Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Good reads

A week or two ago I mentioned hitting up the library for some books on dealing with squabbling siblings.

I came home with a stack of books.

When I take on a research project, I don't fool around.

I know not everyone enjoys parenting books, but I for one, love them. Even the bad ones.

The good ones are actually ... well... helpful. 

And the bad ones make me feel better that I don't have time to read everything ever written.

Today I am going to recommend two fabulous books.

Taking Back Childhood [Helping Kids Thrive in a Fast Pased, Media Saturated, Violence Filled World.
First up, Taking Back Childhood Helping Kids Thrive in a Fast Pased, Media Saturated, Violence Filled World. by Nancy Carlsson-Paige.

Don't let the title scare you - this book isn't preachy. 

What's great about this book is that the author combines a firm foundation in child development theory with a thorough analysis of current research. The effect is a powerful one-two punch.
At first the book is a little disheartening. It's a bit like: here's what's happening with our kids, here's why it's bad, and here's some nice scientific evidence to prove it. Gulp.
But that's only the beginning.  The good doctor goes on to provide 200 pages of really helpful advice and anecdotes.
Caveat: I like this book because it blends nicely with my own beliefs about childhood and parenting. I often feel pressured to place the boys in lots of programs, to get them potty trained, reading, and playing violin by age 5. This is not how I parent. I firmly believe in playing in the dirt. I'm making choices for my boys that I am hoping will benefit them in the future, but I could (gulp) be wrong. This book provided actual research to back up the choices I'm making with my heart and gut.
If you are not this type of parent - don't read this book. It's not for you. And please don't leave me hate-comments.

"Mom, Jason's Breathing on Me!": The Solution to Sibling BickeringNext up "Mom, Jason's Breathing on Me!": The Solution to Sibling Bickering by Anthony Wolf.

A much lighter book (I promise).

This book was hilarious and helpful - hooray! It describes a very "hands off" approach to sibling bickering. I've tried some of the techniques with the boys and it really has been helping.

The author has an interesting take on the way siblings relate to each other. He says that within a family, people often relate at the level of their "baby self," and are pretty focused on getting their most basic needs met - social niceties be damned. I thought this was an interesting concept because it hit home for me. It made sense when I thought about it in reference to some of the boys' behavior. I find it helpful to keep this idea in mind when the they are driving me batty. If I can remember that they're just trying to get their needs met- it takes the wind out of my frustration.

Once again, though, this book meshes with my own ideas about siblings. I believe that I should let the boys work things out on their own, if they can. Even if they yell or push each other around a little. As long as they're not actually hurting each other - I try to give them a little room to work things out.


As always, I'd love to hear what you are reading (parenting literature or not) - I love a good recommendation.

I am currently reading a bunch of creepy literature that I'm hoping to share here in the beginning of October. Yay for Halloween!

1 comment:

  1. you know what i am reading ..when i finish the series i am looking forward to starting A Discovery of Witches which i will probably take on the cruise ..Great book for the halloween month..hope it is good..love the books on parenting ..think a little dose of humor goes a long way when you are talking parenting ..always good to keep a laugh when you are dealing with "kids at war with each other" he he..love MOM