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August 29, 2010


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I love it whenever people gett together and share ideas. Great website, keep it up!

My favorite parenting book is No More Meltdowns by Jed Baker.

My fave book of all time: Parenting From The Heart by Jack Pransky. I feel like it is a must read for every parent.

I agree about Sears, Karen, as do many. I think the books I've reco'd as perhaps others are ones that are slightly less dogmatic (if I may say so) and more about parenting tips as opposed to parenting philosophies. The difference is huge, at least for me, anyway.

A GREAT sleep book is BEDTIMING. It talks about WHEN and when not to "sleep train" and critiques all the methods (gentle and CIO). It's a really great book and I highly recommend it.


@Caramama and @Jenny. Good points. I can see how that would be a nice and enjoyable approach. It's genuinely admirable to be so professional and conscientious in your approach to parenting. But I'm in the mind set of "once bitten, twice shy" when it comes to books. I've got to let it go but I am really crusty about the bad experience with Sears. The ridiculous amount of guilt that book induced in me upon reading it the first time even though I was actually already doing (and I continue to do) just about everything it recommends (breast-feeding on demand, baby-wearing, co-sleeping, putting my career on hold, you NAME it) and yet it led me to believe that I could just never do enough, ever. People talk a lot about how judgmental parents are of each other but I've never felt judged by another mom of any "philosophy". I've only felt judged by Sears (okay and my MIL a little).

I guess in light of my experience, my advice might still be to use one book that offers lots of possible techniques until that book doesn't work any more and then get more recommendations in light of changing circumstances.

Thanks Caramama, Jenny, MU and others for this topic and your thoughts. Maybe I'll take the plunge a try out a couple of more books. Siblings without Rivalries and How To Talk ... sound kinda up our alley.

There is a great parenting book out there called "The Blessing of a Skinned Knee." It's about letting them make mistakes and learn from being exposed in the world but protected at home...

I loved your recommendation 1-2-3 Magic, it has worked wonders in my house, and has given me an easy, consistent, tool for my German AuPair.

Siblings without Rivalry has gotten me to think about sibling relationships and my role in them a bit more.

Sleep - Touchy one, I've read EVERY book on the topic. Seriously. I also got kind of messed up with Sears and Ferber and CIO vs attachment parenting. But I think for me, going in with a plan was helpful with baby #2, and I read "The secrets of the baby whisperer". I agree, that it can be confusing, but I've also found that books which show you what you DON'T want to do or be like can be as helpful as books that do give you a useful plan (minus the wasted precious time). It comes down to choosing what will work for your family, and understand different methods of child raising. If you are reading a book, you are growing and learning and understanding.

Also "Boundaries for Kids" is very good - discipline. Describes why kids thrive with Boundaries and is effective for kids 3-15. It also talks about how respecting boundaries as a kid helps create, respect, and maintain them as adults.

I'm a big reader and researcher, so I've got a few books that I love and highly recommend. Most of them are just about understanding your child, not telling you how to parent, which are the kinds of books I prefer:

-The Wonder Weeks, by Hetty Van de Rijt and Frans Plooij: Discusses the fussy periods in baby's first year, including sleep regressions and anxiety periods.
-Raising Your Spirited Child, by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka: Amazing book to help those of us with spirited kids understand them and figure out how to work with them and their personalities and our own personalities.
-Between Parent and Child, by Dr. Haim G. Ginott: provides basis of understand communication techniques and how to interact with our kids in ways that work for them and us.
-How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk and Siblings Without Rivalries, both by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish: more on communications, and these books actually give good ideas for how to communicate.
-Playful Parenting, by Lawrence Cohen: focuses on how important play is for children's development and how we can use play as a parenting technique.

I respectfully disagree with @Karen L. What works for me and others is to read many parenting books and take from them the strategies that will work for us and our kids. Because even if you find one book that you think will work for you as a parent, it may not work for the child(ren). I personally don't think any parent should continue with just one method/style if it is not working for BOTH the parent and the child(ren).

Breaking the Good Mom Myth by Alyson Schafer.

This book was a liberating read for me as it hit on all the hot topics, rather myths, I had come to believe were the basis for being a "Good Mom".

Myth 1 – Self-care is selfish.

Myth 2 – My children are a reflection of me.

Myth 3 – My marriage can wait.

Myth 4 – Good mothers are all caring and all protecting.

Myth 5 – Good mothers are in control.

Myth 6 – Good mothers manage sibling conflict.

Myth 7 – Only the best education for my child.

Myth 8 – Good mothers make life fun and entertaining.

I'm a big fan of the Parenting With Love and Logic series. They work really well.

You have to be thick-skinned to read most books. They will f* with your head. I was doing just fine with my first when he was a newborn but decided I needed a reference for when What-To-Expect-When-You're-Expecting's newborn section no longer applied. So I bought one. Just went a grabbed one that looked pretty detailed with a name I recognised. New mom, meet Dr. Sears. Then friends sent me new-baby-presents from Amazon. New mom, meet Dr.s Leach and Ferber. I *was* doing just fine. and then the books came. Especially when it came to sleep, I didn't believe that anything was right but that everything was wrong because everybody's negative-campaigning was super-effective. Three years later, I'm still f'd up about sleep.

The best advice I ever got was from my uncle who told me to ignore the books. Now I tell my friends who are parents-to-be that they should get book recommendations from families whose style they respect and then choose ONE BOOK. As it is, you're going to get all kinds of conflicting assvice from strangers, friends, and family. You don't need the "experts" reinforcing the cacophony.

Nurtureshock-it is not a true parenting book but the science behind raising children. It is a great read.
Transforming the difficult child-terrible name, but good book if you have a spirited or challenging child.

Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn has changed the way I view parenting my 2 year old. Moving from punishment/behavior-based parenting to thinking about things from my child's point of view has been hard and something I'm continually working on.

I also love Mamma Zen by Karen Maezen Miller. I guess the connection is that parenting is more about ME and less about controlling HER behavior.

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