Sometimes there aren't a lot of tips, but it
helps me deal with the kids when I understand thought process for
Happy to share my a great parenting book recommended to me by 3
different parents; I wish I'd read it before 2 1/2.
Alicia Lieberman: The Emotional Life of the Toddler
Detailed, psychological, normalizing and reassuring as far as both
child development and parent, uh, development. Includes sections on
cognitive and emotional development, the role of the child's
body/movement, temperment, as well as specific issues to navigate
(sleep, potty training, childcare)...and more.
Most of my ''big'' question and wonderings were addressed in this
book. Not as contemporary as some books, but this wisdom is
perennial, I believe.
Another recent recommendation: Playful Parenting
I like Marc Weisbluth for sleep issues, though he's a bit
(I'm sure you'll hear about the other favorites like, Happiest Kid
on the Block, etc.. I bought Baby Whisperer for Toddlers and found
it somewhat useful.)
(I buy all my books used from www.abebooks.com)
best to you! it's rough, and so much fun, too.
''Becoming the Parent You Want to Be'' I think is just a great
overall book that covers every possible situation with concrete
examples/solutions and maintains a child-focus approach that honors
the child. The authors also approach each situation as a
learning/teaching opportunity for both kid and adult. I also like
that it takes both the parent as a person into account as opposed
to always focusing simply on how to get kids to be one way or
I also really like ''Unconditional Parenting'' for inspiration
and ''Emotional Life of the Toddler'' for perpective
Positive Discipline by Jane Nelson!
I recommended books last time...but I have to add one more that I absolutely
loved...(I read in the last week) ''How to talk so kids will listen and how
to listen so kids will talk'' . I think it should be read by every parent or
any person in a relationship.
I am looking for recommendations on books on Child Development. My child is one and I
would like to learn about this fascinating topic. There are so many options in the
market... Any help on this is appreciated.
When my three children were younger I really liked the series by Drs. Ames
and Ilg (and one more?) called ''Your ______ Year Old''. These books were
written quite few years ago and are somewhat dated in language and
references to Mom being at home and Dad off at work. But they totally hit
the developmental nail on the head. Plus these authors clearly love
children and enjoy the phases of childhood. Many times when I thought my
child need major psychiatric help for some weird behavior I would read the
book and they described that behavior completely and it was normal!
Mom of 3
I am currently reading, ''Your One-Year Old - The fun loving, fussy 12-24
month old'', and I think it's full of helpful information. It's part of a
series from the Gesell Institute of Child Development (there's also ''Your
2 yr old, 3 yr old, etc.) The authors are Ames, Ilg, and Haber. I
checked it out of the library here in Marin, but I am sure you can find it
easily in the East Bay or a cheap used one on Amazon.com. I am definitely
interested to see what other recommendations you receive!
Enjoying my fun-loving, fussy little boy
Some books on infant development that I found very insightful are: What's
Going on in There? by Lise Eliot, Scientist in the Crib by Alison Gopnik
and Magic Trees of the Mind by Marian Diamond.
Hi. I am looking for a good book on discipline for ages 1-3. We have no clue when
we are supposed to say no or ignore behavior, etc. and want a book that will give
us some good guidelines. I bought Discipline the Brazelton way but find it a bit
Positive Discipline: The First Three Years by Jane Nelsen, Cheryl Erwin, & Roslyn
Duffy is an excellent book. MK
These are the books that we love: ''The Happiest Toddler on the Block'' by Harvey Karp
and the books by Louise Bates Ames (''Your One-Year-Old: The Fun-Loving, Fussy 12-To
24-Month-Old'', ''Your Two-Year-Old: Terrible or Tender'', and ''Your Three-Year-Old:
Friend or Enemy''). The books by Ames are especially good, even if a little dated
Has anyone read any good books on toddler discipline, including setting limits,
boundaries, attention redirection, etc?
I found the book ''How to talk so kids will listen. How to Listen
so kids will talk'' very useful.
Parent Effectiveness Training by Thomas Gordon. My daughter's
preschool director recommended it. It is available at most
a ''trained'' mom
Ames and Igl's the toddler years tender or terrible has been
very informative and nice philosophy
wishi had moretimeto read
I have found the following books especially helpful with in
raising my budding toddler. Hope you will find them helpful
too. I especially like that these books all engender
respectful interactions and logical consequences.
1. Positive Discipline: The first three years, by Jane Nelson
2. Positive Time-Out by Jane Nelson, Ed.D.
3. Between Parent and Child by Dr. Haim G. Ginott
- A Positive Toddler Parent
Can anyone recommend some good books about parenting toddlers?
My daughter just turned 18 months and seemingly overnight has
started exhibiting toddler behavior - screaming when she
doesn't get what she wants or when things are taken away from
her, fighting to get free when I try to pick her up or hold her
hand, protesting (o.k., screaming) when I try to help her with
things she wants to do on her own and can't (putting on her
shoes or jacket), screaming at other kids at the park when they
touch a toy she's no longer playing with or was thinking about
playing with, running around with this manic energy where
nothing interest her for more than 5 seconds. I know this is
all normal (albeit exhausting). She's usually well-rested and
well-fed and that helps. But I'd like to read some books that
have some helpful ideas (or at least commiserate). Although
she's got great receptive language skills, she's not talking
that much, which I think frustrates her. We have started
signing and that helps (well, it helps her ask for ice cream
and cookies - thank goodness she thinks yogurt is ice
I set limits with her but have been told I am pretty laid back
when it comes to letting her explore her world. So, I would
want to read books that treat children with respect while
teaching self-control rather than views them as beings that
need to be controlled.
I don't have a toddler, but I recently read Becoming the Parent
You Want to Be, by Laura Davis and Janis Keyser, and I think
you might find it useful. It is extremely focused on respecting
children, and their intentions and struggles. (Some of it
seemed pretty unrealistic to me, but if taken with a grain of
salt, I think it's worth reading.)It also offers specific
suggestions for some of the toddler behaviors you described.
The Happiest Toddler on the Block by Harvey Karp has helped
friends of mine. (I'm about to have my first baby so I haven't
tried it yet.) I've flipped through it and it seems to make a
lot of sense and have many good suggestions.
''Becoming the parent you want to Be: A sourcebook of strategies
for the first five years'' Davis & Keyser
Get ''parenting your child with love and logic'' by Jim Fay. The
Love and Logic Institute also has many wonderful cd's,
specialized tapes and books that help with parenting. Their
methods are wonderful--and they aim to make parenting fun! Go
to Loveandlogic.com and check them and their publications out.
Jim Fay recently (July 6) appeared on my Internet Radio program
(Full Power Living, Tuesday a.m.s at 8 on VoiceAmerica.com). If
you go on the Voice America web site and look in the archives
for that date of my program, you can listen to him. He's
wonderful. He is also doing a workshop in San Jose in December
(the 9th, I think). He's very gifted and very helpful. Check
I found the Baby Whisperer For Toddlers to be a great book for
dealing with the issues you mentioned.
My numero uno favorite toddler book is Alicia Lieberman's _The
Emotional Life of the Toddler_. I think you'll find it scores
high on the scale of ''treating children with respect while
teaching self-control rather than views them as beings that
need to be controlled.'' Perhaps not unrelated, it treats
parents with respect as well. It is not written as a ''how-to''
in terms of how it formulates the helpful ideas, but the ideas
are definitely there. Maybe best of all, it kind of gets you in
the mood to head back into the fray, eager to meet the
challenges of the age just when you thought you couldn't take
it anymore. I read it more than once when my daughter was 18
mos. and am still reading it, avidly, at 2 yrs. I don't know if
I'm a gentle mom or not (most of the time, the word that
springs to mind is flying-by-the-seat-of-her-pants), but this
book opened my mind to choices that I didn't know we had and
just generally deepened my understanding.
still in the thick of it and richer for it
I just bought ''the happiest Toddler on the block'' by Dr.
Harvey Karp, and I think it makes sense. It's all about having
respect for your child and making her feel understood. Hope
I'm interested in how people have learned about stages of child development.
Books? Classes? I've picked up a couple of good books, but am interested in
recommendations for more information...perhaps your favorite book..the one
that had the ideas that really helped! My two and half year old is going
through some new stages, along with adjusting to being a big sister of her 9
month old brother. She's thriving in many ways, but is hitting sometimes,
and although it seems to be getting better, she's still doing it some.
Thank you. Irene
Mostly I don't enjoy reading parenting books, finding a lot of them
unnecessarily opinionated and judgmental. But I loved reading a book
called "The Magic Years" -- I'm afraid I'm not sure of the author's name
(Selma Fraiberg?) -- written in the 1950s. I don't remember much practical
advice but it gives a sort of inside view into a child's emotional and
cognitive world which I remember finding helpful in trying to make sense of
what my daughter was going through at various stages. It's called "The
Magic Years" because part of the point is that pre-schoolers think that a
lot of things in the world happen by magic. I seem to remember that it was
good about emotional conflicts, e.g. ambivalence towards parents and family
to the person asking for book recommendations, i would like to heartily
recommend the following three books:
"Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles" by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka (same author
as "Raising Your Spirited Child" - another great book)
"Smart Love" by William J. Pieper, Martha Heineman Pieper (i don't think their weaning and
nightime parenting advice is consistent with the philosophy presented in
the rest of
their book - but the rest of the book is VERY
worthwile and inspiring reading, IMO.)
"Discipline for Life - Getting it Right With Children" by Madelyn Swift.
Magda Gerber: " Your self-confident child. how to encourage your child's
natural abilities from the very start" is a Wonderful ressource! It
deeply inspired my parenting.
Parenting a Preschooler (3 & 4 year olds)
Could anyone recommend a good book that could help me
understand and help a 4 year old who has an extremely difficult
time with transitions. Your suggestions are appreciated.
''Your Spirited Child'' - a classic but still very valuable. You
may not think of your child as particularly spirited, but the
book has helpful for kids who are ''spirited'' (difficult) in
ways that manifest as low energy or stubbornness.
I finally found one that spoke to me about my sweet sensitive middle child.
''The Highly Sensitive Child'' by Elaine Aron was a godsend to us.
Mama of 3 VERY different kids
My child is just 3 and has become emotionally volatile.
I learn best from books, and my husband and I have committed to reading
the same book to agree on a parenting style, since our innate styles are
not matched. I loved John Gottman's ''Raising an Emotionally Intelligent
Child,'' but needed more. I am now reading ''Kids, Parents, and Power
Struggles'' by Mary Kurcinka, which is on the same lines but I find more
disorganized and less disciplined in its thinking and organization.
What are the all-time best parenting books for parents of 3-year-olds? I
would love to find one book that really has it all, including
emotion-coaching, setting limits, and whatever else I seem to be missing.
Parent of 3-year-old
I have found the book ''How to Behave So Your Preschooler Will Too'' by
Sal Severe extremely helpful. The techniques offered really work. I found
especially useful the coaching on the appropriate language to use to help
your child make better choices. I bought it a couple of years ago for
help in dealing with my spirited daughter who is now 5. I'm re-reading it
now for help in dealing with my extremely bright and stubborn 2 1/2 year
old son. Good luck
''1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12'' by Thomas Phelan
is almost as easy as 123 magic. Good luck from one parent of a busy three
old to another.
Parent of an active three year old
Hands down, I'd say Playful Parenting by Lawrence Cohen. It's one of
those books that is not profound, yet it clues you in to a LOT that does
not come obviously to most parents, and it REALLY works, in my experience.
He helps you to (re)consider the triggers that cause upsets (to actually
see the real root of them, rather that assuming the real problem is the
yogurt). But as important--and totally practical--he reminds you to
respond playfully, yet respectfully. To figure out how to not steamroll
over the child's emotions with mere distraction, but to acknowledge the
thing that might be causing the upsent AND harnessing your own playful
energy to redirect and keep it playful. Super effective, and it helps us
enjoy one another so much more.
The other book my husband and i see as totally essential reading is
Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn. It is less immediately
practical--or so it seems in the midst of things--but it IS profound, in
my opinion. The author (who my husband and I knew well as an educator,
but just recently learned of as a parenting expert) suggests (via lots of
opinion and also research) that using positive reinforcement and
traditional discipline only result in short term compliance, at the great
expense of long-term social-emotional development.
educator and mama to a spirited almost three year old
Playful Parenting by Lawrence J. Cohen is a favorite for us!
Best discipline/parenting book for a 3 y.o., hands down: 1-2-3 Magic.
Hi i have a 3.5 month old and we just read the Healthy sleep
habits happy child book, and we are into the 4th day. Have to
say a great deal of time is spent screaming in his crib,
unfortunalty I have no other choice I am going back to work
next month and I can not leave him with the caregiver sleep
deprived and unwilling to take naps. He will only take short 20
minute naps, also I feel like the whole day he is spent in the
crib crying while I bite my nails in agony. HOWEVER I will say
that the night sleeping has turned into 12 hours. Just curious
if anyone has read this book and if so has it worked or if you
have any suggestions on the nap issue.. He hates naps!..Any of
you moms have any tricks up your sleeves?
I did not find the Healthy Sleep Habits book helpful, even though a rew
friends recommended it. I thought it was very poorly organized and hard
to follow. I much prefer ''Good Night, Sleep Tight'' by Kim West -- her
sleep training method worked for us and didn't feel cruel. It has good
advice about sleeping issues at different ages. And 3.5 months is
really young, there will definitely be alot of ups and downs when you
start sleep training that early good luck
I'm a huge fan of the healthy sleep book but daytime naps in most babies
doesn't organize by 3 1/2 months. i think your expecting too much too
soon. i know it must be stressful thinking about how your caregiver
will help your baby sleep but it will come in the next couple of months.
Reread the part about naps where he states you can pick your baby up
after five minutes if they are still crying. I would hate for this to
dominate the last weeks you have with your little one before you return
Though poorly edited, the content is spot on. I used that book, plus
'Becoming Babywise' to guide me through the whole 'cry it out' (or CIO,
as you might see it) and scheduling thing. It is a hot topic amongst
parents, but if you feel it works for your family, go for it.
The only trick was to call on a mommy-friend that had gone through it
and who could give me encouragement through the hard times. The payoff
was huge by 5 months when our baby was getting 12 hours at night
(sometimes waking up & able to go back to sleep on his own) and taking 3
solid naps on a very predictable schedule. It was hard to give up my
life (not go out as much during the day, so that baby could nap soundly
at home) but I was able to get a lot done at home since I knew i could
expect chunks of me-time. Our kid is now 13 months old and is still a
great sleeper. GOOD LUCK!
HI, we used this book with ALOT of success. the only advice i have for
you is that i think your baby is probably too young to expect consistent
long naps. you don't need to let your baby cry too long to still adhere
to the jist of this book's great advice.
i dont think that long naps happen until after 4 months for a lot of
people (i think dr. weissbluth even says somewhere in the book that
their melatonin levels or something aren't in place before 4 months).
our second child also took short naps for a long time. after 4 months i
started watching the clock and setting her schedule more. the naps
started to consolidate. at 6 months she started taking a long morning
nap and a long midday nap and sometimes a late afternoon nap. i just
need to wake her in the morning by the latest 8am and she will go like
clock work the rest of the day. good luck, you're doing great!
I had a really great experience with that book, and for the most part it
worked very well for my son, with one exception: the advice about no
motion during sleep. For that part, the idea from Happiest Baby on the
Block about babies being comforted by motion made sense for our guy. My
son, from the time he was about 4 weeks old until about 7 months old,
was a ''motion junky'' as his daycare provider called it. He loved
movement. He had a hard time just laying in a crib/bassinet to sleep.
At night time, for whatever reason, this wasn't a problem, but during
the day (perhaps because it was lighter out and there was more
noise/activity) he had a very hard time. We'd put him in his swing,
turn on some white noise (to help neutralize the noises at our house)
and set the timer on his swing. We'd usually set it for 20 minutes,
which would be enough to distract him a little and then lull him into a
deeper sleep, and he'd wind up taking naps anywhere from 1.5-3 hours.
It was the only thing that worked for him for months. Now he's 9 months
old, swing free, and a pretty good napper Some babies just need
Our son is a month older than your child. Only in the last two weeks
has the Healthy Sleep Habits book techniques really started working for
him. Your child might just need a few more weeks before he's ready.
Here's our routine, I hope it helps you. When he first wakes up, I
change his diaper and feed him. Then we play for awhile together and he
plays on his own. I check for signs of tiredness. Usually when he's
been up for an hour and forty-five minutes he rubs his eyes. I whisk
him into his crib, put a crocheted blankie on top of him and stick a
pacifier in his mouth. Then depending on how he's doing I either sit
with him and help him keep the pacifier in his mouth and stroke his head
or just leave him to his own devices. He's usually asleep within five
minutes. If it's a little cool, I microwave a pillow filled with
buckwheat for three minutes, make sure there are no hot spots, and place
that next to him. He loves snuggling up to that. The trick is to get
him in the crib when he's drowsy but still awake and the way to do that
is to have the feeding and diaper changing taken care of when I know he
is awake. This is sort of a hybrid of Healthy Sleep Habits and the Baby
Whisperer with advice from the mothers in my new moms group and a
cashier at Elephant Pharmacy thrown in. It evolved gradually after much
trial and error, keeping the basic principles of Healthy Sleep Habits in
mind but not being super rigid about them. Good luck!
I have an almost 5 month old who is having sleep issues and only takes
half hour naps during the day as well. I don't want to do the ''cry it
out method'' and found this book called ''The No Cry Sleep Solution''.
I haven't completely finished it yet, but the mother of four author
seems to have a lot of good alternatives to helping your baby sleep
better during the day and at night. I have just started implementing
some of the strategies, so I can't say how successful they are yet.
Good luck to you and feel free to email me if you want to communicate
more about the issue Mollie email@example.com
Weissbluth worked really well for us, but there have been lots of
transition periods that have been frustrating. Unlike strict
''scheduling'' approaches, he doesn't tell you when to put a kid down
but advises you to figure out what your child's natural sleep rhythms
are. While he gives some suggestions and general parameters, it's a lot
of trial and error. If what you're doing isn't working, try playing
with the times according to his general guidelines. We eventually
figured out, for instance, that our son took to an early morning nap.
Even though he slept 12-hour nights, he went back down about 2 hours
after he got up.
It might also be that your baby is not quite ready at 3.5 months. It
was well after 4 months before we noticed any real order to daytime
sleep patterns. Finally, if you don't think the crying is getting you
anywhere, you could try a modified approach. There were times when we
knew our son was just wound up and a little crying would yield to a
restorative nap. There were others when we could tell it just wasn't
going to happen, so we comforted him in his crib and helped soothe him
to sleep. At that age, he might need some help. When he got older and
more familiar with the routine, we stopped doing it. Only you know
what's best, but don't feel like you're going to sink the whole sleep
ship if you go in and give him a hand as you both try to navigate this
new program. Good luck!
Healthy and Happy
I wonder if he's just too young to apply the Weisbluth stuff. If you
have him sleeping 12 hours a night, I wouldn't stress so much about
naps. They'll come in time. Apparently babies often sleep better for
daycare providers and nannies than their parents. I was able to train my
son using that book, but only loosely, and at five months. My son only
sleeps a total of 12 hours a day, so it's possible your son is already
getting a lot of the sleep he needs during the night. Because every
child is different you have to take his advice with a grain of salt (for
example, I think 20-minute naps are okay if not ideal).
I am the parent of -- formerly -- The World's Worst Sleeper. I tried and tried
to apply Weissbluth, but I found it just didn't work with my life and frankly, I
let it make me miserable.
Especially the part about never allowing your child to sleep in the car! I felt
like I was doomed to be a shut-in. I personally think Weissbluth applies for
families that are very differently organized than mine. Anyway, I think 3.5
months is way too young to expect long naps. My daughter never took more than a
20-minute nap until she was 6 months old -- when she went to day care. By the
way, your child *will* sleep for her childcare provider, even if she doesn't
sleep for you. Also, my daughter never slept more than 2-3 hours at a time (even
during the night!) until we did sleep training (not Weissbluth, but more like
Ferber) at 9 months. She now sleeps about 8-10 hours at night and 1-3 hours at
nap time (she just turned 3). There were weeks and weeks, even after sleep
training, when I let her cry through her whole nap time to try to get her to
sleep on her own. Then I went to a parenting advisor who told me that as long as
she was sleeping at night, just make the naps work in whatever way we could. The
sleep stuff is crazy-making, that's for sure. Good luck! I think your child is
Mom of Wakeful Child
Personally, I did not like the Weissbluth book at all. I found him to be bossy
and mean, implying that you're ruining your child if you do not follow his
philosophy. Although Ferber gets a bad rap (''Ferberizing''), and many people
equate his name with the cry- it-out philosophy, I strongly recommend reading
him. His approach is much more balanced, he offers supportive advice, and ideas
on how to help your child sleep better without stressing out the whole family.
After months of struggling, and trying both Weissbluth and Hoag, I finally tried
Ferber, thinking he would be the harshest. Instead, his non-bossy, supportive
approach worked for us within a week's time. Good luck!!
Finally resting parent
The Healthy Sleep Habits book (Weissbluth) remains the single best parenting
advice book I have read -- and my two kids are 3 and 5. It's straightforward,
practical, and best of all to a sleep-deprived parent, you don't have to read the
Once you read the first couple of chapters and get the basic concepts, you can
then flip to the section that relates to the age of your particular child.
It's not at all about being harsh with a child or making them ''cry it out'' to
sleep. It's about teaching your child a consistent, predictable bedtime routine
that will ultimately teach them to soothe themselves to sleep easily. Just like
with potty training, mealtime behaviors, etc., you are showing your baby/child
''this is what we do every day, we do it at the same time, and in the same way.
this probably doesn't seem like much fun, but it's really important to do this.''
The child quickly learns the expectation, and builds the sleeping habit. This may
be challenging for those parents who don't like to operate on a schedule, but if
you are willing to be consistent in implementing it, it works surprisingly fast.
I had 2 uptight, colicky, non-sleeping infants who howled whenever I put them
down. 6 weeks after my first was born, I was at the end of my rope -- up 20+
hours a day rocking him. I found this book, and it literally changed our
household for the better. Once he started sleeping adequately, he was much
happier (and I was too). The results have stuck, years later.
In fact, my kids will sometimes ask to go to bed EARLY when they've had a tiring
day. (yes, these are the same two that were born fighting sleep) Their bodies are
now trained to tell them when they need to rest.
A further testament to how effective it is: My son is autistic (of course, we
didn't know this when he was a baby and we did sleep training), and even though
night waking is typical for these kids, his doctors are amazed to know that he
consistently sleeps through the night unassisted. Thank you Dr Weissbluth!!
I know this was discussed very recently, but I can't find the
post... I'm looking for the book(s) that were recommended for
the parent whose three- or four-year-old is DRIVING HER CRAZY.
One book was mentioned several times. Now I can't remember it,
and I really, really need it. Here's a list of the ones I
already know about, so it was more obscure.
Becoming the parent you want to be.
How to talk so kids will listen...
The discipline book
Your spirited child
Thanks so much, and sorry to ask for a re-run.
Perhaps you are remembering references to ''Your
Three-Year-Old: Friend or Enemy,'' by Ames and Ilg. it's
been mentioned several times recently in regards to
troubling three-and-a-half-year-old behavior. The best thing
about the book is the reassurance that children go through
normal phases of disequilibrium. For me, it's been more
effective than many 'strategies'' to remember that my child
really is going through an inner upheaval, and that he will
settle down again.
In the trenches
My favorites for parenting books that focus on positive
discipline (education, not punsihment) and that give parents and
kids effective tools to communicate with one another:
Parent Effectiveness Training - sounds dull, but if you can get
past the flowcharts, it is a wonderfully respectful model of how
to encrouage yourchild and your self to put words to feelings
Raising your spirited child
Kids, parents, and power struggles
Playful parenting by Cohen
Positive discipline for preschoolers - sort of a list of things
Also the Your three your old and your four year old books by
Ames for a nice overview of the developmental challenges of each
Parenting a School-Aged Child
Hello parents and caregivers,
Does anyone know of a good book that discuss the developmental
stages of a child from one year old to pre-adolescence, or even to teen
years for that matter. I'm in search of information on what a 5 year
(boy) developmental stages are. Questions that I have are, what are the
stages of mental growth for this age and what are the difficulties an
average 5 year old face from day-to-day.
Mom of mommy's boy
''Your Five Year Old'' is a good book about childhood development.
It's a series ''your 6 year old, ''your 8 year old'', etc...check
it out on Amazon.
I love the series from the Gessell Institute, usually written by Louise Bates Ames or
Frances Ng ''Your Five Year Old'' , ''Your Six Year Old'', etc. They are so clearly
compassionately written. I have 3 kids, ages 3-10 and I reread each one for each kid
when they hit that age.
heidi, mama of 3
I must have half a dozen books that have taught me a great deal
about childrens developmental stages and so on. They mostly end
around the age of 5 though. My favorites are Penolope Leach
(your baby your child), Brazelton (touchpoints) and Sears. I
have the Brazelton 3-6 book but it is not that helpful as his
four 'model' kids are SO extreme in temprement. Mine, like most
of yours I am sure, is a mixture of these. I can not label her
anything in particular so I am not looking for a 'special needs'
type of book. Just a good referenece on what 5-6-7 yr olds go
through, why, how to deal... Thank you much.
My favorites for this are the Ames and Ilg books from the Gesel
Institute, ''Your Four Year Old'', ''Your Five Year Old'', etc... I
know they go through at least 9 or 10 years old. I think they
mesh pretty well with your favorites. They've helped me
tremendously when I start to think my child is going to make me
crazy, and then I discover their behavior is totally appropriate
for the age (I still get crazy, but at least I understand...).
I have enjoyed the series of books by Louise Bates Ames and
Frances L. Ilg. They are quite dated in terms of gender stuff,
but their descriptions of developmental stages seem right on. They
go up through 10 years old, maybe teens as well. They have titles
like Your Three Year Old, Friend or Enemy.
Books about Being a Mother/Father
Any recommendations on books, websites, etc that discuss being a mom and raising babies from
a feminist perspective? i am a new mom and a feminist and want to quit ''work'' to stay home
and raise my baby, at least for now. i'd like to read thoughts on this that empower me to
make this decision. i feel so much pressure to give answers to the external voices - the
''when are you going back to work'' voices (my baby is 1 month old!) and to really own my
beliefs that it is right for me to be with her for a while, even if it's a financial
am i looking for justification in writing? maybe. i'd also love to hear from those of you
who might understand what i'm trying to work out. thanks!
You should read ''Maternal Desire'' by Daphne De Marneffe. I really enjoyed
reading it and have recommended it to many friends. She's a local author and
clinical psychologist who stayed at home for a while and eventually went back to
work. Reading her book helped me feel more comfortable with my decision to stay
Here's a link to the book on Amazon:
I'm working through something similar - I'm in month 4 of my leave and facing my
imminent return to work. Here are a couple pieces that I've looked at.
There is an article in this month's San Francisco magazine. ''Mother of all
Recessions'' by Diana Kapp. She personally has a point of view, but does a pretty
good job at giving voice to the opposite point of view as well.
Also, I thought this book was good at reviewing sociology research. ''Necessary
Dreams'', by Anna Fels.
she who is seeking meaning
Hi, a writing critique group that I was part of founded a website a few years ago
with exactly this in mind! Check out www.literarymama.com. We publish fiction,
poetry,columns, and creative nonfiction all on the topic of motherhood and from a
feminist perspective. I wrote a column called ''Down Will Come Baby'' for several
years about my experiences with PPD.
The site also has book reviews (I was one of the reviews editors for awhile),
bibliographies, and reading lists with much of what you are looking for.
for more of an activist perspective, go to http://www.mothersmovement.org/ and
http://www.momsrising.org/ (I get their newsletters)
I was a women's studies minor in college and it was my concentration for my MA.
but when I had my kids and started looking for stuff on motherhood, I was dismayed
with the lack of what I found. But in the past few years there has been an
explosion of writing as well as a movement of rediscovering wonderful stuff that
was already there ( anne lamott, adrienne rich)
''Everyday Blessings: Mindful Parenting'' by Jon and Myra Kabat-Zinn Guidance on
being present and the value of being present with your kids (whatever other work
you are doing). I'm interested to hear other answers as I think we do need a new
feminism of mothering. Congratulations on your little one, best wishes and do what
feels right to you!
I highly recommend Maternal Desire by Daphne de Marneffe. This is a rich and
nuanced book which takes into account and values mothering from a feminist
perspective. A rare find.
I HIGHLY recommend ''The Mommy Myth'' and ''The Price of Motherhood.''
''Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety'' quite literally changed my life
and I highly recommend it for anyone struggling to make sense of the emotionally
charged and complex role of ''Mother'' and perhaps ''Working Mother'' in today's
The author is Judith Warner.
You already got some great recommendations. I wanted to add a couple of books
that I don't think were mentioned. 'Mother Reader' is a great collection of
essays on motherhood and feminism. The essays span the second half of the
last century (1949- 1999, the book came out in 2001), but were quite
eye-opening for me. In part I was amazed how much even the older essays spoke
to me - how much things really haven't changed for mothers. Also, 'Mothers
Who Think' is a great collection of motherhood stories, as is the sequel
'Because I Said So.' Finally, 'The F Word' from Kristin Rowe- Finkbeiner, one
of the founders of MomsRising, is a good primer of sorts on feminism.
It's not focused on motherhood, but does include a discussion of motherhood.
I'm a fairly new SAHM (5 months) and dealing with some PPD and
marital stress. Would love a good read about early motherhood
but there are so many books out there...how to choose? Here
are some I'm considering, which do you recommend?
-I Was a Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids: Reinventing Modern
-Inconsolable: How I Threw My Mental Health Out With the
Diapers -Mothers Who Think: Tales Of Real-life Parenthood
-Mother Shock: Loving Every (Other) Minute of It -What's the
Matter With Mommy?: Rantings of a Reluctant Stay-at-Home
I really like Ariel Gore's books on mothering and parenting. She's written
one called the ''Hip Mama Survival Guide,'' and edited one called
''Breeder.'' They are both great and are both from Seal Press, a
woman-centric publishing house. Also, get yourself a subscription to both
Hip Mama magazine and Mothering magazine--I couldn't survive without them!
I also liked the compilation ''Because I Said So,'' which features a bunch
of stories written by mothers on various topics. I know lots of people like
''Mother Shock,'' but I personally found it a bit depressing.
A WONDERFUL memoir of the first year is ''Operating Instructions,'' by Anne
Lamott. It is incredibly honest, touching, funny, and just right on. It is
one of my all-time favorite books.
Happy Reading! (And try Nordic Naturals fish oils to help with the PPD...I
am noticeably moodier when I forget to take them).
My all-time favorite is Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott. Really
helped me feel like I was not alone. And it made me laugh really hard in
Of the books you mention, I really enjoyed the Mothers Who Think
collection. I was less impressed with Mother Shock, and am not familiar
with the others. Another collection I liked was Child of Mine. Also,
there's a book called Mother Reader that has essays and stories about
motherhood that I found very thought-provoking. These are some of the books
that got me through the first year of motherhood. Oh, there's also
Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott, which tells about her son's first
year and is a good read.
Good luck to you - the first year is tough, but it keeps getting better and
easier, so hang in there.
Mom of a four-year old
While you're at it, check out this website by a local mom:
Congrats on your new baby! I would definitely recommend Mother Shock as
well as Perfect Madness by Judith Wagner. Hello, My Name Is Mommy by Sheri
Lynch is a good one, too.
I recommend The Mother Trip by Ariel Gore. Also check out Hip Mama
Check out ''Birth of a Mother'' by Stern, et al. Helped (and is helping)
me a lot as a new mother.
''Operating Instructions'' by Anne Lamott! Laugh out loud funny in
spots and gives you that 'thank goodness I'm not the only one who
feels this way sometimes' relief.
I second all those book recommendations, but also check out the
weekly new writing at LiteraryMama.com It's tremendous writing from
many different perspectives and in a variety of genres (fiction,
poetry, essay), and it's free!
After reading yet another ''parenting'' book that told my
hubby ''yes, you can be involved in parenting'' my husband is
feeling a little talked down too. He IS a very involved parent,
doesn't need a book encouraging him to be involved, or affirming
his parentage and responsibilities. He'd like to read a nice
book that assumes he's involved already and gives him some
thoughts, guidelines -- he's not quite sure -- but a book that
is akin to the well-written mothering books I get to read. The
best he could say is ''a modern father's book.''
Has anyone found a Dad-book that might meet his expectations?
got a good daddy and hubby!
My brother-in-law has been raving to my husband about this book: Raising an
Emotionally Intelligent Child by John Gottman. It's not specifically a Father's book, but
is written by a father and has a chapter titled ''The Father's Crucial Role.'' I've read
some of this book, it definitely does not talk down to parents and makes quite a lot of
sense of how to be an emotional coach to your children.
just want to second the recommendation for john gottman's
''raising an emotionally-intelligent child.'' this is one of the
few parenting books i actually read all the way through (it's
that well-written!), and i was particularly interested
in/impressed by the chapter about fathers (tho' i'm a mom). i
think it has a lot of interesting insights about how fathering is
different from, and just as important as, mothering, and is very
respectful of fathers in general
There are so many books, articles, rants on how hard it is for
American working moms, but does anyone know of:
a) Books, groups, websites that propose real solutions - what to
ask for in legislature changes, and who and how to ask? It seems
to me a lot of changes have to happen at a government level.
Or on a personal level - how to educate employers on the needs
and challenges of family life.
b) What western culture really has a good balance - is it Sweden
with a full year paid maternity leave? France with govt.
subsidized childcare? Most of Europe with 6-8 weeks vacation? Are
there any complete studies that compare all the factors, the pros
and cons, in order to figure out the best model to work towards?
I know the problems, but how can we keep making things better if
not for us, then for our children?
I want to be more involved in a change!!
Itching to DO More!!
I don't know about information per se, but there is a new organization
recently been started by Joan Blades, one of the women involved in
''Moms Rising''. Like MoveOn, this is a grassroots, online,
organization striving to
make changes in the world through local activism. Their focus is on
families. Check out the website, MomsRising.org and get involved!
founded by Joan Blades, one of the founders of MoveOn.
I don't have any sources of information for you, but I am also
itching to do more. If you start a little group, I'd like to be
a part of it.
Check out http://www.momsrising.org/. They are an offshoot of
moveon.org, and I don't know how effective they are/will be, but
at least their goals seem right. I'd also be interested in
finding local groups working on issues that affect working
mothers/families. If you'd like to talk, please email me
Some of the things you mention remind me of a book I read recently,
Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety'' by Judith Warner. Have you read it?
Warner lived in
France for a while and makes comparisons between the two countries. It
raises a lot of
issues and questions, but in the end comes up short in answering all
questions, in my opinion. There must be an organization working on
I'm going to watch the follow-up postings to see what others have to
Working Mother of 2
I am 8 months pregnant with my first child. My husband is
very apprehensive and nervous about fatherhood--he
probably would have prefered never to have children. But he
is interested in discussing all the conflicting emotions with
other men and/or reading works by men/fathers on this
issue. I recently read Naomi Wolf's Misconceptions and
found it very useful in that it discussed so many of the hard
aspects of pregnancy/motherhood that aren't talked about in
so much of the literature. He's jealous that there's so much
literature for women about these issues and not much for
men (aside from books on what you can do to support your
pregnant wife). Does anyone know of any books that
address this conflict? Does anyone know of any new-father
support groups that he could join? Thanks.
Dr. Bruce Linton in Berkeley has a support group for new and expectant
fathers 510 644 0300, as well as a book called Finding time for
Fatherhood. My husband has never liked/trusted therapists but seems to
have bonded very quickly with Dr. Linton. He is an expert in this arena,
and he takes insurance! He is recommended elsewher on this site, too.
P.S. It's easy to underestimate the power of a baby over your best
emotions. Your husband may be surprised by the feelings of love he
feels for the child.
I just wanted to recommend the book that my husband found the most useful for
him while I was pregnant. Pregnant Man by Gordon Churchwell. This book is
funny and honest. My husband has recommended it many times. Good Luck,
I have JUST the right book for your husband that addresses EXACTLY the issues
that your husband is facing - including that expectant fathers need more than
just to know how to support expectant mothers: ''Fathering Right from the
Start: Straight Talk About Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond'' by Jack Heinowitz -
you can get it from Amazon.com. My husband checked it out of the library and
LOVES it - the book discusses the conflict of emotions that fathers
experience, and how fathers are marginalized by our culture from the lives of
their babies, by the common misconception that newborns and babies only need
their mothers and that the extent of a new father's invovement is supporting
mom. I bet your husband will really appreciate this book. Fathers matter too!!
Bruce Linton in North Berkeley (on Shattuck between Cedar and
Vine) has a fathers' group that has worked well for my husband.
He's able to talk with other new dads and has even made strong
enough connections to join a few fathers with the kids at a park
on the weekends ( a great break for me.) Don't know his number
off hand, but Dr. Linton is well known and a ''really good guy.''
Check him out
The book your husband should start with is Armin Brott's _The
Expectant Father_. (Brott also has a series of
other 'fatherhood' books that he may want to read later: The New
Father for the first year, and another the title of which I've
forgotten for the toddler years, plus The Adoptive Father and
other 'specialized' titles.)
There are certainly fathers' groups around. There is at least
one facilitated group that is mentioned once in a while in our
own Announcements newsletter, and I believe there's at least one
sponsored by or advertised in the Neighborhood Parents' Network
I was wondering if anyone could recommend a good book on the pros
and cons of having an only child. We have one child right now,and
are on the fence about having another. We are wondering if it is
really better for him developmentally to have a a brother or
sister. Books with either point of view would be highly
''Maybe One: A Case for Smaller Families'' by Bill McKibben
presents reasons why couples should perhaps limit
themselves to having an only child. It's written from an
environmentalist point of view, but touches on
developmental issues as well.
Can anyone recommend a book on mothering or parenting in general which they
really enjoyed? I'm *not* interested in a how-to handbook (i.e. Sears,
What to Expect, etc...), but rather something thoughtful,
thought-provoking, and well-written. Beth
For a good book that is short and fun to read, try Anne Lamott's
*Operating Instructions.* I read it while I was pregnant and laughed,
read it again when my baby was 2 months old and laughed more. Also,
a friend of a friend of mine has a new book just coming out called
*Planet Parenthood* (by Julie Tilsen, I think)
that is very funny.
Three books that I've enjoyed, all relatively non-directive (and all
oriented toward infants -- I don't know how old your child is):
Dear Parent: Caring for Infants with Respect by Magda Gerber (this book
does make specific recommendations that go along with its philosophy, but
there's some good stuff about noticing when your child is engaged in
studying something and not interupting him/her)
Our Babies, Ourselve by Meredith F. Small (self-described as
ethno-pediatrics; acultural/anthropological study of child-rearing practices)
The Continuum Concept by ??? (another anthropological study of the
child-raising of an Amazonian tribe. A pretty strong ideological slant
about carrying the baby all the time (I suspect this book had something to
do with the "discovery" of "attachment" parenting), but since it's an
ideology I'm generally sympathetic to, it didn't bug me that much.)
I just HATE the entire What to Expect... series!
I've just started to read this book, but so far I'm finding it very thought
provoking. It's called, "Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful
Parenting" by Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn. I would also recommend these books:
"You are Your Child's First Teacher," by Rahima Baldwin Dancy and "Becoming
the Parent You Want to Be" by Laura Davis (I think that's the author's
name!). There's also a book called "Mother Journeys: Feminists Write about
Mothering," edited by Maureen T. Reddy, Martha Roth, Amy Sheldon. Lastly,
"The Blue Jay's Dance: A Birth Year," by Louise Erdrich is a nice pastoral
I have really enjoyed You Are Your Child's First
Teacher, by Rahima Baldwin Dancy. It has a
Waldorf/Rudolf Steiner slant to it, which may appeal
to some and not others. I liked it because I found it
supported a lot of my natural instincts and reminded
me to just relax and enjoy being a mother. Some of the
Steiner background was a bit much for me, but behind
that I just found this to be a very sweet and
nurturing book to read as I became a new mother
I always recommend the book, "Becoming the Parent You Want to Be" by Laura
Davis and Janice Keyser. This is an extremely thoughtful book with lots of
strategies for parents. Most importantly, it focuses a lot on our growth as
parents and encourages reflection on what we believe and why. I can't say
enough good things about it.
I have very much enjoyed Penelope Leach's "Your Baby & Child", which goes up
to age 5 or so. I'm also starting to get into Barbara Coloroso's "Kids are
worth it! Giving Your Child the Gift of Inner Discipline", which came highly
recommended to me.
There are a couple of wonderful books that you might enjoy. One is Becoming
the Parent You Want to Be by Laura Davis and Janis Keyser. It's a
combination philosophy/how-to book, but doesn't really come at parenting
from one particular point of view - it's more a guide for helping you
figure it out for yourself. Another is The Good Enough Parent by Bruno
Bettelheim. It has more of a viewpoint and is the culmination of his
lifetime of work around raising healthy children, and it is very
well-written. He kind of reminds me of Mr. Rogers for parents.
Two thoughtful books that I enjoyed are: Everyday Blessings by John and
Myla Kabat-Zinn and Essence of Parenting (I think this is the title).
I loved "Child of Mine" edited by Christina Baker Kline - it's essays
written by women writers about the first year of motherhood. A great gift
for new moms to be, also.
Many of these books have been mentioned, but I had already typed them on
my list. These are mostly non child development oriented books, and talk
to the experience of parenting. I figure all parenting books must be
taken with a grain of salt. Sorry if the list is long, they all have
Balantyne, Sheila Novel: Norma Jean the Termite Queen (ta funny,
furious, totally uninhibited book about the mad housewife in all of usv)
Bettelheim, Bruno A Good Enough Parent
Briggs Your ChildFs Self Esteem
Cabat- Zinn, John and Myra Everyday Blessings
Clarke, Jean Illsley Self-Esteem: A Family Affair
Cowan, Carolyn and Phil When Partners Become Parents
Davis, Laura and Keyser, Janice Becoming The Parent You Want To Be
Fishel, Elizabeth Family Mirrors, What Our ChildrenFs Lives Reeal About
Heffner, Elaine Mothering, The Emotional Experience of Motherhood after
Freud and Feminism
Johnson, Anne and Goodman, Vic The Essence of Parenting, Becoming the
Parent You WAnt to Be
Kaplan, Louise Oneness and Separateness:From Infant to Individual
Linton, Bruce Finding Time For Fatherhood
McBride, Angela Barron The Growth and Development of Mothers
Neville, Helen and Halaby, Mona No Fault Parenting
Swigart, Jane The Myth of the Bad Mother, Parenting Without Guilt
Laurie Colwin has written a number of really wonderful novels with babies,
and families as themes. I'm especially fond of Goodbye Without Leaving and
Happiness. I recently particularly enjoyed Jackie by Josie by Caroline
which has a toddler and family in it...As a bonus it also had an academic
slant. Domestic Pleasures by Beth Gutcheon has a nice portrayal of domestic
life, with teenagers and toddlers living together. This, as well as Laurie
Colwin's books are set in New York, which I like. Faith Sullivan has a number
of books about family life, mostly told from the child's view which are quite
nicely written. I especially liked The Cape Ann. Billy Letts has a baby in
the Heart Is but I found the book to be kind of dumb. And of course, Barbara
Kingsolver's The Bean Trees and Pigs in Heaven have great kid stuff in them.
this page was last updated: Jul 14, 2013
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are transitioning to a new website during
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2015 Berkeley Parents Network